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Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: Traveler99 ()
Date: September 22, 2019 10:57PM

How Ironic...

Based on the recent posts, I would conclude:

“For the truth about James Swartz, Ask Heather.”

And also

“For Spiritual Truth, Instead of Swartz, Also Go To Heather.”

Many of Swartz’s students over the years have moved on to better teachers, teachings, and away from his dark energy and foul presence. Some of these fortunate escapees have come to “very good places” spiritually.  

Earthquake is one of these, and more and more it is obvious that Heather herself is, too.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/22/2019 10:58PM by Traveler99.

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Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: MynameisHeather ()
Date: September 24, 2019 11:41AM

Dear James Swartz, Sunny Jim, Jim, Rama, The Man Whose Name Must not be Spoken...


Please refer to your old "teacher"...the guru of whose lineage you claim to be a part of...


When you raped me, hypnotized me, drugged me, caused me, against my will, to do disgusting and shameful things...when you sinned...when you heard the voice of the Lord...when your lust ruled you, when anger ruled you, when you unleased your violence upon me...tell me, did you have a struggle between your intellect and your mind ("conscious prick" from the youtube video) used me as your "sense object"...tell me...DID YOU ENJOY????


You are a liar. You lie to your followers. You are a rapist.

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Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: MynameisHeather ()
Date: September 27, 2019 09:23AM

James F—ing Swartz and his Revisionist History.

I watched the Mystic by Default “documentary”. I haven’t read the book, but I thought it would be useful for me to see what James Swartz is presenting as his narrative.



Watching his ugly face wasn’t easy for me. This is the man who raped me.

In my quest for some closure, I felt it would be useful to see the video. I imagined it was like taking chemotherapy. Sometimes, to get rid of cancer, one must be exposed to toxic chemicals.

I have provided timestamps and quotes from the video, along with my comments.

James Swartz: “Even in those days I was good at lying—and had the gift of gab.”

JS talks about a force taking over his body, making him speak words, turn left or right…

At 25:00 in the video, Swartz relates his travels and interactions with a saint and a yogi. He describes events that led him to his “spiritual awakening”. He said the yogi was a fraud and begins to say the yogi gave him a Kundalini technique. Swartz stops before he finishes the word Kundalini, then calls it a “great technique”.

“Met a great saint…I didn’t realize he was a great saint…went to Rishikesh…fell in with a yogi…who turned out to be a fraud but gave me a Kunda---a great technique, which again reproduced this experience that I’d had before…I thought I was enlightened but the experience disappeared after a few days…and I ended up falling back on the drug scene…”

At 27:15

There is a sharp edit-cut in the interview, and Swartz is in mid-conversation with the interviewer. Swartz talks about a spiritual power he learned: Shakti Siddhi.

“…and the Siddhi…the Shakti Siddhi…but that one…that one’s probably good enough…you only need one…”

The interviewer goes on to gush Swartz with nauseating affection. The questioner placates Swartz by supporting a theory in Mystic by Default (his false autobiography) and suggests Swartz didn’t have (so-called) spiritual experience or spiritual power due to drugs, but that young Swartz had an authentic spiritual awakening experience.

This segment ends with Swartz:

“…cool…maybe I’m just a good liar.”

At 35:00

Swartz continues to describe his experience of “awakening”. He talks about being separate from his body, and watching his body do all the actions. He states he was like a zombie, the body moved by a separate force.

These statements made by Swartz on his experience with depersonalization, makes me wonder if, along with his apparent sociopathic narcissistic disorder, he also has a dissociative disorder. (Note that I am not saying people who suffer with dissociative disorders are criminals—I am saying that a criminal can also have such a disorder.) Here is an interesting article about murderer Ted Bundy that to me is reminiscent of Swartz as I knew him.


At 46:45

Swartz tells the fable of how Swami Chinmayananda requested he become his personal assistant. I wasn’t there, this was well before my time with Swartz (I was with him 1980-82). However, I presume with great confidence that Swartz is again lying.

When I look at the Chinmaya Mission group, I see a worldwide outreach program that intends to help people interested in Vedanta in learning and becoming a member of a benevolent organization. If you look at their websites, it clearly states their mission, events, how the organization is structured, the teachers, and the centres around the world. I don’t see anything about James Swartz there. If Swartz was such a close and important assistant to Chinmayananda—do you think he would be mentioned once—somewhere on the Chinmaya Mission websites?


I’m thinking about writing some letters to the administration office of Chinmaya Mission to ask if they’ve ever heard of a James Swartz. Jessica had mentioned once that Swartz was involved with the SF group, some years before we were involved with his cult, and she mentioned there was a fall-out—a serious disagreement. Unfortunately, she doesn’t know much more than I do.

