A Sanyasi’s ex-husband, who introduced her to His Divine Holiness Paramahamsa Nithyananda, conspired against Him in an attempt to defame Him and destroy His organisation. Knowing this well, she was forced to let the persecution happen and the morphed video to be released, he threatened that things would be worse for her Guru if she exposed him. She helplessly watched her Guru, her Master to whom she had devoted her life to be defamed and character-assassinated. In this interview, she exposes her ex-husband and the team with him.
Broke and jealous Douglas MacKallor, the ex-husband of Sharmila Devi (now Ma Nithya Prabananda Swami) begins spreading lies about Paramahamsa Nithyananda. He alleges tantric practices are being done by His devotees and claims there are women around Him. Being unemployed, he found the growing mission of Paramahamsa Nithyananda to be an easy target for blackmail and extortion. Sharmila is shocked hearing the rumors created by her husband including false fire alarms in meditation programs triggering emergency help for non existent fire accidents.
“His name is Douglas MacKallor, and he co-conspired with two of his deadbeat friends: Vinay Bharadwaj, a convicted rapist and child molester, and Lenin Karuppan, an uneducated driver with some skills in video editing. Douglas was jealous of Swamiji because of my devotion towards Him.” Sharmila explains that Vinay was out for revenge when the organisation of Paramahamsa Nithyananda found out he was a child rapist and therefore disconnected his association, and Lenin Karuppan did it for money.…(blinking back tears she continues) “How could I have gone public? He had filmed me for weeks and said that if I ever told anybody he was behind this, he would get Lenin to morph a video of me just like he morphed one with Ranjitha. To prevent this lie from being told about Swamiji again, I kept quiet. But now, they’ve finally found a woman willing to make the false claim that Swamiji raped her – Aarthi Rao. So the damage is done. Now I want to tell the world about the monster to whom I was once married.”
How and why did these attacks get formulated? It was Douglas that introduced her beloved Swamiji in 2003. Douglas MacKallor was a teacher, an archarya at the ashram. Douglas was more active at that point than her. As things progressed, the decision was made to become Ashramite’s in Los Angeles three years after they had become devotees.
Ma Prabananda Swami (Ms. Sharmila Devi) shares the truth of what happened: “Once [we]moved to the ashram he was aloof, in the beginning he was okay but towards the end he started renting a separate space like office space when he didn’t have income. [For] Many years he was dependent on my income, my healthcare benefits… I was a programs director working for a very elite senior citizens community, in Cupertino, CA.”
Trouble in Paradise…
As MacKallor’s behaviour became increasingly erratic, with trips to Malaysia, control issues escalating and exploding, the relationship dynamic began to emerge. Sharmila was not allowed to speak to any males, he was unemployed and he was renting a separate office, used more than one smartphone, pager, lap tops, voice recorder, mini camera and lap tops. He was exhibiting behaviours of somebody hiding something. Later it came out this is where he began the Nithyananda Cult Blog. Whether by feelings of incompletion that his wife was flourishing financially, spiritually, within a community, that he was not able to do the same, perhaps he blamed Swamiji for his perceived failures. He destroyed photographs of Swamiji at his in-laws place in Malaysia, he tried to convince them that, their daughter (his wife) was in trouble, that he really just wanted to get his marriage back on track.
Sharmila agreed to return to repair their relationship (she was at the L.A. Ashram at the time) when MacKallor threatened to become a disruptor at the L.A. Sangha. She thought they could try and resolve this and the L.A. Sangha need not face harassment. He blackmailed her with the safety of the families and community if she did not return to him.
Douglas MacKallor, the (now) ex-husband of Sharmila Devi (now Ma Nithya Prabananda Swami) began spreading lies about Paramahamsa Nithyananda. He alleged that sexual tantric practices were being done by His (Swamiji’s) devotees and claimed there are (harem) women around Him. Being unemployed, he found the growing mission of Paramahamsa Nithyananda to be an easy target for blackmail and extortion. Ms. Sharmila Devi was shocked to later learn the rumors created by her then husband. His antics were not limited to blackmail and extortion, his mischief included being disruptive to the people participating in meditation programmes in the Los Angeles Ashram by setting off fire alarms triggering Emergency (911) help for non-existent fire incidents, reporting false claims of safety problems with the Ashram.
Whilst still living at the L.A. Ashram in 2007, His then wife (Sharmila) says “He didn’t have any income…..but he doesn’t have any problem spending my savings. Two to three smartphones, a separate office space and he was flying back to Malaysia, back and forth; later I came to know there was a reason behind it. So basically I was living in the ashram in Los Angeles supporting my husband who didn’t have a job. He’s the one who brought me to Swamiji but once I actually joined the community, he became quite aloof and started disappearing a lot, for extended periods of time.” Sharmila did not understand it at the time, but she soon came to realise there was something afoot.
