Put an end to the Nithyananda cult!
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A godman, con artist and fraudster from Bidadi, near Bangalore, Nithyananda Paramashivam, is committing serious human atrocities in the name of Hinduism. He has swindled us of our life savings to make millions of dollars and it is believed he has bought a Caribbean island for his pleasure, off the east coast of Florida, USA. In his ashram in Bidadi (near Bangalore), he locks up little children as young as 10 years old in dark rooms, without food and water for days together and tortures them under the guise of Gurukul training. Children are forced to beat each other with sticks till they bleed. These little children are threatened with injury to them and their parents if they admit or disclose what is happening in the Gurukul. He sexually molests women, men and children by claiming it to be a spiritual practice for enlightenment preached by Lord Shiva.
The well-respected Hindu philosophy, beliefs and traditions spread by the likes of Swami Vivekananda have always attracted sincere spiritual seekers from around the world. Nithyananda has cast a great shadow of deceit on the ancient Hindu culture and heritage.
We, the ex-devotees of the fake godman, con artist Nithyananda Paramashivam, implore you to restore the good name of Hinduism and save 1000's of men, women and children forced (under physical and legal threat) to live, work and act as per his whims and fancies and to serve his sexual fantasies. Nithyananda is clearly a criminal, a cult leader, and a shame to Hinduism.
Nithyananda is a danger to the society at large, not just for a few people in Karnataka or India, as his cult followers are actively trapping and deceiving people in several countries. It is not surprising that he has run away from the rape case trial in India, travelling on a fake Venuzuelan passport and currently hiding in South American country of Ecuador. We hope and pray that the Government of India will shut down Nithyananda’s organisations doing business of fraud & cheating, arrest him and make him answerable for the crimes he has committed. Nithyananda is also supported by the following persons who actively collude with him and abet his crimes: Mrs. Ranjitha Menon (aka Ma Nithyananda Mayi Swami), Ms. Gayatri (aka Ma Nithya Jnanatmananda Swami), Ms. Priya Iyer (Ma. Nithya Achalananda Swami), Mr. Gopal Sheelum Reddy, (aka Sri Nithya Bhaktananda Swami), Mr. Siva Vallabhaneni (Sri Nithya Sachitananda), Ma Nithya Pranapriyananda and Sri Nithya Pranapriyananda.
Provided below are some details about his misdeeds & fraud; and how he and his organisations misuse religion and spirituality for this purpose by using cult brainwashing techniques.
1. History of his Criminality:
Cases in India: These are all the cases which have been filed and some are still pending against Nithyananda.
i. Rape, cheating and criminal intimidation – Bidadi, Karnataka: Karnataka Police filed charge sheet in November 2010 for charges of rape, unnatural sex, criminal intimidation, cheating, and destroying evidence. The Trial in this rape case is going on in Ramanagar Court in Karnataka in Sessions Case No. 86/2014. Nithyananda and the other five accused all entered 'not-guilty' plea, and Nithyananda absconded, not to be seen ever since.
ii. Murder/Suspicious Deaths in Ashram – Bidadi, Karnataka: In December 2014, a 24-year-old woman sanyasini, Ms. Sangeeta, suddenly & mysteriously died in Nithyananda’s Bidadi ashram in Karnataka. Sangeeta’s family filed a complaint of murder, likely by poisoning, against Nithyananda as they were shocked to receive a blue-black body from the mortuary. Sangeeta’s mother filed a Writ Petition in High Court of Karnataka (Writ Petition No. 27860/2015) to have Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) investigate the alleged murder. This case is currently pending.
In 2008, a Canadian person, Mr. Melvyn Diamond, who was attending the 21-days enlightenment program in Bidadi ashram, died mysteriously. Evening before his death, he had demanded refund of several lakhs fees he had paid, which the ashram refused. His body was found in the ashram next morning and hospital declared him ‘dead on arrival’. However, Nithyananda using his influence obtained a false Death Certificate that Mr. Melvyn was admitted alive and then died of ‘heart attack’. This false information was conveyed to Melvyn’s family in Canada to wrongly obtain their consent for his cremation.
iii. Suicide Attempts – Cover-ups: In 2008, a 17-18 year old boy living in the ashram attempted suicide. He was rushed to the hospital and was in a coma for 5 days. After the boy recovered and left the ashram, he disclosed to his parents that the day before he attempted suicide, he was beaten badly and publicly humiliated by Nithyananda and other ashramites, for a trivial reason. The boy and his family was threatened & forced by Nithyananda to lie about this incident through a false testimony to the Karnataka CID in 2010, which the family confessed to police in 2011.