I’m guessing Swartz had some contact with the authentic guru. Along his travels in Africa & India, he probably learned a lot of trickery, “black magic” (he used to brag about this to Jessica), and some Shakti Siddhi tricks (Kundalini). I’m guessing Swartz saw how a guru could have a lot of power over his followers. That power was like an addictive drug to Swartz. He had some tricks up his sleeve, he saw how the gurus were doing it in India, and I guess he was so full of grandiose self importance that he figured he was the man for the job. All of Swartz’s businesses and con jobs failed (no matter how much he tries to rewrite the narrative!) He was looking for the next game. Guru-ship was it.

At 50:24

“…but the amazing part of this story is…that when you get that close to a Mahatma…of that caliber…these great Mahatmas…y-you become them…your minds get in sync…so whatever was in his mind would appear in my mind almost simultaneously…and I got this…I could see everything that he saw…and it was just, and I could see the world from the position from which he saw…without any words…without any verbal teaching…it was like having a video feed from the Swami in my head all the time…”

Swartz described how he, in his zombie-like depersonalized state, believed there was a video feed of simultaneous experience between himself and Swami Chinmayananda. This transmission of knowledge gave Swartz the “credentials” to make claims he is part of the “lineage” and therefore has the authority to teach Vedanta within that lineage.

Total stinking bullshit.

At 1:10

Here is an example of Swartz’s narcissistic personality:
“I said okay well what do I do now…and he said…I’ll never forget it…it was like this guy you know he was totally unembarrassed by anything…it was his idea…and it didn’t work you know…but he said, you will explode upon the society and bring this knowledge to the people…and I went oh my god you know and that was how he talked really bombawstic…bombastic you know…and I said well okay so what…so what do I do now Swami G…and he said go to San Francisco…sit under a tree…and they will come.”

At 13:40

Swartz talks about how he established his first ashram in San Francisco Seacliff neighborhood. Jessica told me this was probably the cult he established before we got involved with him. Apparently that scene ended badly, people became angry with Swartz (we didn’t know why). Perhaps these were the people screaming at Swartz (we called him Rama at that time), when we were running errands in the Nob Hill area. It was soon after that incident that Swartz sold off his antique shop and stuff from his import business. I detail this in my written account on the thread “James Swartz—my original written account”.

Swartz talks about when he was a guru at his Seacliff ashram. He tells about how wonderful it was, how everyone loved it and benefited from it. He then explains how much work it was— “too much work”. He decided he didn’t want to be like his guru (the one he claimed was his guru) and “have to work so hard”. He said it wasn’t that he didn’t want to serve people, he wanted to serve in a different way. Swartz explains it was an experiment. He didn’t want to be a guru in the traditional sense of the word.

Perhaps Swartz had a moment of truth. Maybe he realized he didn’t have what would take to be a true teacher. He probably realized what a loser, conman, lowlife he really was. Perhaps he decided to take what was useful from the “experiment” and create a new scene, a new game, in which he could be like a guru, yet not be a guru. With this new concept, he would be able to do what ever pleased him. He wouldn’t have to work so hard. He could make the game work for him. He could get devotees to do the work for him, after all, being the guru proved to be too much work.

Swartz talks about putting on his “guru hat”. In other words, he can play the part when it serves him, and stop playing the part when it’s too inconvenient, when he can’t accept responsibility for being a leader (or an influencer).

At 1:20

Swartz begins to blend his fake narrative with the real narrative of his life at that time. He talks about the time period when Joseph, Marlene, Jessica, and I were a part of his cult. However, in his interview (and in his “autobiography”) he erases me, Joseph, and Jessica from the narrative, essentially wiping us clean out of existence. He said he “worked so hard”. Actually, it was Marlene and Jessica and Joseph that worked hard. Swartz first got Marlene and Joseph to do live sex shows in the Tenderloin district of SF. When Jessica and I joined, Swartz got Jessica into the strip teasing business. It was Jessica and Marlene that worked their asses off!!! They brought in all the money. When Swartz sold off his import stuff and antiques, we moved to Montana. At that time Swartz was training me to be a prostitute and a strip tease dancer. Details on my true story can be found on the thread, “James Swartz—my original written account”.

“If there was dirty work to do, I did it myself, I didn’t ask somebody else to do it.”

What a Goddamn liar Swartz is. It makes me sick to hear him lie, knowing how we all suffered—especially Marlene and Jessica. He had us all do his dirty work. I guess that was part of his not-being-the-doer philosophy.

