Ex-members Essay: “The Cult of Swami Shankarananda, Sri Nityananda Ashram: And Why It Is Dangerous to Attend”

A long-serving ex-member of the Mount Eliza Ashram recently published a detailed essay that presents a fascinating analysis of his reasons for leaving this group, and why he thinks others should also avoid attending.

There are the obvious reasons, such as the fact that the ashram is run by a morally bankrupt group of elders who actively coordinated a program of whitewashing and disinformation when it was revealed that The Ashrams leader Russel Kruckman had been sexually abusing female devotees over many years:

Both written reports and spoken testimony from the victims of this supposed “tantra” between Swamiji and his disciples reveal a disturbing picture; secrecy, lies, pressure from Swamiji on his disciples to engage sexually (in secret) with him for the purposes of pleasing God, and also systemic support of this secrecy and abuse through the inner circle of the ashram. 

When the truth about what had been going on was exposed in late December 2014, this inner circle (known as the Management Committee, comprising seven individuals) hastily concocted an outlandish claim that Kruckman had been performing some kind of Tantric Rituals with the women, and when this failed to persuade they instead opted to simply declare that all of the women were lying.

Still more bizarre was a conspiracy theory that later emerged from The Ashram that the whole thing was an attempted power-grab to unseat Russel from power. No doubt to this day new recruits are schooled in some version of the above, as well as being offered dire warnings against speaking to anybody who might have alternative views:

I have observed consistently that people who leave the ashram are generally talked about there as being unspiritual, evil, haters, possessed, and dangerous for disciples. Any incriminating information against Swamiji is framed as lies, manipulations of the truth, and full of “ebolo” which is ashram speak for demonic entities. People who attend the ashram these days, if asking questions about the “sex scandal” will be told a narrative of persecution about haters who were hungry for power and who lied about what really happened.


To read this excellent essay in full please visit following link: