1. I just have a bit
of input related to Nome and Russell. I was associated with the SAT
organization for about a year and considered early on joining the
community. At that time Nome was the central figure and Russell sort of
an operations head.
At least 7 or so years ago ['94-'95], when the organization was in full
swing, they had a community manager and tended to run things very
tightly controlled: applications, minimum required tithing, various
group pressure activities to keep folks in line. Russell could be quite
the tyrant at board meetings and a bit paranoid, lots of yelling, acting
out, throwing or threatening to throw community members out if they
didn't toe the company line. Nome tended to stay behind the scenes but
would write letters to the community supporting Russell's views.
A couple of points:
There is no doubt that Nome and Russell are brothers as they have stated
this themselves (eventually).
While he does seem to have an interesting aloofness about him, Nome's
talks seem to be warmed over Ramana Maharshi teachings. Pretty dull
after a while, not particularly related to present moment exploration or
revealing of his direct experience. My sense is you are rating these
folks a bit high. They are both fairly intelligent but both Russell and
Nome appear far from Realized or even of much value to others through
their teaching. I would give them half a point if it were up to me.
[They have finally arrived. They were at
two buds before the feedback started coming in. It took a few years for
the balance to shift, and in fact now only Nome is rated, with Russ in
an unrated category, linked to this page and
its info but not a big player any more.]
2. The Smith
brothers' hold over SAT members is a strong one, I
can say from my own experience. I was a member of SAT for
several years and saw them use many mind control techniques on their
followers. These included sleep deprivation, long working hours,
ridicule, and ostracism. "Holy service" was not only
encouraged but demanded. While nominally you had "complete
freedom" to say yes or no, in actuality you were expected to submit
to any request made by the brothers, no matter how absurd. Projects
often had to be done and redone at their whim, and the workers were
encouraged to view it as a "spiritual learning experience."
They were also told they should not be attached to the results of their
work, for that would be "feeding the ego." No thought was ever
given to the toll the brothers' whims were taking on the group
financially and physically. "Disciples" were compelled to give
a sizeable portion of their earnings to support Russell and Nome's
non-working lifestyle. Titheing at SAT was ten percent of your gross
income – not your net income...and in addition there were the strongly
recommended non-tax-deductible "donations" directly to the
brothers. If a disciple didn't give enough to this fund (what the
brothers considered enough to keep them comfortable in their grand
lifestyle lived in their beautiful hillside home), he or she was taken
aside and given emphatic instructions about how to properly honor their
guru. Also, as time went along and members were instructed to avidly
recruit wealthy people for membership, it became apparent to all that
when these wealthier members joined, they were nurtured with frequent
praise and familiar access to the "sages."
At SAT, people were continually kept off balance, praised one minute and
tongue-lashed the next, to keep them in line. If you didn't submit to
the brothers' will, and began to use your own critical mental abilities,
you were not allowed to remain in the group – rational, practical
thinking was definitely not encouraged. Open questioning of the
brothers' methods or decisions was quickly cut off, with regular purges
of those who dared to question (all this, even though the literature
said, "Questions are encouraged."). Those who had been
expelled from the group were considered as pariahs, and, under pain of
expulsion themselves, the remaining members were forbidden to
communicate with them. Gradually, I and many others began to see that
these brothers had no peers to give them corrective guidance (and they
weren't about to allow any peers, either) – and in 1992, almost a
hundred followers left the group en masse. From reading Steven Hassan's
book "Combatting Cult Mind Control" after we left, many of us
came to see how controlled we were while in that group. I recommend this
book to anyone who may be thinking of joining SAT.
For those who are desiring enlightenment, and don't want to spend their
lives as worker bees in the Smith brothers' hive, there are far better
places to learn the teachings of Advaita Vedanta and Ch'an Buddhism. If
I were rating it, I would give this group a 0. In addition, I would ask
anyone entering there to imagine the following
sign posted on the SAT temple door, saying, "WARNING! This place
can be hazardous to your physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
Proceed at your own risk."
3. In what seems like a past life, I spent approximately 6 years
in the 1980s and 90s with
the now infamous Smith Brothers. I was originally very attracted to
Nome by what was being presented as the teaching of Shri Ramana
Maharshi. One of the lines that had me hooked was: The Truth is Free,
You are Free, Satsang is Free.
This was what I had been
looking for, a spiritual teacher who wasn't in it for the money or
power. I later came to realize that this was all a big facade in an
endless game of manipulation and empire-building.
As it turned out, I arrived just at the very end of one of what I will
refer to as one of their "house-cleanings". I later came to know that
this was an occurrence which happened every few years to "weed out"
those who were not towing the party line. Any questioning outside of
accepted lines, was grounds for being severely ostracized.
I came to be a close
assistant to Nome and Russ during my time there in Santa Cruz. I saw
many things there in the "inner-circle" that finally made me wake-up
and realize that these guys weren't "Realized Masters", they were just
"Masters of Manipulation". I'm not into Guru-bashing, but I feel it to
be a duty of conscience to warn people to look out for these two
brothers. They have single-handedly turned more people away from true
spirituality than anyone I know of. Most people who end up leaving
there leave with such a bad taste for spiritual teachers that they are
lucky if they ever open their minds to another teacher again.
I won't go into details about the worst of the things that I saw, but I
will give an overview of what to look for if you plan to spend time
with Nome or any other teacher claiming to be Self-Realized. Not to say
I'm an expert, just experienced.
Nome and Russ had at that time developed an elaborate security
apparatus which stemmed from deep paranoia. They were afraid for their
bodies, their money and possessions, and worst of all afraid that
someone would steal their teaching! I myself was involved in many
martial arts training sessions conducted by Russ and approved of by
Nome, which included the use of simulated attack scenarios involving
knives, guns, stunguns, and lethal martial arts strikes with the hands
and feet. For what purpose would a real master employ such trainings
for his disciples? These trainings were coupled with their high level
of secrecy regarding their personal lives and habits, not to mention
the state of the art security system at their mansion. A real master
has no worries about the body, his possessions, or what anyone thinks
about their teachings. Nisargadatta Maharaj himself upon several
occasions challenged people to kill him on the spot. And he wasn't
joking either. He truly had no fear or attachment to the body or this
world. At one point he was asked if it bothered him about the British
occupation of India and them taking all of the wealth. He said if I
take a few rupees from one pocket and put them in another, of what
concern is it? Indicating his thorough understanding that all is one
and there need be no undue concern over worldly possessions or wealth.