Swartz was (is) nothing but a low-life pimp.

“For me, I’m just a person who knows something that most people don’t know…”

Here’s what Swartz knows: how to influence and control people, until you use them up, then it’s good to throw them away to hide the evidence.

What people don’t know is that Swartz knows how to influence people. It’s called undue influence.

The time on the video 1:20 to 1:25—Swartz mixes up parts of the real narrative to tell his false story. He erases me, Joseph, and Jessica from existence. He mixes up timelines from his Seacliff days, and the days with our cult, beginning from the time before I met them and ending around 1982.

His description of Marlene is correct. She was a lovely person. She doesn’t have a mean bone in her body. She had mental health issues. What Swartz fails to tell, is that Marlene’s mental heath issues were a result of his abuse.

Swartz talks about Marlene going mad. When I first met Marlene, she was my dance teacher. She and Joseph taught dance at the SF Dance Theatre (in existence at that time). We all thought she was a bit “kooky”, but I never thought she was “mad”.

Often during dance class, Marlene exhibited strange movements. When she sat, she would shake, her head would shake, and her body had snake-like movements.

When Jessica and I became a part of the cult, we learned more about her movements. Her body shook a lot during satsangs, and during chanting. Rama (Swartz) called it Kundalini. He encouraged Marlene to take her Kundalini movements and incorporate it into her dance (and strip tease).

There were times when her movements became too intense. Her body shook, and her spine twisted. I now understand this twisting movement, from the medical perspective, to be Dystonia. People can acquire functional movement disorders and Dystonia from a variety of sources. Origins can be neurological or psychological. Psychological origins are often rooted in trauma. Seizure disorders can come from neurological or psychological origins—it can also come about as a result of drugs.

When Swartz took us to his cabin in Montana, he abused us. He used drugs and sexual abuse. He put stuff in my tea, I can only assume it was Quaaludes or something of that sort. He also used LSD and magic mushrooms. Before I left them, I too began to have movements in my body. Swartz told us the movements were Kundalini. He told us we could interface with the energy and use it to “change our bodies to become more attractive as a strip tease entertainer”.

After I left them, I lived in Santa Barbara with my grandmother. I tried to finish my last year of high school. During that time, my teeth chattered, I had tremors, twisting of my spine (Dystonia), and shaking. Usually these episodes happened at night while I tried to sleep. I thought to myself I couldn’t remember why I had the weird body symptoms. I remembered Rama telling me I could use the energy to change my body into anything I wanted. I tried to harness the power of the Kundalini energy to make my body more attractive. I didn’t understand the movement, I was trying to forget the trauma of the past, so I just tried to see how the movement could be useful to me in that time. I didn’t connect the idea of Kundalini with anything spiritual. Rama only talked about Kundalini energy in terms of how we could change our bodies to be more attractive.

When I decided to be serious about dance, and go into full time training, I didn’t have time to address my previous trauma. I pushed it all down and tried to forget about Rama and the cult. Two decades following my escape from Swartz, I continued to have serious body issues. I had chronic pelvic pain. I had chronic pain in my hip and back. Once and a while I had a tremor or two, but not like before, anytime I had a thought about Guru Rama I just buried it deep down inside. I couldn’t face the pain. It wasn’t until I turned 49 years old that the tsunami wave of trauma came back in the form of unrelenting flashbacks, dystonia, and debilitating seizures. (I will write more details on this in my next post.)

At 1:25:30

“She thought she had the wrong body…and she was trying to transform the cells in her body one by one…to get herself a new body…this is what she…this is madness obviously…”

This madness was a result of Swartz’s abuse. Those were HIS WORDS!!! He told us we could transform the cells in our bodies. (Part of the thought reform he used to control us.)

Conveniently, Swartz now changes the narrative to serve his own purpose. He had made Marlene “mad”, then (and now) blames it on her. This is a classic case of BLAMING THE VICTIM.

What an asshole.

At 1:26

Swartz tells a totally false story about finding Marlene in a flat with “junkies and transvestites” …“just laying in the corner…”

Bullshit. At this time, I had left Montana, Jessica had also escaped, and Marlene was in terrible condition living with Swartz at the cabin. Swartz had had enough of Marlene’s “episodes” (she couldn’t control the shaking and delusions that were a result of his abuse). Swartz then kicked Marlene out! After that, he had the gall to ask Jessica if she would replace Marlene and become his wife.

What an asshole.

