Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: Sahara71 ()
Date: January 07, 2020 08:59AM

There is absolutely a lot of merit in what you are saying Traveler99!

I suppose that from a psychological perspective, why is it that a lot of people fail to research the groups they choose to join? Is it because they are introduced to the group by a trusted friend and so they think an internet check is not required?

Is it because reviews on internet sites lack credibility because they are anonymous?

Are people suspicious of websites that use the phrases "cult education", "cult awareness" or "mind-control awareness" or similar phrases that sound far-fetched to the average reader?

I am trying to put myself in the shoes of an innocent, unsuspecting person. If they came across this website, would they dismiss it instantly, because they already "know" that their group is not a cult. (Of course they don't know, but they don't even consider the possibility - because contemplating whether or not a group is a cult sounds ridiculous to the average citizen.)

We have the benefit of hindsight. The average punter does not have our awareness. Yes, people do look at reviews, but it seems like this is not enough to sway a person against a high demand group, especially if their first encounter with the group is positive.

Otherwise how can we explain the existence of an estimated 3,000 cults in the U.S. alone?

But don't get me wrong: I'm with you.

Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: Traveler99 ()
Date: January 08, 2020 12:42AM

A Smile for Heather
(and all of 'Team Truth')

You make good points, Sahara71.

Although, in my case, if a "trusted friend" brought me to a 'wonderful teacher' named James Swartz, there would be Hell to pay with that "friend" as soon as I discovered the facts.

In our discussion, thankfully a lot of strong points regarding the malfeasance and pitiful weakness of Swartz's teachings and behaviors as a "teacher" have been reviewed, so that was, indeed, a good thing.

Plus, it must have brought a smile to Heather and her allies to fully realize how her efforts have ended up with this forum- "James Swartz - What Is the Truth?" - showing up on any websearch about the bearded fraud. I know that it brings a grin to mine.

Plus, we're over 21,000 views now. Recently, a former SW member let me know that Swartz's "followers" numbered in the hundreds. Do the math. Most, if not all, have at least heard about Heather and this forum. They're checking it out. Every time Swartz shows his true self-- greedy, egotistic, bullying, -- and as students gain knowledge and read (or listen to) real teachers, they begin, naturally to question him. They begin to edge away, to hedge their bets, to find out about other teachers...

Yes, James Swartz has been caught out, and it's really only a race between what will happen first--his old bones giving out (as his jealousy of young men shows that his boner already has) or his last 'student' going out the door.

That whole thing would make an interesting office betting pool. "Will Swartz have any students left when his dark heart gives out? If so, how many?" A side bet could be, "Will Isabella stick with him to the end, or leave him when he stops succeeding in fooling the gullible and overly-loyal into paying them 'donations'?"

I can't speak for Heather on this (especially as she is much kinder than me, I think, and much more hopeful regarding Isabella being a mind-controlled Swartz-zombie, not a fellow psychopath), but I feel that no matter which sides win the 'bets,' on this one, the good guys triumph either way.

Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: zizlz ()
Date: January 08, 2020 10:01PM

From a recent e-satsang by JS:


Gary: Hi, James.

You said, “Okay. You are in charge of your sadhana. But you need to know that you can’t read or practice your way to moksa if that’s your goal, because of the mind’s tendency to self-deception.”

And I agree. There is the tendency of the likes and dislikes of the mind to interpret the scriptural teachings, and thus hinder the enquiry and removal of ignorance. But this happens in any situation, listening to a teacher in a seminar or at home reading the scripture.

James: Well, it doesn’t happen in a seminar if the person knows how to listen. Listening is keep one’s attention on the words of the teacher and simultaneously dismissing the mind’s reaction to what is being said. A professional is someone who knows the difference between what he or she thinks and what he or she hears. It is very difficult when the mind is rajasic. A rajasic mind hops from thought to thought so you miss some logical steps, which are necessary to know. In Vedanta hearing (sravanna) is called dhyan, focus on one thought or one train of thoughts. The qualification is called samadhana. If you have that skill, you will get Self-realization very quickly by listening to a qualified teacher.