During my time there at
SAT, I witnessed no less than 3 of these "house-cleanings". Each one
was accompanied by numerous slanderous allegations and outright
criminal accusations coming from both of the Smith Brothers towards
those being ousted. At one point they even accused some of those on the
way out of poisoning a supposed enlightened disciple of Nome, and wife
of Russ, named Lane. Her passing was certainly a tragedy, but it was
devastating for those of her close friends who were accused of
During a subsequent "house-cleaning", multiple incidents occurred which
resulted in one of the mass exoduses which was referred to by one of
your other reviewers. Of course there was the sex-scandal which shocked
everyone. Nome had been found out to be having a sexual relationship
with one of his married female disciples. That in itself probably
wouldn't have been so bad, it was the attempted cover-up and
chastisement of anyone who dared question the purity of the "celibate"
master that turned so many people away. This incident was accompanied
by a whole host of slanderous accusations against a large number of
people who had begun to question the validity of Nome's teaching and
'enlightenment'. I personally witnessed Nome lying about and slandering
some of those who had been his closest, most loyal disciples. Even to
the point of comparing them to Hitler's Nazis. To have your guru look
you in the eyes and tell you lies to your face. Wow! What a mind
blower! That was the last straw for me.
This brings me to the point of examining a guru or spiritual teacher.
Two points on this. One, look at their teaching. Is it consistent with
their Master's teaching or is it validated by ancient scriptures? Nome
says many nondual words, yet upon close scrutiny, there are many
inconsistencies in what he says. He definitely uses some minor siddhis
involving shakti and mass hypnosis techniques in his satsangs. Having
this type of "energized personality" does not make one a True Master!
He also has a bad habit of using quotes and references of true realized
Masters out of context in order to fit into his own brand of Advaita
Vedanta teachings. His teaching is NOT the same as Ramana Maharshi, and
nowhere near that of Nisargadatta Maharaj. It's sad to see how so many
teachers these days throw around these two names to try to lend
credibility to themselves. One of Nome's best tricks is to get the
disciple strung out on "Guru Approval". He builds the disciple up and
then knocks them down, keeping them confused and coming back for more.
Real Masters tear down the ego, and the whole illusion with it, they
don't keep the whole game intact. He also says that he gives a
"transmission" of the teaching, indicating that you can only get it
from him, further stringing the aspirant along. Real Masters tell you
that you don't exist, they don't exist, and you already are what you
seek, the Guru just points you in the right direction.
The second point to consider in evaluating Nome or any other spiritual
teacher, is look at his life. Self-Realized Masters are not
professional spiritual teachers! Northern California in particular is
host to dozens of such types who have made a living off of
commercializing the teachings of Advaita Vedanta. They can parrot the
words, but they can't help you get free. Nome and Russ have probably
both attained millionaire status at this point from the mandatory
"donations" that they have received.
Nome lives in a very expensive house in an exclusive part of the Santa
Cruz mountains just outside of Capitola, one of the richest suburbs in
Northern California. Many of his disciples have put themselves in
poverty to support him and his brother's lavish lifestyle. Neither one
of the two brothers has had a "real" job or has supported themselves in
any way other than by selling the teachings of Non-duality in at least
the past 25 years. His life in no way resembles or reflects that of
Shri Ramana Maharshi or Shri Nisargadatta Maharaj. Both of whom have
real "Self-Realized" disciples, some of whom I have met personally.
These true Masters or their disciples didn't care about money or even
the world for that matter. A far cry from the example that Nome sets
for his followers.
The comments from one of your reviewers about Nisargadatta
Maharaj's and his disciples poverty are ridiculous, we should
all be so rich in Self-Realization or to have the great treasure of
a being with a True Master!
One may ask, why this seemingly self-incriminating revelation after so
many years. In other words, if it was so bad, then how could I have
stayed so long. I have to say, it's partly because I wanted to believe,
and that it's hard to admit one's mistakes, especially one as personal
as choosing a guru. Additionally, the "Smith Brothers" are very
manipulative. If you look up some of the cult literature that is
mentioned by one of the original reviewers on your site, it's true what
was said, they have a way getting the earnest aspirant to think in the
way that they want them to think. The Guru holds such power over a
disciple that can be so easily abused. BE WARNED!
The final reason I have remained silent about these two is that I also wish to remain
anonymous. I have no desire to be on the receiving end of any
of the types of retribution that I have personally seen the Smith
Brothers dish out.
This letter, which wrote of Nome and Russ' alleged manipulative use of
shame and unworthiness issues for self-serving reasons, has been removed,
as the writer has come to accept more responsibility for that process than
[This letter is so far the longest and in some
ways the harshest of
all the letters and had at first some other problems (since worked out) but since the writer
alerted me to Russell's exit and
corroborated a lot of the earlier material, i am including it here,
minus some potentially
A big inconsistency in this fifth letter with regard to the previous ones
is its exoneration of Russell, who the writer says was as much of a dupe / tool of
Nome as anyone. This exoneration does not fit with the testimony of some
of the other writers, nor with his claimed awakening 15 years ago, so grains of salt are encouraged, though of course
this is so with all the letters. The reader is invited to come to her
own conclusions. In that respect, it is not unlike weighing the
letters on this page against the letters of support from people still
with Nome (link at page bottom.)
(July '05 addition, modified Nov '05)
Correspondents have confirmed that the Smiths' personal house in the SAT
heyday, some eight miles away from SAT HQ, in big bucks Soquel, is actually owned now by
Russ and Helga, so it seems that Russ didn't leave empty-handed. It has
been in his name since 1992, according to two separate sources. The
sources differ on how opulent it is but we can assume it is not a shack.
It is said to be a well-appointed hillside property in an exclusive part
of Soquel where homes go for well over a million dollars. It is not the
place, ironically only a half-mile from SAT, where Russ and Helga hold
their WOSA meetings.
Meanwhile, where is Nome living? Speculation centers on SAT HQ, where
some real estate shufflings have been rumoured lately. The so-called
"middle house," in former times used for offices and/or aspirant residences and now a bit run down, has been carved
out of the compound and sold to a devotee for a hefty $800K, said to be
overpriced even by Santa Cruz standards.
Whatever. For me, the collective picture painted by all the letters and
the fact of Russell's departure – leaving aside the question of Russell
himself – can now be said to have considerable credibility. Here come
the letter . . . ]
You have received and published several other letters on your web-site
that have to do with the guru figure Master Nome and his organization
at the Society for the Abidance in Truth or SAT. I sincerely hope that
you will print this letter in order to warn other spiritual seekers of
some of the truly corrupt things that I have seen go on around Nome. In
this way other seekers don't have to make the same mistakes that I did.