At 1:26:15

“…you could hear her bones and muscles just cracking inside her body…”

Like Marlene during that time, I’ve suffered with Dystonia since I’ve left the cult. Some years I’ve suffered more than other years, but the movement disorder has been a constant in my life. Sometimes the spine twists so much, it can cause joints to crack and pop. It feels like a grinding, it’s horrible. Marlene used to call this terrible grinding “crunching”.

At 1:28:55

“…you know I was working really hard to support us…”

Bullshit. Marlene went out days or weeks at a time doing strip gigs…while we lived in the cabin. Swartz sat on his fat ass.

“…she offered to contribute…we had no money…”

Here, Swartz continues his messed up, false narrative. He says at this point Marlene “offered” to do strip tease. The way he tells it, she had never stripped before, but that’s not true. When we were at the cabin, Marlene had been strip teasing FOR YEARS. And I’m pretty sure it wasn’t her idea to begin with. I didn’t know them when Swartz had Marlene and Joseph doing live sex shows in SF. I’m very sure it was not her idea. Very simply, Swartz used influence, hypnosis, drugs, and sexual abuse to control her. When Jessica and I came into the cult—he did the same to us.

At 1:29:26

Here Swartz describes taking Marlene to Vegas and putting together an act. When I listen to this, I think it sounds very plausible. I think this part of the story, Swartz taking Marlene to Vegas, was before my time, and before they put together the live sex show in SF. So that would be sometime in the mid to late seventies. But he’s mixing up the timeline to tell his false story.

At 1:30

“…it was…not low class strip joints…these were…these were…you know…good clubs…decent clubs…they weren’t vulgar…and her act…the thing with her act was very ascetic…and she used to just…I remember one time she was dancing…in Las Vegas in the Palomino Club which was a kind of fancy club, a strip club in Vegas at that time…and she used to satirize…she was such a good dancer she could do dance satire…and she started satirizing her strip act…and the owner came and told her look you’re not going to do this anymore, you’re going to…you gotta play this straight…or you’re outta here…y’know…no, she had a great sense of humor, she was a great poet…”

Swartz describes the clubs as decent and not vulgar—THIS IS A LIE. THEY WERE INDECENT AND VULGAR. Maybe the Palomino Club was “decent”, but that was one place early on, a lot of the clubs Marlene and Jessica worked at, in North America and overseas, were VULGAR.

Swartz goes on to describe Marlene as a stripper. In his storytelling, he blends Marlene and Jessica into one person, and calls her Marlene. I was there at that time. I remember all the talk that went on about what happened in the strip clubs. It was Jessica who had the “great sense of humor”. Jessica had a very sarcastic sense of humor. Swartz used that and toyed with Jessica. He used to tell us that we were not the “doer”. We could go out on stage, strip off all our costume, titillate “dirty old men”, and all the while we would not be the “doer”. We were in the “place of the Lord”. We were above the ignorant fools in the audience. We could “have our cake and eat it too”. We could “have the last laugh”. Jessica took all this very seriously. The work was traumatizing and damaging to her. The way she coped was to laugh it off. For a while she did “satirize” the act. It was her way of getting something out of the terrible experience. Sunny Jim (Swartz) and Jessica used to laugh about making fools out of the audience. It’s Jessica he’s talking about here, not Marlene.

Swartz mentions Marlene’s experimental theatre company. I believe this part is true. I believe she did that before she met Swartz.

Swartz mentions taking Marlene to India. I know they went more than once to India. The timeline on this is not totally clear for me. In any case, I do remember Swartz going to India in late December 1981 and returning early 1982 (January? February?) He went to buy stuff for his import business. I’m sure he has fond memories of taking Marlene to “saints and sages” on one of those India trips. He mixes up the timeline and omits facts, so I’m not too sure on this point.

Next, Swartz describes Marlene during one of her Kundalini episodes. One must wonder if he is describing one of his many LSD trips. Or perhaps he is describing the times he drugged and sexually assaulted me. Listening to his telling, the imagery is like a scene from the movie The Exorcist. If one listens with discrimination, it is obvious that Swartz does not take responsibility for his wife. He blames her. He calls her crazy.