There have been other suicide attempts in the ashram, but they were all covered up with false documents/testimonies from the victims under threat of dire consequences if they reported anything to the authorities.
iv. Child Abuse – Child Welfare Committee, Bangalore, Karnataka: Complaints of child abuse filed against the Gurukul/school in Nithyananda’s Bidadi ashram were investigated by the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) of Karnataka in 2012-13. The CWC after detailed enquiry passed an order that the Gurukul school should be shut down within 7 days. The said Order was stayed by the High Court of Karnataka and it is pending at present.
v. Economic Offences – Enforcement Directorate, Bangalore: Complaints filed in 2014 against Nithyananda’s tax evasion, money laundering and such economic offences are being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate in Bangalore. The investigation is still ongoing.
vi. Violations of Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious & Charitable Endowments (TN HR&CE) – Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu: Nithyananda collected massive donations claiming to run a huge temple with 1001 Shiva Lingas installed, and daily temple services being offered to 1000’s of people in Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu. On receiving a Show Cause Notice from TN HR&CE, Nithyananda immediately dismantled the entire temple, removed all deities and claimed it to be a yoga center. Writ Petitions were filed in Madras High Court against his illegality, and the same is pending in Court.
vii. Fraudulently Grabbing Religious Mutts – Madurai, Tamil Nadu: A case of fraud and criminal intimidation was filed against Nithyananda by the present (292nd) Pontiff of Madurai Adheenam, an ancient and important Shaivite mutt in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. Nithyananda was accused of playing fraud upon him and forcing him to name Nithyananda as his successor and the 293rd Pontiff to the Madurai Aadheenam. Several Writ Petitions were filed in public interest in the Madras High Court, and the then Pontiff announced that Nithyananda would not be his successor and picked a different person as his successor / 293rd Pontiff of Madurai Adheenam. The Court had barred Nithyananda from entering the Madurai Aadheenam after an unsuccessful and illegal attempt to take over the Mutt.
viii. Temple Property Fraud – Hyderabad, Telangana: Nithyananda made his follower (late) Mrs. Sujatha Reddy donate the Rajarajeshwari Temple she owned in Hyderabad, Telangana on the promise that he would start a Vedic University. However, no such Vedic University was created as promised, and it turned out to be one more of his several lies to cheat the donor of her high value property. A civil suit for return of the property is pending in O.S. No. 66/2011 in XI Addl. District and Sessions Court (FTC), Hyderabad.
xi. Land Grabbing – Salem, Rajapalayam & other places in Tamil Nadu: Several civil cases have been filed by ex-donors for return of their properties which they gifted to Nithyananda because of his false promises, but later used it only for his personal gain.
x. Other cases: Nithyananda and his organisation face series of criminal charges, including: 1) hurting religious sentiments in 2010, 2) illegal use of wildlife products (poached animals) in 2010, 3) In June of 2012, Nithyananda was arrested twice and held in jail because of he directed violent attacks against the media that was caught on video.
Cases in the US:
i. Fraud and racketeering for USD 1.5 Million – Los Angeles, California: Federal U.S. District Court of Central District of California found in an unanimous jury verdict on 2 July 2012 that the Nithyananda Foundation and Gopal Reddy Sheelum, who is accused number two in Nithyananda's rape case in Karnataka, guilty of fraud and ordered to pay $1,500,000 USD.
ii. 2nd case of Fraud for USD 800,000 – Los Angeles, California: In 2014 one more case of fraud and racketeering was filed by ex-devotees Dr. Manohar Shinde and others, against Nithyananda, his organisations, and other top officers. This case was for 1) Fraud and Deceit, 2) Civil Conspiracy, 3) Racketeering (RICO), 4) RICO Conspiracy and 5) Unfair Business Practice. Nithyananda and his organisations realised that they would never win this case. Therefore, they settled out-of-court for one million US dollars.