Perhaps we can help someone not waste their precious time when they
could be doing serious spiritual practice elsewhere that could truly
help them instead of harming them. I am the first person coming forward
who was in the real inner circle around Nome. I need to remain
anonymous for my safety. You are correct in saying that there is on
going "intimidation of ex-members and soon to be ex-members of SAT".
Everything I am about to say is 100% true. If you post this letter I am
sure other people from the inner circle will come forward and verify
I was at SAT for over a dozen years, during which time I was a disciple
of Nome. I was close in and spent a lot of time around Nome and Russell
Smith so I was privy to a lot of what occurred. I did enormous amounts
of work for both SAT and for Nome personally. I was instructed to do
extensive service and I did it. I was instructed to give all my money,
which I also did. I was very intimate to a great many of Nome's
interactions. I hope to clarify and add additional information to some
of the statements made by these previous writers concerning Nome and
SAT. It is not that these writers were wrong; the situations created by
and surrounding Nome were very confusing and extremely hard to read.
His personality is convoluted and his actions are built around
deceiving people with layers of plots and endless double talk. In a
moment he could go from a slick spiritual talk to becoming angry and
Because I was part of the inner circle around Nome and spent a lot of
time around him, I had the opportunity to see behind the outer show
that most people only saw. I personally saw hundreds of examples of
lies, violence, manipulation, misuse of spiritual teaching, and cruel
abuse towards the people there.
I want to make it very clear that this letter from me is in no way a
criticism of spirituality, Vedanta, guru figures, saints or spiritual
teachers throughout history who have honestly tried to better
themselves and help others.
[ . . . ]
Everyone at SAT was dispensable except for Nome. During my years at
there I witnessed quite a few "house cleanings". A previous writer also
referenced this. Nome would get rid of anyone that was not a fanatical
follower or who caused any ripple in his image. Often his methods would
be swift and cruel. It did not matter how much time, money, and energy
you had given, you were dispensable when you were no longer useful in
someway to him. With this kind of cruelty towards others Nome became
very paranoid. He was always concerned that someone might blow his
cover or attack him. So there was a group formed to defend him (as was
mentioned in a previous letter) in case this should it happen. A male
disciple who had studied martial arts for many years instructed the
group in self-defense. Russell was only there as a spiritual advisor to
make sure that the group stayed in balance and spiritually
In Nome's paranoia if he felt that you were no longer a completely
loyal disciple he would start slandering, criticizing, and creating
elaborate stories to discredit you. One of the letter writers stated
that Nome compared certain people he was getting rid of to "Hitler's
Nazis". I also was present that day and heard this to my great
[ . . . ]
There was a strange darkness that plagued many of the celebrative
get-togethers that the disciples had with Nome. One of the classic
functions of these evenings would be a ritual called a puja. These
pujas however, unlike the traditional Hindu ceremonial form of worship
of disciple to God, were composed by Nome and worked out between him
and a female disciple. There was a very dark sexual vibration to the
performance, with Nome beaming while being worshiped in this way.
In letter #1, which you received, the writer brings up that in 1995
there was "tyrannical behavior at the board of directors meetings and
Russell had thrown community members out". However, Russell had already
left the Board in 1992. Russell Smith was a disciple of Nome. He filled
the position of SAT's director at one time, he also managed households,
organized meetings, planned holy day events, taught at Satsang, and he
also headed the Board of Directors for a few years. During those years
everyone knew he did Nome's bidding. Russell gave all his time, energy,
and money to Nome and SAT. But by the end of the 80's he was backing
off from Nome and SAT. He quit the Board of Directors because he
disagreed with Nome's ethics and the pressures Nome put on people
financially to pay for the multimillion-dollar property of SAT.
However, by the time mentioned by the previous writer, Nome was the
head of the Board and would have been responsible for the "tyrannical
behavior". Every meeting I attended at SAT where Nome was present or
leading it, he had to have the complete agreement and praise of
everyone present or would become quite hostile. In the first few years
that Nome was head of the Board he literally went through 30 Board
members - removing and replacing until he could find the people who
would be unconditionally favorable towards him.
There were countless meetings held at SAT most of which were in some
way about money or volunteered labor. The "Friends meeting" was the
members of SAT who were very active in financial contributions and/or
performing extensive service. The "Community" meeting was when the
members of SAT would receive information about the financial status of
I was a regular attendee of both and present for hundreds of examples
of variations of tyrannical behavior. I really began to observe how
Nome was very deliberately manipulating the people present for his own
benefit. These meeting were loaded with glances, winks, and smiles from
him in order to reward a person for appropriately volunteering or
donating money. Adversely, there were equal amount of glares and subtle
put-downs at someone not volunteering, donating, or for making an
inappropriate comment. Most of the time Nome never publicly said a word
of overt direction. However, privately he dictated and controlled
everything. In his system a mark of closeness to him was you would know
exactly what he wanted without him having to say it. This was an
integral part of the training in the inner circle.
Nome had a very different public versus private side. Most of the
exposure that the members of SAT and general public had to Nome was at
Satsang where he gave slick intellectual Hindu or Vedantic spiritual
teaching. Even many of his disciples only knew him in this way. Most
often people knew nothing about his private side. So people came and
stayed (or left) SAT without really ever knowing who really was
responsible for what and never suspecting Nome's real motives. In order
to understand how people would tolerate all this manipulation, the
reader needs to understand that all these people believed Nome's own
proclamation that he was the same as Ramana Maharshi, Shiva, and God in
human form, as the Guru, come to save them. I might quickly add that I
read and studied Ramana Maharshi for years and I do not see any
resemblance between them. Often out of the seekers devotion, instead of
observing manipulation, they would rationalize Nome's behavior by
believing things like "this is just the masters love" or "he is just
teaching us a lesson".
Nome also manipulated people by giving the reward of his acceptance for
being his "eyes and ears"-- keeping him informed of other peoples
conversations and actions. Nome was so well informed through his spy
network that he had people totally fooled into believing that he had
supernatural powers. Some people believed he could read their minds and
tell the past or future. One day I was walking with some other
disciples who were expressing their awe of Nome's power and glorifying
him because he knew very personal things about them, which they had not
told him. Coincidentally, I had been present during a conversation
where Nome was accessing this information from another person. I knew
that he had received this confidential information and was purposely
using it deceptively to gain power. Often he would use the information
to embarrass or prove that you were spiritually inferior. People were
very afraid of him. Several disciples were so afraid of what Nome might
say that they would not seek medical attention when they needed it and
suffered severe physical damage to their bodies.