James said something similar at the seminar I attended. Something like: you should listen to me and dismiss any critical thoughts arising in you. This opens students up to being programmed, if indeed they dismiss their own critical thinking. If they don't, they might start to wonder: what is a "qualified vedanta teacher"? James keeps talking about the importance of the qualified teacher and ridicules other teachers and calls them unqualified. But is James Swartz himself a qualified teacher?

Here's a description of the requirements for a vedanta teacher to be qualified (culled from standard Vedanta texts like Vedanta Sara, Vivekachudamani, Shankaracharya’s commentaries on the Upanishads etc.):


Five essential qualifications of a spiritual teacher (Guru):

A spiritual teacher or Guru should be

(1) Well versed in the scriptures and aware of the inner, subtle meanings, born of his own realization. (Sanskrit phrase: shrotriya)

(2) Devoted to constant cultivation of higher knowledge. (Sanskrit: brahma-nishtha).

(3) Sinless (that is, without any commercial or selfish motive). (Sanskrit: avrijina, apaapaviddha).

(4) Free from petty, demeaning desires. (Sanskrit: akamahata).

(5) Supremely compassionate and loving towards the disciple and eager to impart knowledge with infinite patience, overlooking the limitations of the disciple, (Sanskrit: parama karunika).

In this thread you can find an abundance of reasons for why James doesn't meet these requirements.

Just based on the discussion of the last few days, we've seen that James demands non-voluntary "donations" for his teachings, so he has a commercial/selfish motive, proving that he doesn't meet requirement 3.

His reply to Jane ("you don’t want to do that, because you would have to abandon shagging the exciting young counterculture guys with stiff dicks..." etc.) proves that he doesn't meet requirements 4 and 5 either.

We also recently discussed JS's claim that he's in a constant state of savikalpa samadhi, and Earthquake explained how that can't be right. And Earthquake gave many other examples of a mistaken understanding of the scriptures by JS. So JS fails requirement 1 as well.

Only requirement 2 is left: Brahmanishtha — devoted to constant cultivation of higher knowledge. James spends much of his teaching time ridiculing other teachers/people and ranting about things like politics and transsexuals. He says that in his free time he likes to drink beer and watch Netflix. Is he devoted to constant cultivation of higher knowledge? I don't think so.

James fails every one of the requirements for qualified vedanta teachers.

James Swartz is not a qualified vedanta teacher.

Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: MynameisHeather ()
Date: January 09, 2020 01:17PM

zizlz said:

"James said something similar at the seminar I attended. Something like: you should listen to me and dismiss any critical thoughts arising in you. This opens students up to being programmed, if indeed they dismiss their own critical thinking."

I'm pretty sure I remember Swartz telling me to dismiss thoughts as well...

When I first met James Swartz at a party for dancers and hippie friends in SF, I didn't know what I was walking into. I didn't even know that Marlene and James were into spiritual things; I had no clue what the Hindu religion was, eastern mysticism or anything about Vedanta.

Back then they didn't call it Vedanta. They didn't call it anything.

At the party, I opened the door to the back room (of the flat on California Street) and saw Swartz sitting on a high pillow talking to a room full of people. Everyone was silent, listening. Rama (we called him back then) gestured for me to sit in front of him. I did. As soon as our eyes locked I was instantly hypnotized. The words coming out of his mouth made no sense to me, I had no previous knowledge of the subject matter. He had instant control over my mind. I was a sponge and I soaked in every word, nuance, and gesture. I was a perfect victim for Swartz. I was a young 14 year old with family problems and, though I didn't know it, I was looking for a father figure.

Later in the evening James and Marlene had me in their kitchen. We were all by ourselves, everyone from the party had left. James love bombed me. He had me sit on his lap and told me it was the best love I'd ever have. I drank the tea they made me, and answered many, many questions about my life. They knew everything about my family within an hour. After that I blacked out.

In the early stages of my time in their cult I didn't know they were into the sex entertainment industry. I had no clue. I went to their flat every morning for the spiritual talks (now called Satsangs). We started by sitting silently with our eyes fixed on Rama. He emitted "energy" and we felt waves of love and power. I remember seeing white light everywhere, and a blue aura around Rama. Then we sang spiritual chants--songs praising Shiva, Rama, Krishna...etc. Our chants would get faster and more intense until I felt I would pass out. After that Rama spoke. He read verses from the bhagavad gita and integrated the lessons into our life lessons. He told us how stupid and selfish we were and in the next breath told us we were the Self (capital S) not the small self (lower case s). We were of this world but not of it.

