“Swami” Kriyananda repeatedly tells everyone in all his talks and writings that he lives a simple life is not interested in material things and doesn’t earn enough money to pay taxes. he mentions it in almost every public he gives. Even if this is technically true at best this is misleading and possibly a lie since Kriyananda has never released his tax returns to the public. here are teh facts,
1. “Swami” Kriyananda has fancy cars and at least four houses maybe more on three different continents-USA, Italy, and India. These are not small humble abodes but large dwellings with all the fancy accompaniments including swimming pools, hot tubs, marble counters, custom furniture, big screen televisions and home theater systems, original artwork and everything you would expect to find in million dollar mansions.
2. He has a large personal staff paid for by Ananda donors to cater to his every whim. Last we were told his staff includes a personal chef, two secretaries, a personal nurse, chauffeurs, maids, gardeners, a MD, and a full entourage including a young female who’s job appears to be his personal servant.
3. He travels exclusively First Class on international and national airlines. $10,000 first class plane tickets each time and he travels extensively and frequently. He stays only at 5-star hotels when traveling or on vacation and eats at only the finest and most expensive restaurants in the world.
4. When he is not wearing his custom made silk “swami” robes when most real swamis wear cotton or simple fabrics, multiple eye witness counts tell us that he wears only the finest European designers. He also frequently goes on mega shopping excursions where he racks up thousands of dollars which the leaders of ananda frequently brag about accompanying him on in their public talks. Shopping seems to be his number one hobby. One of us once had a book signed by Kriyananda when we attended an event at Ananda Village around 1998 and noticed that he was signing with a $1000 Mont Blanc pen. He always has the latest computers, tablets and electronic gadgets to.
5. His lavish lifestyle is paid for by his donors either directly or indirectly. A woman who worked in Ananda’s main ministry office for six years and wrote a sworn deposition under penalty of perjury that Kriyananda has two strategies to pay for his lavish expenditures. The first is that people just give him money all the time, specially during his two-day Birthday celebration and Christmas. He keeps tens of thousands of dollars in his safe and even a Swiss banking account. When he travels to 5-star hotels, restaurants and designer stores he will often have someone in his entourage pay.
The second main way this is paid for by the Ananda Central ministry which has its own credit cards and charges his lavish expenditures and then buries it in their vague and opaque annual budget as miscellaneous travel expenses. So donors give money to Ananda thinking it is going to the church or community but it is really being diverted to pay Kriyananda’s lavish lifestyle. donors are never told this. nor are they told that Kriyananda and Ananda have been subject of an IRS investigation for abusing their non-profit status.
6. These strategies might allow Kriyananda to claim little or no income on his own income taxes. Due to a loophole in US tax laws, individuals can “gift” other individuals $10,000 a year and not have to report it. So if hundreds of donors each give Kriyananda $10,000, he doesn’t have to claim it and can make his tax returns look like he is a pauper. Plus he can just have the church pay his expenses so it doesn’t show up on his personal accounts.
7. Contrast this to the lifestyle of most people at Ananda. Most of them work for near minimum wage and have few if any benefits. poor healthcare and no retirement or pension in addition to poverty level salaries. almost everyone we know who has left Ananda did so in debt cause they got paid very little and were encouraged to give most of their money to Ananda and Kriyananda. Many Ananda have almost nothing including bad health care options while Kriyananda has top of the line everything both materially and healthwise. Read more about this on this page of our sister website. its a common example of how the regular people at ananda are treated while kriyananda and the leadership live like royalty.
Here is what one juror who heard detailed testimony about kriyananda’s lifestyle and claim to poverty said after Kriyananda and Ananda were found guilty of fraud, malice, and sexual harrasment in a court of law:
“And this, ugh, this poverty issue. That really slayed me. I’d like to be as poor as that. And have somebody taking care of my yard, and somebody cleaning my house, and doing — You know, I pay a lot of money to get my house cleaned. But I have to pay for it myself. Somebody that does my secretarial kinds of stuff, and “Gee, I think I’ll go to Italy next week,” and someone making arrangements for me, I go to the airport, hop on a plane, and I’m there. I mean, this is not a life of poverty….I’m going to France this summer, and I know how much money it costs….I would surmise that all of those people in the quote “inner circle,” as it was described a couple of times — I suspect that they all make a good living, or have a lot of things being taken care of for them under the guises of “church visits,” “church goings,” and they live a life of luxury. Granted, it’s a more simple life, because they live in a rural community. But, it’s what they want. And they get everything they want. And that’s the bottom line. They’re getting everything that they want, in my eyes. That’s the picture that I saw.”