After a number of years at SAT I began to realize that although people
were giving tremendous donations and contributions it didn't seem to
matter to the SAT budget. Quite a few people, young and old, (including
myself, most of the inner circle disciples, and Russell Smith) gave
their life savings not to mention the constant flow of free and often
very skilled labor. At the "Community" meetings the message was always
the same - "No money, SAT will go broke in (blank) months without a
marked increase in donations and more service given!" No one dared to
question the credibility of this information. So despite an incredibly
large income SAT was always "broke". Once I was present right after a
refinancing meeting with a bank. I remember the bank representative
commenting about how SAT had an unusually high-income ratio for such a
small group. It should be noted that Nome also functioned as office
manager in charge of all financial records.
Nome set up a private donation system from the disciples, but he
demanded that all the donations were to be given in Russell's name.
Writing the checks to Russell reinforced the facade of Nome's
asceticism. Nome liked to be seen as a Yogi or renunciate. It also made
it doubly difficult to ascertain the true financial picture.
[ . . . ]
Also, I want to clarify some incorrect facts and assumptions that seem
to align Russell Smith with Nome. In sections of the other letters you
received the writer seems to view Russell, Helga (Russell's wife), and
Nome as a single unit; sharing identical past practices, holding the
same values, holding the same regard for other people, and teaching the
identical spiritual teachings. It is true that Russell and Nome are
brothers as someone mentioned in one letter (a fact that Nome wanted
concealed for some reason). However, in their life's values, spiritual
course, decisions, and actions I have found no similarity. Russell took
peoples problems and suffering seriously. It was obvious that he truly
believed that the only real answer in life had to be a spiritual one
and he would be so interested to talk about it with you. One of his
primary goals was to try and instill a better set of values in the
people. Russell would insert talks on karma (where as Nome actually
claimed to be above karma and acted out without any regard for karma or
Numerous times I heard Russell object to the unethical things Nome was
doing and what was going on at SAT. Russell functioned as a guest
meditation teacher at SAT until 2003. I have heard that Russell left
SAT because he disagreed with Nome's abuse of disciples in many ways.
Helga, Russell's wife, left SAT because she also did not agree with
either the teaching there or Nome's ethics. Last I heard, Helga and
Russell were teaching Buddhism through a group called "Way of Sudden
Now as for the women who came to SAT, there was one casualty after
another. Throughout my years at SAT I saw many women be flirted with,
manipulated, and sexually used by Nome. He enticed women by giving them
the message that to be in some form of relationship with him meant that
their chances for Enlightenment were greatly increased or
Nome received hundreds of (love) devotional letters from women praising
him and pledging undying love. He never discouraged this or directed
people in a more serious beneficial practice. But rather, he would
answer in such a way to encourage this glorification. He would write to
each woman as though there really was this exclusive bond. Once I
mentioned to him that it looked like he was flirting with a woman at
Satsang, he answered quickly and forcefully that it was just my own
jealousy allowing for such accusations. There became more and more
accusations by other women. But, Nome was always ready as though he had
the defense prepared before the instance. He would discredit the person
by painting a picture of someone very unstable and confused, so that no
one would believe the accusations against him. It was cruel how he
would encourage someone to fall in love or flirt with him, only to tear
her down when he was through with his fantasy. I saw women after women
take on the cycle of elation to crashing depression. I also saw Nome
encourage the women to compete and spy on others to receive the
These examples went on and on, all of these women being distanced from
each other and if they had husbands- then distanced from their
husbands. The husbands could do the service or make donations and the
wives were fair game sexually. Unfortunately, divorces were not
uncommon at SAT due to the women becoming infatuated with Nome and
treating their husbands neglectfully. Nome encouraged some of the male
disciples to have several female partners at once and even commit
adultery, because that is what he often did. This was a way of Nome
diverting attention off himself by encouraging his close male disciples
to freely share his irresponsible actions and lack of concern for the
feelings of others.
Nome taught that spiritual teachings and teachers such as Vedanta and
Shankara, Self Enquiry and Ramana Maharshi, the Saints like Kabir,
Buddhism of all kinds- Tibetan Buddhism with Milarepa, to Chan Buddhism
with Huang Po or the Buddha, were the same Teaching as his, the same
Enlightenment as his, and that he was identical to all of them.
Furthermore, his message to the inner circle was that your closeness
and total surrender to him was the sign of your state of consciousness.
His biography is published in the Ramana Centenary. I have read it and
there is no mention of any practice he did from any of those systems
that he claims to teach. [Sarlo: The writer also mentioned in a
subsequent letter in response to my enquiry that Nome's contribution to
this volume was an autobiographical article entitled "Timeless
Presence," which is available as a reprint from SAT. The occasion
was the 100th anniversary of Ramana's arrival at Arunachala. The writer
also alleged that Nome "influenced" his way into inclusion in
this prestigious publication by a strategic large donation to Ramana's org.]
There is also no teacher that he studied under. After being at SAT for
all those years I can easily state that I never heard any of those
teachings taught there in their entirety. I don't believe at all that
Nome is an accurate reflection of Ramana Maharshi, whom he claims as
guru, nor Shankara, etc. What he teaches is his own version of these
teachings. I have heard Nome claim to know the true meaning of each of
them and so that gives him the authority to pick and choose sections
from these teachings and claim that his is a true representation. In
his own description of Enlightenment he claims to be specially
connected on the astral plane to the Maharshi and "exited the palace of
learning". This meant never having to change and grow. Nome continually
asserted that it was impossible for him to be wrong in any of his
motives or actions, and that he is all- knowing (or knows
Beneath the surface there were no
real spiritual practices given at SAT by Nome. It isn't a good place to
get training if you are serious about spirituality. The only person who
ever recommended serious spiritual practice was Russell. He would
encourage the people at SAT to explore their spiritual potential. He
taught classes encouraging the people to really think things out
spiritually and not be subject or bound by authority figures, fear, or
dogmatic spirituality. He also became very outspoken on behalf of the
women in the community, encouraging them not to be attached to Nome,
but rather pursue a spiritual path. It is a shame to see Russell lumped
together with Nome by people who don't really know what happened behind
I strongly encourage spiritual seekers to look deeply into their goals
and motivations and hold true to them. There really are true spiritual
paths and practices with honest and sincere teachers who really care
about their students Enlightenment.
I have told only part of what I could without disclosing my identity,
even though there is much more. I encourage other people to also write
their experience in order to shine real light on their experience with
[Could have been you, but turned out to be
the writer of #5 above, clarifying issues involved in
the presently upcoming court case between Russell and Nome. See Newzish
above, Jul '06 entry, if you haven't already]
I too have heard that Russell Smith is taking Nome to court. However,
the way I have heard it from several different parties - it is to
retrieve his rightful, promised pension - not “a new low, angling for
some kind of pension” as you have been led to believe. Someone who
either wants to see this situation with a certain fanatical bias, or
who has no real understanding of the situation has given that
impression to you.