At this time in the Los Angeles ashram, another key figure in the blackmail extortion plot was emerging in the growing Nithyananda Sangha network. Being that Los Angeles ashram is the headquarters for the Western Hemisphere, many sangha’s from across Canada and the U.S. would meet for special occasions in L.A.. There was a growing network of devotees and disciples. It is on one of these occasions that a Vinay Bhardwaj, then of the Seattle, Washington chapter became part of the close knit Nithyananda sangha. This is where Douglas MacKallor and Vinay Bhardwaj are introduced. What we could not know at the time is that Vinay Bhardwaj was going to abuse his power as a religious leader and was sexually abuse and rape a twelve year old young girl (devotee).
The dramatics do not end here, these are but the seeds of destruction being sown.
Double trouble to triple threat…
Thus began Bhardwaj and MacKallor’s agenda to extort, grab and rob money from the Nithyananda Dhyanapeetham foundation. Fuelled by their motivations of revenge and greed.
But they needed someone on the ground, someone in India. This could not be a simple sabotage, they had to play into the modern era of media technologies and sensationalized unverified “news”, to become “click bait” to feed the hungry press and do maximum damage to the reputation of H.H. Paramahamsa Nithyananda Swamiji.
Enter Lenin Karuppan. (See Ma Nithya Ananda Maya Swami – Ranjitha and Ma Nithya Supriyananda Swami, Conspirators) Bhardwaj and MacKallor were in communication with Karuppan via smartphone. What did he have to offer this duo bent on destruction? He used to brag about his skills with video editing.
Meeting at home of Ms. Devi and MacKallor with Bhardwaj shows premeditation in the release of fake sex tape, blackmail and extortion.
In November 2007, after MacKallor had convinced Ms. Devi to leave the L.A. Adheenam, MacKallor invited Bhardwaj home for dinner. Ms. Devi was unaware of Bhardwaj’s intentions. She welcomed him as she would any sangha member, cooked them a fine Malaysian dinner. Everything was jovial through dinner. As they were sitting in the living room after the meal, Bhardwaj brought out a folder containing pictures of all the U.S. Adheenams, information on each sangha.
MacKallor initiated the situation with the attempt to recruit Ms. Devi by framing it as a way for them to set themselves up with money. Bhardwaj said “ See how much Swamiji has, one man has.” Ms. Devi was in for a complete shock with what came out of Bharwaj’s mouth next, “It’s very easy, Ma it’s very easy. All you have to tell is, tell Swamiji made you sleep with him!” Did Ms. Devi hear him correctly, did he just ask her to say that her beloved Guru, who is a parent to her, did he just ask her to break one of the fundamental tenets of what Swamiji teaches, Integrity and to do so to hurt an Avatar, an Incarnation, a being that comes to us every few thousand years, where it is just a blessing to be chosen to be a devotee. So she asked him to repeat himself to make sure she had heard correctly, because surely Swamiji devotees would not suggest such a heinous crime. Bhardwaj responded, “Just say Nithyananda had sex with you”. Ms. Devi thought, why, why would she even think about hurting Swamiji, why would she take money from her parent, when she can just ask Him. What of her husband’s role in these actions, is he being so casual in violating her, violating their marriage and violating their Guru. Is this her husband who she came back to, to work on their marriage? He would willingly debase her name and tarnish their relationship, that he would go to this extent to sever her relationship with Swamiji. Ms. Devi got up, slapped Bhardwaj and exited the house. She had to get away from their toxic thought currents, space and actions. She was also trying to figure out what was the meaning of what they were planning.
When Ms. Devi later returned to the house, she confronted MacKallor. This man, this man that promised to be her life partner, to be her protector and to love her unconditionally did not capitulate on his actions with Bhardwaj. No, instead, seeing her now as an obstacle to a path to money showed her a thumb drive with intimate pictures of the two of them. He threatened her with not only Revenge Porn, but that they would use her images and morph them with videos of Swamiji to create a fake sex tape. He threatened her that if she ever told anybody about the meeting with Bhardwaj, he will not hesitate to destroy both her and Swamiji.
When Ms. Devi did not cooperate with their heinous scheme to accuse Swamiji, they moved to carry out their plan with Ma Nithyananda Mayi. By his actions of abuse, the marriage of MacKallor and Ms. Devi ended in 2008. So acrimonious were the proceedings and so maliciously charged was MacKallor in his schemes, that even after the divorce, he continued to blackmail Ms. Devi with revenge porn. He enacted a large extent of mental abuse and torture to Ms. Devi so much so, that she did not speak of her abuses and her experiences till the conspirators released a fake sex-tape of H.H. Paramahamsa Nithyananda Swami in 2010. MacKallor did not just go about using his many resources to destroy Ms. Devi, he spent the next few years falsifying and bring numerous false claims to many different agencies for numerous years until he was able to get results from the Office of the Attorney General in the United States. He created a huge media storm with himself at the centre.
As Ms. Devi says, she is grateful to Swamiji for protecting her and healing her and going through humiliations and torture and slander because of her ex-husband. Of the pain and humiliations, by His grace and love has healed her and she continues His mission of enriching and causing many beings.