iii. Other civil cases: Other were filed in Riverside, California and in Franklin County, Columbus, Ohio U.S.A.
iv. Complaints to California Attorney General: In April 2010, an ex-devotee, Douglas MacKallor, lodged a complaint against Nithyananda and his organisations to the California Attorney General. In 2011, Douglas MacKallor also lodged several complaints with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which started earnest investigated Nithyananda, his organisations, and many of his officers.
i. Abuse of Children/Minors: On the morning of December 31, 2017, children living in the Bengaluru compound of this cult were terrifyingly awakened by their gurukul teacher, brandishing a stick, who forced them to beat each other until they bled and cried. Following this abuse, many of the students with visible injuries were kept locked in a caged area within the dormitory until their bruises, welts and black eyes healed. These kids are not permitted the living conditions essential to health and well being. Such shocking accounts of torture and abuse have been revealed by several children after leaving the Gurukul. In the name of Hinduism, their parents have entrusted them to Nithyananda, who promised a good education and a non-violent ambiance, but the treatment faced by these children is the opposite of what it claims to be.
ii. Abuse of Women, Men and Children: Nithyananda preys on the vulnerability of his surrendered disciples, and after convincing them he is Sadashiva incarnate, lures them to perform sexual acts on him. He has done this with program participants, residential devotees, and underage minors in his gurukul school. His victims are groomed through sexting in social media chats, where he compliments their looks, sends them pornography, asks them to describe sexual fantasies and encourages them to experience a relationship with him and only him. Screen shots of these illicit chats have been shared with us, but to protect the identity of the victims, we will not share their names at this point in time.
3. Criminal Intimidation: Silencing Victims & Witnesses using Threats and Coercion:
Nithyananda regularly misuses Courts and Police to silence his critics and victims. He does this by making his disciples, both women and men, to make false allegations of rape or sexual abuse/molestation. His followers, being brainwashed cult members, do anything and everything as instructed by him. Nithyananda orders such attacks many times through the top leaders/administrators in his organisations (and rarely orders it directly) to protect himself. But we know for a fact that nothing happens in his ashram/organisation without his instructions, directions, orders, knowledge or consent.
a) False criminal cases:
i. Whistleblower Lenin Karuppan has been targeted with several false rape complaints by Nithyananda’s women disciples in Bidadi, Karnataka.
ii. One false complaint alleging SC/ST abuse and rape allegation was filed by his disciple Ms. A. Pushpa (aka Ma Nithya Supriyananda). Complaint was investigated twice by two different Police Stations and closed both times as false/motivated. On complainant’s protest court considered the matter in depth and DISCHARGED Lenin from the false case and all its allegations.
iii. 5 identical retaliatory complaints alleging trespassing, etc. were filed against Lenin in Ramnagar. All cases have been DISMISSED.
iv. False complaints alleging extortion were filed in Ramnagar Karnataka and Chennai, Tamil Nadu, by Ranjitha Menon and then Ashram Manager Mohanraj (aka Sri Atmaprabananda) against Lenin and victim Aarthi Rao. These are pending in Court for DISCHARGE.
v. 2010 – 2014, several cases of criminal defamation wrongfully implicating Lenin and Aarthi Rao filed in Ramnagar, Kolar & Bangalore in Karnataka and also in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. The High Court of Karnataka and Allahabad have STAYED the proceedings in some complaints and considering QUASHING the same.
vi. 2011 – 2014 several frivolous and false civil cases filed in USA against Aarthi Rao & her husband, by Nithyananda, Ranjitha Menon, Gopal Sheelum Reddy (aka Nithya Bhaktananda), Nithyananda Foundation, Life Bliss Foundation, etc. Complaints alleged defamation and claimed damages. Most of the cases have been DISMISSED.
vii. False case of molesting a minor was filed in 2010 in Seattle, USA by his disciple Ms. Lakshmi Sahiti Malladi, against Mr. Vinay Bharadwaj. Vinay is a victim of Nithyananda’s sexual abuse and a witness in the rape case in Karnataka. Unfortunately Mr. Vinay was convicted on false testimony of Ms. Sahiti. Appeal is pending.
viii. Similar false allegations of abuse were also filed by Nithyananda’s disciples against Aarthi Rao, in California, USA, but they were investigated and closed as motivated and mala fide.
ix. False complaint of stealing money was filed against Mrs. Amudha Bharathi (aka Ma Nirantharananda) who was incharge of Malaysia ashram
x. False allegations of molestation have been filed against Media persons who reported the illegal activities in his ashrams.
xi. False molestation complaint was also filed by Ms. Priya Iyer (aka Ma Nithya Achalananda) against a press person in retaliation for serving summons on Nithyananda from a US court. The entire incident happened during a press meet in his ashram and was covered by all media, and yet such serious allegations were falsely made by Achalananda.
xii. Several ex-donors who demanded return of their properties, on coming to know of his fraud and lies, were slapped with false molestation complaints by Nithyananda’s followers.
xiii. False case of public nuisance under the influence of alcohol was filed by his disciples against the 80-year old donor of Hyderabad temple when they demanded the return of their temple.
This is very typical cult behavior where cult uses its vast money power and influence over followers, to misuse the legal system and harass, intimidate critics.
If all the allegations coming out of the ashram, alleging rape, molestation, etc. are true, then the ashram is a truly unsafe place for women and children, and for this reason alone, the Authorities must shut down Nithyananda’s ashrams and organisations!
It is very clear that Nithyananda has turned his ashrams into breeding grounds for criminals, where decent men, women and innocent children are being made to commit serious offences of filing false criminal cases by fabricating false evidence & fake witnesses.
b) Character assassination campaigns:
In order to silence dissenters, Nithyananda and Ranjitha Menon order character attacks on anyone who speaks out against their cult. A concerted effort is organised among obedient inner members of the organisation to create sensational lies against detractors, with the instruction directly from Nithyananda to make these attacks "go viral." In the past, such attack methods were orchestrated against Aarthi Rao and Lenin Karuppan, claiming they had loose moral character and were anti-Hindu elements. More recently, a group of ex devotees were targeted and publicly declared "drug traffickers, U turners and anti-Hindu elements." Similarly, when Sarah Landry made a public statement blowing the whistle on physical abuse in Gurukul, she was attacked through a series of Facebook posts accusing her of attempting to murder Nithyananda with poisoned chocolate, sexually assaulting two members of the cult, starting her own cult and being an anti-Hindu racist. Most recently, when Janardhan Sharma, a former close insider, attempted to retrieve three of his four children who were being held in Gujarat, his own daughters, appearing to be drowsy and frightened, posted live videos denouncing their parents and pleading for viewers to stop their father from using police force to bring them out of the cult.
4. Money Fraud through Spiritual Programs:
a) Tax Evasion / Money Laundering
We were induced to attend his various programs namely :
Inner Awakening – US $10,000 per person (₹7,40,000)
Nithyanandoham – US $12,000
Sadashivoham – US $13,000
Mahasadashivoham – US $15,000
Now he has announced the latest program Paramashivoham to be conducted in December of 2019, the amount fixed for that program is US $16,000 (₹11,20,000) per person.
In 2015-2017 alone, Nithyananda collected around Rs. 200 crores.But all these payments were received in different accounts by various persons or charitable Trusts as detailed below. This was done to evade taxes.
b) Payment details:
i. Modes of payment: online transfers & credit card payments
ii. Payments were made to the following accounts: Dhyanapeeta Charitable Trust, Nithyananda University, Nithyananda Vedic Temple (we suspect there are more accounts than mentioned here)
iii. Countries the payments were made to: India & USA (Houston)
Besides this, he also swindles money out of his wealthiest devotees by pressurising them into paying $200,000 USD to become Sarvajnapeeta Yajamans (owners of the Seat of Knowledge on Planet Earth, allegedly sponsoring the construction of a golden temple to Shiva, a Vedic library and a hospital that will be equipped to serve patients through allopathy, as well as ancient Siddha medicine and Ayurveda, and also with a fully accredited centre to test third eye healing and psychic surgery) even more shockingly, he is swindling $1,000,000 USD out of devotees in the name of a program called Karta, promising that all who give this hefty donation will be guaranteed an abode in Kailaasa after death, and will be worshipped eternally as deities, with their own golden statues installed in his temple.