[Sarlo clarifies: “A new low, angling for some kind of pension”
is not what is written in the Jul '06 item, nor suggested by anyone to
me. I do indeed write that he is angling for a pension, but "a new
low" is a comment at the end meant to apply to the sibling
relationship, not to Russ' maneuvers]
I can help give some factual information based on first hand
experience. During the 1980's and 90's when I was at SAT, everyone in
the inner circle knew that Russell had been repeatedly promised a
pension from SAT by Nome. In 1987 Russell had been asked by Nome to
give over the entire life insurance money from Russell’s first wife’s
death ($100,000), with the promise that this money would benefit SAT at
a very critical time and would be instrumental in making SAT
financially secure. In exchange Nome promised Russell that he would be
cared for later by SAT through receiving a pension. I heard that
Russell agreed to give other large sums of money later as well; such as
substantially over-paying for the house he bought from SAT. In fact for
many years throughout the 70's and 80's Russell didn't even have a
private bank account, but rather out of trust and dedication to a
spiritual cause, gave all his money to Nome. The fact that Russell was
promised his pension as future security in exchange for giving up his
own money was not secret information. My sources at SAT tell me that
Nome also had their parents invest large sums of money into SAT with
the understanding that it was to help both Russell and Nome in their
I know that the pension was
given sometime in 1995 when Russell retired from SAT. However, a few
years ago Nome instructed SAT to stop paying Russell's pension! I have
heard rumors that Russell's and Nome’s parents have also joined in the
suit against Nome for trying to cheat Russell out of the remainder of
The reasons for Nome's action against Russell are unclear. Most people
I know feel it was because of Russell's objections to Nome's [libelous
allegations snipped]. I hope and am sure that someday the complete
story will emerge. Once Nome could see that Russell was aware of these
things and objected so strongly, Nome started going after Russell in a
variety of ways - usually trying to cripple Russell financially or
using scare tactics. “Going after people” is a typical aggressive
action that Nome has displayed more than a few times. [More libelous
I also want to address another point that you mentioned in the July
update. Russell has been teaching Chan Buddhism outside of SAT for at
least 15 years that I am aware of. Even when teaching at SAT he
introduced and showed great care and love for Buddhism. In the early
90's Russell’s was giving Dharma Talks at the Subud House independent
of SAT. I attended a few of them. At that time I heard Russell already
clearly stating that Nippo Syaku was his teacher. Your entry that
Russell only recently distanced himself from Nome and declared Nippo
Syaku as his teacher is incorrect. Russell was connected with Nome as a
teacher during the 70's to the mid 80's and that is a fact. The news
you have been given is 20 years old - (nothing like 20-year-old news
being reported as the latest development). Several people who I have
talked to confirm that indeed Russell did study under Nippo Syaku in
the 1970's and that he has been proclaiming Nippo as his teacher for at
least 17 years.
I hope this additional
information will help you to understand the situation of Russell trying
to reclaim his own pension in a more balanced light. A pension that was
truly and undisputedly monetarily paid into, worked hard for, and fully
deserved. Many times at SAT I heard people say that if it were not for
Russell’s energy and attention there never would have been the
manifestation of SAT because Nome lacked the altruism and care to carry
Looks like they are still trying to resolve it without a jury trial.
Yet another "Case Management Conference" is scheduled for
January 29, 2007. Note that Nome is now "unrepresented."
Previously he had a lawyer but I guess he let the lawyer go and is now
going to represent himself once again. The last time he did that
the judge in that case told him, "Sir, you don't know what you are
talking about." And the beat goes on....
[Sarlo adds: If you came in here, might be
best to go back to the top to find out what this
is about. And note that the trial is now put off till end of May '07, and it
is now a jury trial.]
8. [This was another very long letter
and as it was somewhat chaotic i have edited it, retaining its basic
flavour and omitting some potentially libelous material. The author has
consented to this. Sarlo]
I noticed that most of your letters 'shied
away' from Russ discussion, but I won't. He wasn't enlightened by the standards of
the people who left between 1987-1992 that I knew and talked with after
leaving. His actions and counter actions, in the opinion of those gathered
(in our meetings), showed someone who was very angry, money driven, and erratic.
Russ always made comments that were pretty outlandish, but my favorite
was given one day during an inner circle meeting; “Your job is to get
them here. Once they’ve been here, they only have to come three times,
then bam, we’ve got ’em, and they’re hooked.” (Whoa! What the
heck is that!)? I didn’t trust him after that!
He was constantly pushing people, making 'jokes' - (masking rude anger)
about peoples flaws. Of course, all nasty criticism was meant to "speed
your way to enlightenment"—the nastier the better—and if you lived at a
Satsang household, you got it, 24/7, nothing was sacred or
After Satsang he would sit
in a chair and people would gather round him like pigeons, to 'chat
with Russ.' More like gossip. Anyway, he would love this time, which
was clear by his actions; he would smile, talk easy, rock in his
rocking chair and flop his Japanese sandals. He would start picking at
people, usually by opening the mail or talking about other people
questions, laugh and make jokes, usually at someone not there.
He and Nome were obsessed with women and weight control. They were obsessed with fasting,
also, we would fast for a month every year on nothing but cut apple juice and
double osmosis filtered water (another big time Avadhut expense - every household had one that
was a Satsang temple. No one was to tell anyone
about these month long fasts, as that was 'considered by the outsiders' as
starvation! Another Russ-ism-paranoid don't tell a soul.
His favorite topics: Fallen teachers, false religions, fake followers,
fallen followers, blunders by aspirants, aspirants doing 'worldly
things' (list below). Letters from fallen followers trying get closure
with them, (that was the BIGGEST one—this would draw the BIGGEST crowd
and laughter—they were MEAN). Meditation of course, bad meditations,
but really the most questions were about 'worldly' things not
'spiritual' and they really did split them up.
About the conditions: This was the double edge sword best explained by
the meat-eating question: Eating Meat --they would tell you in Satsang,
"oh the world is an illusion and what you eat doesn't matter." BUT,
they would tell aspirants your body is a temple and you have dedicated
it to your Guru—would you feed Nome meat?'
Aspirants were never allowed TV's, radios, newspapers, magazines (other
or of that ilk); music that wasn't considered spiritual was un thought of! I mean, geez, you didn't do it! We
would have to walk 10-20 paces behind Jeff. No one could wear orange except
Jeff. We had to wear white at all times, including cooking, walks in the woods, (mud), and so on.