As I recall he said enlightenment would come if we worked hard at Karma yoga (service to him of course) but that it wouldn't come immediately and we should be patient. He said we were run by our vasanas, and likes and dislikes. He enjoyed publicly humiliating some members so they could be an example for the rest. He often would use sarcastic humor to make a point.

No one questioned his authority. He was the authority. We had no critical thought whatsoever.

For me, I had no critical thought for several reasons. I was desperate to distance myself from my own family and wanted to have James, Marlene, Jessica, and Joseph as my family. From the moment I laid eyes on Swartz--he had my mind. On the first day I met him, he drugged my tea and I blacked out. What ever he did to me when I was blacked was very traumatizing. When I woke up and they sent me home, I felt elated, I felt I had met God fact I was certain I had. He mesmerized me every time I sat in front of him. I quickly became a member of the family. I was the youngest, so they called me the "baby". I felt I finally had the family I always wanted. We had something so special that no one else could comprehend.

There was no room for critical thought in my world.

My world was his. My mind was his.

Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: zizlz ()
Date: January 09, 2020 03:36PM

Hi Heather,

There's a lot of similarity between your cult experience with James and mine (in another cult-group 25 years ago). Fortunately in my group there was no drugging and sexually abusing people in the time I was there (later I found out that the leader did sexually abuse his own daughter (who was part of the group) when she was around 15 years old, before I joined). I was also someone with family problems, looking for a father figure without knowing it.

The leader was always talking, and the rest listened. He talked so much and so convincingly that our inner thoughts started parroting his words (and his unique lingo), and when we talked amongst ourselves (when the leader wasn't there), we were also still parroting him. The group had their own company (where I worked also) and we lived together, so the members were dependent on their position in the group for having food and shelter. This dependence makes people extra vulnerable to being mind-controlled.

It seems that the fact that James had discovered a dimension of consciousness (in India) that's mostly unknown in the West (especially back then), and that he learned a sophisticated system (vedanta) to develop that, made him extra dangerous, because he used it to manipulate other people so that he could fulfill his desires. What a wicked thing to do...

Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: Valma ()
Date: January 09, 2020 08:08PM

The mistreatment of Heather by James is one terrible aspect of this case.

You could say, that happened in the past, the man has changed, apologized, recognized the harm he did. But no, the second aspect is: to this day he denies any of it!

And third but not least, this is someone who is still functioning as a spiritual teacher who keeps on publishing an abundance of e-satsangs as if to cover it all up by proving that he is indeed a great teacher who knows how to advise people in their spiritual quest whilst he himself demonstrated an inability to face his own shortcomings.

How can you trust such a man, let alone as teacher? How can anyone who has heard Heather speaking about him still consider him trustworhty? It is beyond my understanding that his followers/by-him-accredited teachers do not see the issues here? How can they consider this to be without consequence for them, for the teaching itself and for others who may be influenced by him? Sometimes we are asked to be brave enough to stop putting our heads in the sand out of a more convenient loyalty or other conditioning with the thin argument that Heather remained anonymous and there are no "proofs" of what she writes...

Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: earthquake ()
Date: January 09, 2020 09:15PM

Just two quick points. What Heather said about dismissing thoughts, is still being taught in Shiningworld today. Isabella has posted an e-satsang in regard to mind management.

This is not Vedanta. And it is certainly not effective. In fact, it is another example of Shiningworld provide perpetual samsaric teachings. These kind of teachings will keep the person suffering.

In traditional Vedanta, we don't manage, nor need to, that which does not impact me. It makes no sense.

The other thing I want to pick up on in regard to Heather highlighting Karma Yoga. Shiningworld will oppose this, but I have a raft of their own teachings to show this. They are a proponent of Karma Yoga so much that there is no clear distinction between it, and what actually provides enlightenment - knowledge.

While it is true that there are a couple of instances in scripture where a karma yogi attains enlightenment, King Janaka is one, Shankara is extremely clear. You do not attain enlightenment from Karma Yoga.