At 1:31:54

“…well it would be hard to imagine but you could look at this woman and then sometimes in her face you would see, you would see a hundred faces in the period of, of a matter of an hour…can you imagine…the flesh would transform into different faces…there were…I don’t know did you ever see the film Ghost Busters? …r’member those demons in Ghost Busters?...Those demons are actually there in the psychic space, and they were around the cabin…when she was in one of those things…there were all these monsters…in the psychic dimension…I mean it was…it was weird, and sometimes the ener-(gy) and her body would convulse…you could hear the bones cracking against each other, and see the muscles contracting and contorting rhythmically…sometimes the energy would be so great it would just pick her up…and lift her right off the bed or what ever it was…and drop her on the floor…without any effort on her own…it was bizarre…I mean it was so weird you can’t even begin to imagine it…and this woman is like there in that body…you know, and she’s somehow participating in this process which is you know absolutely mad…on top of it…cauz she thought she had the wrong body…and she wanted a new body…she said my soul or my spirit is totally different from my body that I have been given…b’cauz she had been abused by her mother…her mother had beaten her…and forced her to become this beauty queen…and you know they had certain little cosmetic surgeries done on her…and so forth and so on…and so all this self-loathing was inside her…in spite of…and she couldn’t see who she was, she couldn’t see that she had a beautiful body…”

Swartz continues his storytelling and explains how he got a divorce and took her to California. I don’t know if this part is true, because I wasn’t there. Interestingly he ends the segment telling how he couldn’t have her die in the cabin, because people would see what a weird hippy guru he was—and he would be blamed for her illness and death. Finally, here, Swartz speaks a truth.

What happened to Marlene was his fault. He caused her mental illness. He tries to blame Marlene’s illness on abuse from her mother. I don’t believe that.

Swartz often used to tell me that no one would believe me if I told about what happened “between us”. He told me people would say I’m crazy. He also blamed me. He told me I got what was coming to me because I had bad karma.

Watching this “documentary” was sad, but also revealing.

I am finally putting together puzzle pieces of my terrible time with this bad guru. I see how both Marlene and I have suffered with serious movement disorders—what Swartz called Kundalini. What connects me with what happened with Marlene, is that we were both abused by Swartz.

In my next post, I will talk about movement disorders, the psychological fall-out from being in a cult and compare some of these ideas with the concepts of Kundalini energy. It’s been hard for me to parse through what is my own true spiritual experience, and the impressions and flashbacks of the terrible abuse I suffered from Swartz.

No doubt about it though. That horrible man sexually and spiritually abused me. He would love nothing more than to erase us all…throw us all into a loony bin and set it on fire.

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Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: zizlz ()
Date: September 28, 2019 02:41AM

Thanks for your interesting post, Heather! Looking forward to your next one.


Swartz talks about how he established his first ashram in San Francisco Seacliff neighborhood. Jessica told me this was probably the cult he established before we got involved with him. Apparently that scene ended badly, people became angry with Swartz (we didn’t know why).

I can shed some light on this with some quotes from his autobiography.

James was sleeping with at least two women in his cult/commune. One was his girlfriend (Felicia) and because she wouldn't accept him sleeping with another commune girl (Victoria), he threw her out.

The following quote describes this and illustrates the dictatorial way he treated the cult members:


After several nightly sojourns down the hall to Victoria’s room it was abundantly clear that I had solved half the girl friend problem. However, the other half, Felicia, was crying for a solution.
One morning at seven, everyone gathered in the meditation hall except Felicia. I waited before starting, thinking she would be along shortly but after five minutes there was no sign of her.
“Where’s Felicia?” I said.
Everyone shrugged.
“Please get her,” I told Tom.
He returned a minute later. “She’s not coming,” he said. “She’s coming,” I said. “Everyone sits.”
He shrugged and sat down.
I got up and went down the hall to her room. She was lounging in bed reading a book.
“Get your ass down the hall,” I said. “Everyone sits.”
“Fuck you, Ram. I’m not coming.”
I had to admire her. She had spunk as mother used to say.
“Any special reason?” I said glancing down the hall where several
heads were sticking out listening.
“I just don’t feel like it. That’s all.”
“That’s good. You don’t feel like it. Now, what if everyone doesn’t
feel like it? Then do we have a meditation or not?” “Guess not.”
“And if we don’t have a meditation do we have any reason to be here in this house?”
“Fuck you, man. Don’t give me any of your clever intellectual bullshit.”
“OK. Let’s put it this way. Either you come and sit with the rest of us or you pack your bags.”
“You’re not getting rid of me, that easy,” she said. “I’m not leaving.”
I recalled that by her frequent admissions she had been a queen in at least a dozen past lives and wondered if she was not a bit confused about her status in this one.
“OK. This is your last chance. You sit and we’ll talk about what’s bothering you later. If you don’t sit you’re outta here.”