Eating food out was frowned upon really, it was considered 'worldly', make-up,
hosiery, professional haircuts, anything to 'draw attention to yourself'
was 'bad' 'worldly'. There was a time when most of us women went 'bra-less'
because of our denial of our bodies. Of course, that had to change! Many of
us weren't 'equipped' to be braless, but that was the whole thing—denial of
your needs. Which was strange because you were "supposed to treat your
body like a temple" yet you were supposed to deny it! At one point, Candida was a
big thing; many of us went on Candida-free diets—treated by someone in the
group, 'til Russ thought it was over kill. (Mostly because it involves meat
eating, I think).
Talking to your parents - Worldly! Making friends on the 'outside' for sake of friendship and not bringing them
'in' - Worldly! Listening to Music not approved - Worldly, Going to movies—Worldly. Wearing leather—worldly! Enjoying
the day for the day sake—Worldly. (Not in meditation). Enjoying work (at
your job)—Worldly. Enjoying food too much—Worldly. Having seconds of
Aspirants were to look at the lives of the saints and the other 'enlightened'
beings, if they denied their bodies, we did. If they took pleasure in the
cold we did, if they went without, we did. Look at "Ramanuja!" Look
at "AnandaMayi-Ma" (She never washed her own body or fed herself or cared
about her looks), "Look at Milarepa!" (He ate only nettles, denied his body,
lived in a cave, starved himself, and never clothed himself—he could keep his
one mindedness—what's the cold? What's a little blood?) Many aspirants read
and re-read texts to obsession to 'identify themselves' (I've learned later,
that this is common, because when you take away someone's sense of identity,
you have to replace it with something). I remember Russ giving us the
comparison of St Francis's "Poor Clair's Order." (We were told that at St
Clair's, women are so 'holy' they share their underwear (!!!)) Once
again, about how we were expected to share everything as a householder and
not be 'selfish' and have personal goods. This also included clothes.
Russ and Nome would even 'pair' aspirants to saints and enlightened
beings. Follow this twisted logic if you can: after all, if the world's
not real, AND we are on the 'speedway to enlightenment' because we have
two enlighten beings (later 3), AND they constantly are telling you
that you are "like" a certain saint (or have that saint qualities) then
you should focus your reading and devotion on that saint. Some members
began to have psychotic breaks because they began to THINK they were in
some WAY that saint. It got so constant with some members (the
discussion about them and their 'saint discussions' at Satsang, that
some members nothing else was discussed with them about their devotions
After I left the Avadhut, I learned that this belief is known as "sympathetic magical thinking" at best, at
worst, it becomes schizophrenic delusion.
Back to the list of behaviors, because I want you to know that some of
stuff we did got us in big trouble with Russ and Jeff: Talking to
outsiders about your problems—(punishable). Telling other householders
about Russ and Jeff being at your house last night for
dinner—(punishable). Falling asleep or nodding during Holidays was
punishable, you would be sent directly home (in front of every one and
admonished) as well as not allowed to any further Holidays until you
could 'prove that you could stay alert and have enough energy to
sustain the 5:30 am rise to 2:30-3:30 am marathons, with 2 and 3 hour
meditations in between. The work would be relentless on these days.
Grout would be washed with toothbrushes and bleach in the kitchen and
bathrooms. Activity would not cease for anything except
If you lived in a Satsang household—your life was monitored to Russ and Jeff
period. Every action every detail was told. If your meditations were off,
and you told the household about it, as was the custom (because you meditated
3 times a day together) not to mention what you did on your own, you talked
about it afterward. This went to them.
If someone didn't like your 'unclear' behavior at dinner, this went
Russ and Jeff. If someone didn't like what you said in the car coming
home (because we always carpooled-you were not alone-ever) this went to
them. If you ate something that wasn't quite 'approved' this went to
them. If you did something "worldly" this went to them. It was the
'duty' of the aspirant to 'correct' the behavior of the other aspirants
by criticism. And it was done in Abundance. No topic was too big or too
small. And everything was suspect. Every action, including accidents
were 'purposeful' (remember; "the world's not real" you created your
action! This included everything from neglect to violence—if it
happened to you you created it—it was your fault)—and you are
responsible for it in your life. There was a case when a boss was
sexually abusing a coworker, that coworker was responsible, because
they were an aspirant and they created that environment! Tough luck.
This the 'highway to enlightenment' you expected a bumpy road, it was
hard, it was mean and the meaner it was, you were supposed to 'praise
it' because it meant that you were on the 'right path'.
'function' of living in a Satsang household was "control" over
everything you buy. Nothing you bought ever was determined by you.
Your clothes were determined by Russ. They had to be functional. White
clothes only for household, solid (not as in color, but not 'fancy')
for work, also because again, you shared your belongings. Shoes were to
be made not of leather but fabric or synthetic. Women used cotton
tampons only, or liners no synthetic material. All clothes were cotton.
Socks were cotton. No shoes in house or slippers. Underwear had to be
cotton and white, brief no hip lower.
The kitchens were outfitted with Bounty white kitchen towels, no print. Toilet paper was Northern no
dyes, white only, and there was no deviation
without Russ's approval. The list was bigger, trust me; this included every
food, every drink, every herb, every condiment, every toiletry, you name it.
If it lived in the household, it was Jeff/Russ approved. There wasn't a thing
you could do without their approval, and if you did—it was heard from in the
meeting after Satsang.
These were known as 'circles.' This was time to sit and unload after
Satsang with Russ and Jeff. This was also the dreaded hour that they would do
their 'psychic' thing. I put it in quotes because I do believe in
ability, just not theirs. They had spies. They would sit during 'circle'
and start laughing about 'pizza' or something or another—usually related to
something somebody had done. This was done intentionally to 'prove' their omnipotence' (again, the world's not real—they
are!) They see all; know all—sort of like a bad Santa. This would "Amaze" us
(we'd all talk afterward about it) but it got to be crazy, because later on
in time, they would get personal with their 'abilities'. As one ex-member
told you, they would have spies tell you about your daily habits, and that
About ex-member fear it is real and why it is more insidious than most
groups, why more people won't come forward with letters.
I want to tell you about the last meeting that many of us had that was
directly horrible in most of our minds that was unconscionable to most
of us. This was Lane's 'dedication'. [this refers
to services held for Russ' first wife, after she died of cancer]
We were gathered at the St Francis household and we were to speak into
a microphone (which by the way, is ironic, because recording were never
allowed in the Avadhut). We were to tell our name, what we remembered
most about Lane, the date and what she said to us, and so on. Seems
innocent enough, until the form letters that Russ dictated came
back. We were warned in the first paragraph. "Lane communicated all of
her talks that she had with all of you with us (Russ/Jeff) either
directly or in diary. Word for word, if you deviated in any way from
the truth we will know." How scary is that! Do you remember every
topic, and discussion you have ever had with anyone word for word
without embellishment or omission without paper, tape recorder, etc? We
were expected to and then the paragraph continued with this checklist
(not complete, and not word for word but to give you an idea).
