Be Scofield Publishes Her Malicious Article on
Carla Shaffer and Aaravindha Himadra
How and where does Scofield get her ideas for stories? Typically, a professional journalist gets ideas from other news sources, from observation of social media trends, doing research, digging and investigating, and from credible sources they’ve developed over time. Be Scofield doesn’t do any of this because she relies on astrology.
How did Be Scofield come to Orcas to write about Carla Shaffer’s death and insinuate that an evil cult was somehow responsible for it? In her article (included in Appendix B) she explains that she was guided by astrology, a magic map with mysterious lines, and a “magnetic pull.”
According to the research done by our cyber sleuth, Scofield recently posted a screenshot on Facebook to announce that her astrologer has directed her on her latest birthday to her new target, to be announced soon. That is sure to tantalize her audience with another takedown.
Scofield is always compelled to insert into every new blog post her heroic tale of the internet attention she received after writing about Bentinho Massaro (“Tech Bro Guru: Inside the Sedona Cult of Bentinho Massaro,” posted on Scofield’s own websites, gurumag.com and bescofield.com). Here’s how she wove that history into her new article on Shaffer and Himadra (grammatical errors verbatim from Scofield’s post):
Last year, on the exact same day, October 27th, (2017) I had arrived in Sedona, Arizona–another town known for it’s powerful vortexes and energy. I had rushed there on short notice because my astrologer looked at my “solar return.” It’s the forecast for the upcoming year. The entire year prediction changes based on where you are physically on your birthday. I had mentioned I wanted to head west, possibly to Sedona in a month or so. He put Sedona into his program and said “Go. Get there by your birthday. It will have a huge impact on your year ahead.”
I did make it to Sedona and within a few days of being there, I was surrounded by information and energy about Bentinho Massaro. I would end up spending a month infiltrating his group and writing about it. The story went viral, getting 200,000 views in a few weeks and 18 days after I published, the cult leader fled Sedona and went into hiding.
In her new article on Himadra, Be Scofield claims to have been guided by her astrologer and mysterious magnetic pulls once again:
This year my astrologer and I did the same thing. “Stay near or to the west of Eugene, Oregon” he said. He sent an image of a map with lines, one of which extended from north to south directly through Seattle on a slight diagonal. After traveling for several months I had managed to make it to Portland around October 25th and thought I may just stay there. But on the morning of the 27th– one day before my birthday–I started feeling this pull north. At first I thought it was just a scenic trip and that I’d return. But as I drove I felt a magnetic pull north. “Maybe the Olympic mountains” I texted him. “They look epic.” He was a huge yes. But as I drove through Olympia I had this pull to keep going. And then almost out of nowhere I felt this urge to go to Orcas Island.
So, Scofield told her readers that she was guided to this story by her special mystical powers. Does this seem a credible explanation of why she came to Orcas in the autumn of 2018, more than 12 years after Carla Shaffer’s death? Our investigation indicated that it was much more likely that Be Scofield was invited to the island by one of the three previously identified conspiracymongers, or perhaps by Carla’s daughter, Lyria.
We know from our April 2020 interview with Reed Goodrich that Scofield called him and he enthusiastically shared all his “research” with her. Our investigation also revealed that Lyria Shaffer-Bauck enthusiastically encouraged Scofield in her endeavors on the island. (Jim Shaffer-Bauck and Georgi Coquereau declined to speak to our investigator about the roles they played.)
As we compared the documented writings of the conspiracy theorists, it became clear that Scofield relied on them as the primary sources for her article.
Continuing her narrative, Be Scofield wrote:
A few days after I arrived I Google searched “meditation Orcas Island” and discovered a group called Sambodha (formerly “The Children of the Light” and “Ma ‘Pushan”) run by a spiritual teacher named Aaravindha Himadra…”
That could easily be a normal activity of a visitor to Orcas, especially one who is interested in meditation, although Scofield unwittingly revealed that she is telling an outright lie here, because Sambodha, which is a business name, not a “group,” was never called “The Children of the Light”—that label was lifted by Scofield directly from Jim Shaffer-Bauck’s ramblings, which were dismissed by the police and never made public, so it would be impossible to search. Then Scofield says:
I took one look at Aaravindha’s photo and my cult radar immediately went off.
Really? Be Scofield is telling us that one of her superpowers is recognizing a member of a cult from a photograph.
In other words, Be Scofield, the person shown on the left below, took one look at the person shown on the right below, and concluded he was the leader of a cult.
Note the constant use of “I” in Scofield’s article. As Alexander Vera put it, “Scofield violates almost every rule of journalism ethics and standards … Namely objectivity, impartiality, and accuracy.”
Most traditional journalists are careful not to insert themselves into a story, letting the facts stand on their own. But in this blog post, Scofield is clearly determined to make herself the heroine of the tale.
So, there I was, one year to the date from my Sedona experience investigating another cult. I figured it’d be similar to Bentinho–grandiose claims, verbal abuse and cult indoctrination. Same story with a different spin. Nothing I hadn’t seen before.
Her own words make it obvious that Be Scofield arrived on Orcas Island believing that she was an expert on cults. And of course, she mentions Massaro yet again to make sure all readers remember her moment of past glory.