“Who’s going to throw me out?” she said. She reminded me of a cat I once had that thought it was a human being. If you messed with it in a certain way it attacked like a raging demon. She was not an inch taller than five feet and probably weighed 90 pounds soaking wet. I am nearly six feet and weigh in at two hundred.
“Come on, Felicia,” I said turning on the charm. It’s so easy to just get up and walk down the hall and sit for thirty minutes like the rest of us.” It still did not dawn me that this was the perfect opportunity to get her out of my hair. I guess I really loved her.
“Fuck you Ram.”
I walked over, grabbed her and hauled her down the hall. She was kicking and scratching and screaming and biting. I could not believe the filth coming out of her mouth.
When I got her out on the porch I locked her out, went back to her room, gathered up her possessions, which took all of five minutes, and delivered them to her. Someone once called her the closet saint because she was so small and had so few possessions she could easily have lived in a closet. A rich kid from the East who was visiting took pity, drove her to the Muktananda Ashram in Oakland and paid for her room. I saw her on and off over the years and tried to make amends but she would not have any. Twenty years later, after dozens of attempts, I gave up. Fifteen years after that I was sitting in a coffee shop when she came in. I called her over and we had a nice chat. Time heals all wounds.
I know it is hard to believe but it was only after she drove off that I realized I had just solved my problem. There would be no more furtive trips down darkened hallways in the dead of night. Guru Jim was getting respectable.

He also describes how another cult member developed anorexia and how he got rid of her because he feared he "might have a fatality on [his] hands and a huge legal mess":


Sophia arrived in the early days when we were living in the Haight and seemed quite normal.
Perhaps the symptoms did not develop until after she joined the group. Anyway, within a couple of years I had a full-fledged anorexic on my hands.
I tried to figure out what was causing her bizarre behavior. In our talks it came out that the problem had begun around puberty and I surmised that perhaps she starved herself to appear unattractive to her father who had shown inappropriate sexual interest at that time.
Eventually, I realized that if nothing were done I might have a fatality on my hands and a huge legal mess. Can you imagine what an ambitious lawyer might have done with the cult idea? So I decided to resolve the issue one way or the other.
I called Marlena who had a big house with a small group of theatre people and she reluctantly agreed to take in Sophia as a favor to me. This did nothing to enhance my reputation as an enlightened compassionate person. It gave the faction gathering around Tom and Terry another issue in their campaign to bring me down.
I think the word in vogue then in spiritual circles was that I was impure.

There are remarkable similarities between the Sophia and Marlene stories. Both women develop severe mental problems that manifest in somatic ways during their time with James. In both cases James attributes the problems to abuse/impropriety by a parent*. In both cases he fears being blamed for the death their mental problems might result in. In both cases he gets rid of them.

*In the video, as you wrote, James says Marlene's mental problems were caused by abuse from her mother. In the book he writes they were caused by inbreeding, her parents being first cousins. Why does James so indiscreetly reveal or make up such sensitive information about the woman he claims to love? Probably to deflect blame for her mental problems.

In the following quote from the book James tells how he got rid of Marlena:


By this time the episodes had become normal life and normal life an occasional episode. Her health declined and she was unable to work. But the saddest fact for me was the realization that my love was no longer helpful. From this point on her mind was in the grip of a force that would not be denied. Eventually she ended up in bed in a terrible state.
I asked her how she was feeling.
“I can’t go on,” she said. “I want to die. Please let me die.”
“I understand,” I said. “You can die. Nobody should suffer like this.
But you have to think of me.”
“What do you mean?” she said.
“If you die here in this isolated cabin without proper medical
attention,” I’ll be charged with negligent homicide. I’m your husband. It’s my duty to look after you. You have steadfastly resisted my attempts to get help. I have respected your wishes but now you need to let me take you to the hospital so the society can take the responsibility for you. You can die there if that is what is meant to be.”
“Please take me,” she said. “I can’t live any longer.”
I put her in the hospital in California and waited to see what would happen.

To get back to how his first cult ended: from what I can gather from his autobiography they grew tired with him, started to recognize his impurity and stopped tolerating his dictatorial regime:


I think the word in vogue then in spiritual circles was that I was impure.
I do not remember if a specific incident precipitated the confrontation. I think not, but at one of our regular meetings Tom, who had the support of several members of the group, told me that things were going to change. Specifically I would no longer be exclusively calling the shots; we were going to evolve a more democratic style of leadership.
they did not know I was suffering enlightenment fatigue and was fed up with the whole guru business and the self-obsessed spiritual world. The experiment was successful beyond my wildest expectations and I needed to live a different life. So I told them they could continue without me.

Keep in mind that James' autobiography is one big feat of self-aggrandizement. He tries his utmost to paint himself in the most positive light. Still what we can gather from it is pretty damning. But what really happened is most likely much worse.