"You are obviously clear about your spirituality and loved Lane"
"You are having issues that are clouding your mind and you need to look at
"You have problems with your memories about Lane, possibly stemming from your
lack of spiritual commitment, if you spend more time meditating on this you
can get back to us."
"It is clear to us that you are seeking attention and are lying about your
connection to Lane. Your mind cannot be trusted. You are not spiritually
minded, and probably need to leave the group."
There were more checks, but I don't have the letter.
[The author suggests a couple of lines of possible
research. If anyone reading this has this info, i shall be pleased to hear
Here's some stuff for you to find: The Guru Book. Or Lane wrote the
Chela book. Someone's got to have one. I don't. It contains all the
stuff about what is expected of anyone once they get involved with the
Avadhut from 1983-1990. (Before Inc and just after). This 'book' talks
about hours of Seva, hours of Holidays, Rules of Dress, etc. It goes
from causal attendees to renunciates. The deeper you go in the
book the less you are as a person, the more rules.
[The author had mentioned that Paul Reps visited
SAT in the 80s and wrote a critical article in East-West Journal:]
About Paul Reps, I am deeply sorry to hear of his passing. An Address
Sign in Book was kept for all attendance at 123 Archer Drive, in Santa
Cruz. (Address before 1834 Ocean) This is where Reps met with Jeff. He
signed in. Anyone who lived at Archer Drive would remember this
meeting. 123 Archer was a Mansion with marble floors—I washed on my
hands and knees with MILK and a RAG weekly took hours. Slept 11 with 8
bedrooms. Russ referred to it as the 'Country Club'—because it had an
empty pool in the back. We still slept on the floors and only had
altars in the rooms.
Lane. The question, was she enlightened? I don't know. Many times I watched her
'at the front' of the room after she 'got enlightened'. I remember
the 'moment' when Jeff declared her enlightened. He watched her like a hawk
and then took her pillow and threw it up front on the other side of him at
I know she was self aware, I know she was a wonderful friend, and she
was wise. Was she happy? That I couldn't answer. She didn't always look
it. She often looked bored up there. She looked like she was in
'another world' daydreaming and she looked aloof, not dis-attached from
the world, displaced. There is a psychological term for it, but I am
not a psychologist. She just didn't look "here". She didn't look
blissful, and that's the main point. I treasured her and I miss her.
further thoughts on how close mystical experience and psychosis are and
why many of the former Avadhut suffer from mental torments I have
included this article about those experiences. This article is by no
means all inclusive but it can show that even the academic experts have
their share of problems getting a handle on these two ideas.
[It's online at
Understanding Authentic Mysticism and Discerning it from Psychosis
by Richard N. Neumann
The distinguishing features between mental illness and mysticism may be
simple, but not simplistic. "By their fruits you shall know
them." The two fruits of authentic mysticism are compassion
[An unusual "letter" here, from me
this time :-)]
have received a number of official SAT documents from a correspondent
concerning doings there, mostly in the earlier days. One of the most
interesting is a questionnaire to be filled out by those who wished to
become disciples. It is "dated," in the sense that Nome ("the Sage") is
the central figure and Russell his chief functionary.
There is a detailed set of 264 psychological profile-type questions,
followed by a set of 18 essay-type questions requiring long answers,
such as this:
Please describe the path of Self-surrender as you now understand it.
Some of the psych-profile questions follow. Save a few, most of the
questions seem "innocent" enough on their own, but taken together they
mean a serious commitment of trust has to be made before full
information is available.
There ARE a goodly number of straightforward who-are-you questions like
the essay questions, but only requiring short answers, though i have to
say even these kinds of questions would be unusual in joining a
spiritual group. The first is one such:
1) What are your hobbies, interests, and recreational activities?
Interspersed with such "normal" questions are deeply probing questions
into the applicant's darkest areas. Exploring these areas is of course
part of the spiritual path but not upon applying to enter. Given the
stories we have heard about how information was used against disciples
falling out of favour, to embarrass, shame, keep them in line or worse,
it is impossible not to imagine these questions used for an ulterior
Are you currently receiving psychiatric care or psychological
counseling? Are you currently receiving treatment for drug or alcohol
abuse? If so, please describe your history and present treatment. Have
you ever received such care or treatment in the past? If so, please
describe your history. Do you have or have you had an untreated
alcohol, drug, or psychological problem? If so, please describe your
situation (past or present).
24) Did you ever have
thoughts of suicide? If yes, how did you deal with, integrate, or
resolve them? Did you ever take action based on or expressing these
35) Do you have a problem with being in balance in regard to food,
sleep, or sexual life? If yes, please explain the difficulty, what
happens physically, mentally, and emotionally, and how you are
attempting to integrate, resolve or deal with it.
36) Did you ever have a problem in the past with being in balance in
regards to food, sleep, or sexual life? If yes, please explain that
problem, what happened physically, mentally, and emotionally, and -how
you have integrated, resolved, or dealt with it.
48) Have you ever been arrested? If so for what? (Your answer will be kept confidential.)
49) Have you ever been involved in an activity for which you could have
been arrested? If yes, please describe. (Your answer will be kept
confidential.) [Yeah, right, though it may be used against
55) How do you respond if you see another person involved in some
activity that is spiritually or ethically inappropriate or incorrect?
102) Do you view yourself now as honest or dishonest?
103) What happens physically, mentally, and emotionally that makes you say so?
104) Did you view yourself in the past as honest or dishonest?
105) What has happened physically, mentally, and emotionally that makes you say so?
171) Are you ingesting any medication, prescription or non-prescription, in an ongoing manner? If yes, please describe.
187) Describe the worst moment in your life. Describe the outer and inner factors.
207) Did you ever feel regret concerning anything you have done? If so, please explain.
208) Do you often think thoughts for which you have regret? Please specify what these are.
209) Do you ever refrain from relating with another person because you
fear you might do or say something for which you might have regret
210) Do you feel there are some topics about which you have so much
emotion, strong feelings, or unintegrated feelings that you cannot talk
215) Do you ever feel that someone is trying to influence your mind? If yes, please describe the experience.
216) Do you ever feel, or have you ever felt, that you are being plotted against?
238) Do you frequently feel as if you have done something wrong or evil? (Explain fully.)
243) Do you occasionally think of things that you feel are so bad that you cannot speak about them? (Explain fully.)