This is not possible. And the reason it is not possible is that a karma yogi, by definition, see's a person, and then God. I perform action and leave result to God type thing.

In vedanta, actual vedanta, we move away from this separateness.

Shiningworld highlighting karmayoga to the confusing extent it does, is another trick used by them to keep students in samsara.

Students know no different. They have lovely sattva states, manage life to some degree, and think Swartz' knows what he is talking about. None of this is enlightenment.

This vasana thing also. It is what Swartz still teaches. It is ridiculous. This teaching also keep student in samsara.

So, there is a common fundamental thread emerging here. You guys see these teachings being highlighted? They are fundamental to moving away from, for enlightenment. They are also fundamental to staying in samsara. And needing the teacher!

Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: January 09, 2020 09:50PM

Earthquake wrote:

"Shiningworld highlighting karmayoga to the confusing extent it does, is another trick used by them to keep students in samsara."

Highlighting karma yoga not only keeps students in samsara, it also elicits unpaid labor - and financial donations.

To the extent that a teacher lives in samsara, he or she will demand Unpaid labor and financial support - and inculcate dependence and fear in their students.

Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: Valma ()
Date: January 12, 2020 03:58PM

To come back to an issue raised by Sahara71;

the problem is that very few people go looking for a lot of information about a group when they first become interested in it. This is what happened to me. I briefly became involved with a guru and his followers and it all looked very innocent from the outside.

I didn't have any prior experience with cults, wasn't aware of cult dynamics and wasn't even particularly aware that people can be super-manipulative and dishonest. Of course, we are all aware that their are evil criminals "out there" somewhere, but we don't expect such people to be involved in some kind of esoteric spiritual practices, or head up a registered charity, or build a spiritual community, It seems completely implausible.

To this day, my involvement with the false guru Tony Moo-Young and his crew remains the single most inconceivable thing that has ever happened to me in my life. I wont say it is the worst thing, as plenty of unfortunate things have happened to me- but it is the strangest, most unbelievable thing and other people find it difficult to comprehend.

Someone said once: "the 21st century will be spiritual or it will not be". It was not said it will be cultish.

I completely agree with the point made by Sahara71. Another reason for the continual flow of new devotees going to and sticking to compromised teachers and teachings is that the new seekers find no alternative (website) that counter-balance those cultish well-organized websites.
This forum is primarily and rightly so dedicated to expose frauds on the spiritual supermarket. But perhaps there should be room to create a strong alternative (website and otherwise) available. With all the experiences that many of us have accumulated in the field of compromised teachers, perhaps some of us could gather to create a new model & platform of information about spirituality with no guru-worship, no intent to create a commune, no insistance of "i know it all, this is the best way, listen-to-me i can advise you ignorant" but with clear intent to clean the plate and come back to spiritual seeking fundamentals whilst offering well-researched sources etc., speaking to people who stay right where they are in life but can find a place where there is a discussion or opening to values that are beyond the material aspect of life just as the stone churches of old could have offered communities a place to gather to pray and commune before churches used them as an instrument to control and dominate their flock.
This may not be the right place for such a discussion but would anyone here see value in such a project/brainstorming, let me know and lets start elsewhere a discussion on this!?

Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: January 13, 2020 03:50AM

A big part of the problem Sahara and Valma describe is that few of us imagine that any guru, lama teach who comes up on Google Page One is there because of *marketing*.

A guru is findable on the internet because of Darwinian competition.. a marketing campaign that shoves a guru ahead of other gurus and their marketing campaigns.

And marketing doesn't just happen. It is planned out.

And marketing is ego in its purest form. Nothing can stay uncorrupted by marketing.

Here is a mundane example.

The first Star Star Wars movie in 1978 and the later Star Wars films.

Those of us above a certain age remember how stunning that first Star Wars was.

Brand new. No pre release buildup.

We walked out of the theater taken by surprise. The thing caught on at a grassroots level.

We got excited all by ourselves because the film was fantastic.

Now, look what happened.

All the later Star Wars films are products of marketing campaigns. Every effort is made to influence the cyberverse, massage our expectations before we saw the next Star Wars film.

Same with gurus. Its show business, folks.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/13/2020 04:03AM by corboy.

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