5. Modus Operandi: How the Cult traps and destroys people
He runs an international money laundering scheme disguised as a spiritual group, selling high ticket programs as well as indoctrinating members into joining as full-time unpaid volunteers. Since 2006, he has been marketing a false narrative about himself that has captivated thousands of people through the hard effort of his close disciples. They have made thousands of videos on YouTube, promoting his teachings, as well as forcibly extracted testimonials from people who attend his programs. He swindles people out of their hard earned money then threatens them to not disclose his deeds. And much worse.
a) Cult brainwashing and programming: Psychologists have listed a number of factors that contribute to the brainwashing of individuals, all of which are employed by Nithyananda and his cult. These include sleep deprivation, malnourishment through protein deficiency, sensory overload, separating families, forcing members to block and disconnect from friends and relatives who are not in favor of Nithyananda, indoctrination, isolation and fear.
b) Promises: Nithyananda promises those who attend his programs will awaken the third eye and experience superpowers, including the ability to read while blindfolded, remote vision, body scanning, telekinesis, teleportation and more. He claims to be able to heal the sick and change a person's karma. Many of the children in Nithyananda’s ashram who are forced to do blindfold reading are faking it and pretending to have super powers, because if they don’t do it, they will be tortured.
c) Program conditions: Participants of the overpriced programs are accommodated in off-campus hotels. Participants never have a moment alone to gather their thoughts. The time given for nightly sleep is less than 4 hours. The main hall is overcrowded, and the food served is far short of standards for safety, cleanliness and hygiene. Many participants fall sick during these programs, and Nithyananda tells them it is their "incompletions" manifesting as illness in order to divert attention from the horrendous lack of hygiene.
6. Fraudulent Hindu University
It was informed through reliable sources that the Nithyananda Hindu University, which is supposedly registered in the state of California and has right to award religious Hindu degrees - is a fraud Hindu University.
In the beginning months of 2019 this fake university had its university license renewal due. When the renewal was applied for it was rejected by the licensing authorities of Hindu education on the grounds that this university is not offering any courses that are related to Hindu studies - which involves the study of the Hindu scriptures.
Insiders have confessed that the administrative servants of this cult in India, under the evil directions of Nithyananda, went on urgent mode to somehow prove the "Hindu" legitimacy of this fake University. It must be noted that this university is run by most spiritually and scripturally uneducated people (just because they happen to have a PHD title to impress on). All their courses are not even well researched, well prepared authentic course materials on Hinduism or Indology studies, but like a cult, they are just transcript and videos of the cult leader from the talks of his discourses which make no subject for studies as they have no true knowledge.
The administration then went on a rampage on a bunch of cult residents (who have no knowledge of Hindu scriptures), verbally abusing and torturing them to somehow gather scriptural reference from Sanskrit Shaastras to make these references somehow fit into the so-called words of the cult leader Nithyananda. In other words, they were desperately looking for scriptural reference to match the cult leader's words, while in truth an authentic Hindu Acharya speaks on authority of scriptures and expands on them (not the reverse).
The level of fraud went to the extent of the cult administration directing the cult members to somehow insert any scriptural verses into the discourse transcript content released on YouTube without even bothering to study and authentically place true scriptural references.
It was told that - we don't care. Place any shaastra and make the translation in a way it fits into the English content - meaning to falsely translate or edit the translation to make it match.
Out of 1000s of verses in Sanskrit only a 100 must be authentic which were placed on top. When reapplying for the University license, they knew the University licensing authorities will not read the vast body of false scripture content.
This fraud was directed by the cult leader Nithyananda and his close servants, they managed to get the license back for the fraudulent Nithyananda Hindu University fooling the authorities.
Surely this cult leader Nithyananda is a shame on Sanatana Dharma and has no knowledge, skills or people who know any legitimate shastras. We hope no one studies their course material and books and are fooled by false twisted knowledge.
It is obvious that Nithyananda is a rapist, racketeer and criminal on the run. While many in India and around the world laugh at him as if he is a clown, there's nothing funny about the various ways in which he is ruining people's lives. We implore the Authorities to take action against this deranged narcissistic psychopath and violent predator. Please sign this petition to bring justice to his victims and to support this cause. Thank you.
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