Heather, kudos to you for watching James' autobiographic video and giving us your feedback on it! I can only imagine how sickening it must be for you to see that.

By the way, it seems that some people have read James' autobiography and still continue to be his students. I just don't understand that. The book makes it so perfectly clear what a narcissistic asshole James is. Anyway, to each his own, I guess. If people want to accept a despicable bottom feeder as their guru, who am I to judge them?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/28/2019 02:43AM by zizlz.

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Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: earthquake ()
Date: September 28, 2019 03:16AM

Hello Everyone,

I have been following the great posts again. And the way this topic has been developing is a great benefit to those still stuck in the current format of the cult.

Just wanted to say a big shout-out to Isabella. She remarks of why caring what someone in a corner of the internet is saying, seems debunked, for since she has published that remark, and even in a week alone, the views on this topic have went up 1000! lol! Not bad for a topic no-one is taking an interest in.

I wanted to pick up on something Zizlz mentioned. In regard to why people who have read his autobiography will still not question it.

Speaking from persona, experience, both of seeing it with others, but also been this way myself, people in the cult of Shiningworld will not question either of them. The platform they have is one of control. And it starts with an initially subtle attempt at correcting how the person should speak. I will call it 'non-duality' language. Should you not speak it, you will be admonished, and even publicly. Which is totally wrong. Anyhow, we can see an element of control.

There is also much judgements placed on others. With things they themselves are doing. A point of fact is Isabella's quite forthright comments on how people have spent their own money, when she herself, is fond of shopping for clothes, etc. I can't go into details about this, for it would reveal certain parties.

As well as that, we have this already established guru inner circle to do with James, and to a lesser extent Isabella. This is very attractive to people that are often coming to Shiningworld already broken in some way.

A little aside to make, is that for some time the marketing strategy has been to incrementally place Isabella more to the fore. In this alone, I can honestly say they are sowing their own demise. It is well known accepted fact that many of the Shiningworld members are afraid to be anywhere near Isabella. While JS is now sneaky, IS is much more open. She cannot contain herself, and is very explosive. In my own opinion, it is both James SWartz' past, and Isabella Swartz' present, and the unholy union combined that will be the demise of Shiningworld as much as anything. This is a pincher movement tactically. We are approaching it from the outside, but it will implode from within. In large part not due to what Heather, the book author, and Traveller99 have formed.

There is the mistaken assumption in vedanta that the important second qualification of enlightenment, dispassion, means buying one's head in the sand. And this escapism is an indicator of modern vedanta, which Shiningworld falls under. Not matter what they insist. For the modern vedanta content is rife through it. Exact terms, and teachings. So, when a cult member of Shiningworld see the book, or read this topic, they will invariably still be stuck within the controlling conditioning prison that this cult has made. I've witnessed it many times, and I still do witness it in others.

I have a lot of compassion for the indoctrinated members. For the psychological pull is strong. Even after a few years I still feel the draw to them in my mind. And I have to always police my own inclinations. And I was severely traumatised by the way I was treated by them.

This is about members having needs. Which of course they do, that is why they go to teachers. However, while vedanta is about setting the person free, Shiningworld insist on their rules in regard to YOUR life being adhered to. If you don't do as they say, you are in for it. Members of Shiningworld that are reading this, you know how nasty and vindictive James and Isabella Swartz can be. You know this, because I know this. And Isabella, there is no point saying I am a hater. I am a VICTIM. Myself and many others have been left traumatised by Shiningworld's cult methods.

People of Shiningworld reading this, you know what I am talking about. Look into your hearts. What is dharmic for you is surely to do what is right. You don't need to be in a place where you are sometimes afraid to speak. Where you are either too scared to get close to the teachers, or you are trying desperately for their grace. This is not freedom. This is prison. Samsara.

There is actual traditional vedanta. You know what is true. Search for a lineage, that has no issues like this. Even if all here are a multitude of smoking guns, are you really going to take that chance? A person is only un-affected by Russian Roulette, for so long.

You don't have to be a victim. And you don't have to de facto support those that victimize your own members. Shiningworld members, I believe in you not to bury your head's in the sand. Do what in your hearts you know is right. True teachings, true freedom, can be found.

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Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: BeTrue ()
Date: September 28, 2019 03:56AM

Thank you Heather and Sizlz for your exploration of JS’s video and autobiography. Your posts have helped me understand the timeline better. Also thank you to Earthquake and others posting for your insight.