Right! And to wind it up, the questionnaire ends with a few meta-questions. Now answer honestly!!
262) Please describe your feelings about filling out this
questionnaire. Were you glad to do it? If so, why? Would you rather not
have done it? If so, why not?
263) Do you regard these questions as relevant or irrelevant? Please explain your answer.
264) Did you learn anything about yourself in answering these questions? If yes, what did you learn?
It takes courage to explore and process this kind of material, but this
is just the wrong time (upon entry) and, apparently, the wrong people.
The trust to expose / share such stuff has to be earned, not demanded.
It resembles in appropriateness an advertisement from Maitreya Ishwara.
He says something about trust being a sacred quality and then: "Every
day is an invitation to let go, to trust. Jump! I will catch you. I am
love." It may be sound guidance to one who is already a disciple but as
a pitch to newcomers or the general public it is positively
[This is a public
letter making the rounds in Santa Cruz from Kathleen Hanna –
presumably not the Bikini Kill Kathleen Hanna – regarding her
experience of being subpoenaed by Nome's lawyer in the ever-increasingly
ignominious court case nominally over Russell's pension. I have received
a pdf image-format copy from a correspondent
who has also now graciously sent a
typed-out text version:]
January 19, 2007
Dear SAT community,
My name is Kathleen Hanna. I was a member of SAT from 1994-2000. I
joined SAT searching for peace of mind, spiritual growth and a more
harmonious compassionate life.
During my time at SAT, I became a disciple of Nome's and attempted to
follow his instructions. Consequently, I was involved in much SAT
service, SAT businesses and donated all the money I could afford. Many
of you surely remember me and I have fond memories of you as well.
Toward the end of my time at SAT, I started questioning some of the
actions of Nome's that I saw. As a result, I decided to leave SAT and
cease my discipleship with Nome. My honest intention was to leave
quietly and peacefully and to go on with my personal spiritual journey.
Although I had serious ethical concerns about various matters, I left
with no ill will towards Nome or SAT.
A couple years ago, I became aware that Russell Smith was being denied
the SAT pension promised to him by Nome. I did not get involved with the
legal proceedings at that time preferring to go quietly on my own way.
Certainly, I had heard Nome assure me that some of my donations would go
towards Russell's pension. However, many other disciples were also aware
of Nome's promise. I am sure more of them will come forward as time goes
To the best of my knowledge, my participation in the legal matter was
not needed since from what I had heard, Russell's and Nome's parents
(they are brothers) knew about the pension and were prepared to testify
if Nome reneged on his promise. It is my understanding at the present
time that Nome's own mother (his father has passed on) is testifying to
the validity of Nome's pension promises to Russell, along with other
I was upset and very surprised when Nome and Jim Clark had their
attorney, Derik Allison; suddenly subpoena me for deposition in October.
Russell's lawyer did not depose me, nor at any time was I being called
as a witness for Russell.
You may wonder if I was subjected to deposition because of what I had
observed during my stay at SAT? In any case, I was subjected to an
intensely hostile, mean-spirited interrogation for seven hours! I was
picked on, verbally abused, cynically insulted and made fun of. Under
Nome and/or Jim Clark's direction their attorney was heartless,
belligerent and extremely unkind. All I could do was to tell the truth
and try in my heart to hold feelings of compassion and forgiveness.
Do you want to know what really happened and what was really said? Why
don't you demand to see a copy of the unedited complete deposition
from Jim Clark or Nome? You will be shocked and outraged as was I. As a
result of that extremely mean treatment, I have decided to start to
speak out. Although I previously only wanted to go quietly on my own
way, I now feel, after serious contemplation for the past few months,
that I must raise my voice and do the right thing.
Consequently, I have decided that I will join Nome and Russell's mother
and the former disciples and testify honestly regarding Nome's promises
to Russell of a pension. Many of you are aware of those promises as
well. You should know the fact that Russell donated the entire amount of
his first wife's life insurance money ($100,000) to Nome and SAT as well
as that Russell overpaid SAT for his residence ($120,000) and so on for
his pension. I have also heard that Nome's and Russell's parents also
contributed large sums (almost $200,000) in donations to SAT with the
expectation of Russell receiving a pension in return, not to mention
Russell's twenty years of selfless service to SAT. Why don't you ask
Nome or Jim Clark for a copy of Gloria Smith's (Nome and Russell's mom)
sworn affidavit in addition to my own deposition? You will see the truth
beyond a doubt.
In conclusion, all the facts and my own personal direct experience are
compelling me to stand up. People should be able to peacefully leave a
spiritual group without being bad mouthed, harassed or to have their
rightful pension removed.
I strongly urge you to investigate for yourself what is going on behind
closed doors at SAT, not only in terms of this pension suit, but the
other issues I raised in my deposition. Question! Pry! Demand answers!
Examine carefully. Arrive at your own conclusions. Most of all think
twice before giving any donations or monies to any spiritual group
before you are aware of all the facts.
I am aware that there may be those among you who have knowledge of
unethical or illegal or questionable activities regarding SAT's Board of
Directors, Jim Clark or Nome. If so, please write to me and share your
information. You can even write anonymously to me at:
[contact details snipped]
It is important as spiritual beings that we always stand up for what is
just, fair, ethical and good karma. I will always remember all of you
fondly and I am certain that together we will proceed towards a
beautiful and peaceful future.
[A shortie put together by yrs truly from
Rumour has circulated about a cafe / restaurant being
operated by Judy, Nome's wife, in Gilroy, about 25 miles east of Santa
Cruz, called Judy's Cozy Coffee. As an investment it looked like not in
the Smiths' style, as it would involve a lot of hands-on work. A new day
job? Anyhoo, here is the official story: "Gilroy First Vegetarian Restaurant Opening Soon,"
Aug 31, 2007. Bonus: clickable pic of Nome and Judy!
But then ! ! . . .
"51,173 and going strong with a new downtown deli,"
May 9, 2008 is not mainly about Judy's Cozy Coffee but has this snippet:
"The new deli owners, the Velasquez's, from Hollister, are buying the business at Judy's Cozy Coffee and recasting it."
Well, that didn't take long. Whew! Even better than the day job may be
making a fast buck with some real estate flip. One little factoid from
the first article: "The Nomes [sic] 'saved thousands' because the city
waived their development fees in its ongoing effort to lure businesses
downtown." How about that!
[Another shortie put together by yrs truly from
The Court decision finally came down, and Nome (First
Principle Church) won the case. They don't have to pay Russ anything.
Congrats to Laura Innes, Nome's lawyer, who is deemed to have done the
better job. When more details come, i will expand this letter.
[Will this be you? Stay tuned]