An important aspect of the Vedantic teaching methodology and lineage is acting in accordance with dharma. The level of adharmic action (action opposed to dharma) by JS, post “enlightenment” with Swami Chinmayananda, as revealed by Heather and his autobiographies, is both revealing and troubling.

A characteristic of moksha or freedom is that one who attains it, knows emphatically that there is no benefit to cutting corners and breaking dharma, for a number of reasons. JS’s actions as expressed by Heather and in his autobiographies (book & video) clearly depict a lack of dharma and therefore freedom.

Another foundational exploration for a student of Vedanta is the study of values. The Bhagavad Gita, one of the primary texts of Vedanta, shares 20 plus values that are naturally expressed by one who has attained the self knowledge that leads to liberation. Once again, JS actions, post “enlightenment“ with Swami Chinmayananda, do not align with the behavior of a liberated person but rather one still quite bound by the world.

JS’s autobiography, let alone what Heather has shared or the many recent-day events related to formerly endorsed SW teachers, that have yet to be divulged on this site, should give great pause to any former, present or future students of JS.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/28/2019 04:02AM by BeTrue.

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Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: MynameisHeather ()
Date: September 28, 2019 09:09AM

Hi zizlz,

Thank you for offering clarity on the timeline…based on his “autobiography”.
Swartz can’t help but reveal his narcissistic and controlling personality, even while he attempts to disguise it. I would caution everyone who reads the “autobiography” to understand Swartz is a pathological liar, therefore all scenarios and timelines should be under scrutiny.

In regards to the character “Sophia”…hmmm. I’m thinking Swartz probably blended a few people into one character, as that’s what he did in his “documentary”. Maybe there was a Sophia—who can say? But all the words out of Swartz’s mouth are at least 95% lies, so proceed with caution, use critical thinking and, with rational thought, be ruthless in your critique.

Swartz: “I think the word in vogue then in spiritual circles was that I was impure.”

This is an understatement, even by the asshole himself.

As you say zizlz…some people read his autobiography and still continue to be his students…this is unfortunate. I do believe however that sooner or later those folks will come to their own understanding. I fraud can only be perpetuated for so long…lies eventually come into the light of day. I pray for those people…I hope they will not be harmed psychologically or otherwise by the Swartz monster.

Thanks for posting zizlz…our voices matter.

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Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: MynameisHeather ()
Date: September 28, 2019 09:12AM

Hi Earthquake,

I know what you mean by ‘non-duality’ language. And it’s funny because Swartz uses what I call DoubleSpeak all the time…he confuses the listener by saying something, then the opposite. It’s part of his “technique”. The idea of non-duality is an interesting one. I like to contemplate it, while having tea with my loved ones, or while running through the forest…it’s good to question reality as we know it…it’s good to embrace these ideas. Too bad Swartz took an interesting philosophy and used it to control the minds of his followers.

He told us we are not “the doer”. That was how he got us to DO things we otherwise would not do.

I remember we never questioned Rama. Once and a while someone would show up at a satsang and ask questions…or contradict Rama. That person was summarily rejected. Swartz only kept people around who would be controlled.

You speak about the Swartz marketing strategy. That’s his MO. He put his wife and his girls out in front to work FOR HIM. Now, with Isabelle, he puts his wife out in front to project the image of Shiningworld. He wants people to believe that he revers and respects women. He wants people to believe that he considers Isabelle is equal. I very much doubt he considers her his equal. I believe Isabelle probably came with some money and turned out to be a good business partner for him. I doubt he would stay with a woman if she wasn’t bringing in money.

I agree with you…people who are searching for a true Vedanta lineage should look elsewhere.

I hope people will see that anyone can memorize stuff and present it. Just because Swartz memorized the teaching style of real teachers…doesn’t mean he is actually qualified.

“Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men
gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Mathew 7:16

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Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: MynameisHeather ()
Date: September 28, 2019 09:14AM

Hello BeTrue,

When you explain concepts in Vedanta, I wish I had met someone like you instead of Swartz when I was younger.

A person who truly attains freedom knows that shortcuts take one off the path and offer no benefit. This makes complete sense.

I believe there is ancient wisdom, possibly through Vedic text and other sources, that can help guide a human to freedom. There are many traditions throughout the world that offer such impeccable guidance.

I think it’s amazing and wonderful that you have encountered Swartz, and yet you are clearly on the right path. I believe you will help many people find their inner truth.

People need to discover their own inner wisdom voices.

If teachers are authentic, they can help point the way.

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Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: MynameisHeather ()
Date: September 28, 2019 09:48AM

Wake up Everybody...


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/28/2019 09:53AM by MynameisHeather.

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