Before reaching Orcas, Scofield already had a story in mind, and she looked for evidence to prove her thesis. When she found none on Orcas Island, she tossed together disparate information and fabricated incidents to create the illusion of a dangerous cult on the island.
Be Scofield listened only to those who supported her cult theory. Online, she found a complaint from an alleged former student of Himadra’s, written by an unidentified source calling herself “Maven” on www.yourvibration.com, and cited that complaint in her new blog post. Although Scofield had received all the police reports about the Carla Shaffer case, she chose to write about certain handpicked information and ignore nearly all the facts reported by the authorities.
Sergeant Herb Crowe was one of the few police officers who met Be Scofield while she was on the island. He told our investigator that Scofield tried to convince him that Sambodha was a cult. But Crowe stated that he was not aware of any antagonism on the island toward Aaravindha until Be Scofield showed up.
When Scofield asked him if he would pursue the case if she were to bring him evidence that Carla Shaffer’s death was homicide, Sergeant Crowe said yes. Crowe said Be Scofield never returned to bring him any evidence.
It is curious to note that more than twelve years after Carla’s daughter Lyria had asked a deputy to stop Reed Goodrich and Georgi Coquereau from constantly hounding the Shaffer-Bauck family to reopen an investigation (Figure 9, Appendix A), Lyria signed a form giving permission for Be Scofield to access all records, including the autopsy report. Had Lyria succumbed to pressure from her father or from others?
Even before she’d investigated the case, Be Scofield declared in writing to Randall Gaylord, the San Juan County Prosecutor and Coroner, that she intended to prove that Carla’s death was due to foul play. The public record contains Scofield’s statement:
I will demonstrate in a manner of weeks—either through people coming forward after I publish, new discoveries I make, through a confession before, or some combination—that Carla was brutally assaulted in an attempted murder. What wasn’t finished was then finished when she was killed very soon after she got out of the hospital. Justice for Carla and her family is coming.
Scofield seems unaware that a Prosecuting Attorney works closely with the police to determine whether cases should be brought to court. She’s saying that she will prove the previous conclusions of all local law enforcement wrong, and tell the San Juan County Prosecutor that she will achieve justice because he and the sheriff’s department clearly didn’t. You will soon see that such insulting and self-aggrandizing statements are the norm from Be Scofield.
Be Scofield rarely misses an opportunity to praise herself. Just in case Gaylord didn’t realize he was dealing with a star, she signed one email message to him:
The inter dimensional demon slaying, cult busting Shakti Hunter.
In another message, Scofield sent Randall Gaylord a link to her latest blog post attacking Alex Vartman, no doubt sure that Gaylord would be eagerly waiting for the opportunity to read it.
Scofield originally published many of her articles on the popular blog site, medium.com. But sometime in 2018, she was banned from medium.com and all her writing removed. She even wrote a blog post about it, “Medium.com Bans Journalist Be Scofield After Sex-Cult Exposé,” in which she seems perplexed about why any internet site would not welcome her posts. In the article, published—of course—on her own site, gurumag.com, Scofield admits that she frequently used images she did not have the rights to publish, which is a violation of copyright. She also claims to have always abided by medium.com’s “Best practices for journalism on Medium.” Clearly the editors did not feel the same way. The complete list can be found at:
Here are the first five of those “best practices:”
- Differentiates facts from conjecture and opinion, and does not distort facts or make unsubstantiated claims.
- Applies a high standard of accuracy to all information, including fact-checking, citation of references, and active correction of errors by the author.
- Cites and identifies the names of people who act as sources, unless there is an elevated risk of harm to persons. In such cases, offers explanations for anonymous sources.
- Minimizes potential harm to any persons who by publication of the information may be put at elevated risk of targeting, threats, and other risks to personal safety.
- Avoids discriminatory, hateful, harassing, intimidating, or needlessly derogatory content or conduct.
Scofield routinely violates all five of these best-practice rules in her blog posts. In her article on Carla Shaffer’s “mysterious death,” she frequently cites her most important sources as “this woman” or “the guy” or “a friend.” In the article, Scofield uses the word “friend” 25 times and the word “friends” 29 times—usually with no names attached,—to refer to the sources from whom she gathered information. Be Scofield also used the adverb “reportedly” eight times in her article. Perhaps she doesn’t understand that “reportedly” can mean “allegedly” or “supposedly”; in other words, a repetition of something not supported with fact.
Scofield vibrates a lot. That’s apparently how she knows she’s onto something important. After mysterious magnetic forces pulled her to island, she reports an encounter with “a woman” at the pond where Carla’s body was found. Here’s how the scene begins:
…I saw a young woman’s eyes focused intently on me. My body began pulsing with chills.
Here, Scofield cites her source as “a young woman,” and then she begins to pulse with chills. In a movie, this would be the moment where the sound editor cues the dramatic music to indicate that something significant is occurring. Then Scofield continues with:
As she got out of her car and started walking up to my car my body became overwhelmed with vibrations. Deep full body chills. I’ve never experienced anything like it.
More dramatic vibrations, overwhelming this time. And deep full body chills. She goes on with “the woman” telling her:
“There was a woman who was cleaning the blood the morning of the attack. She was into a bunch of weird occult stuff. A guy did a bunch of research on the case years ago. She was murdered in some type of satanic ritual.
So, Scofield is telling us that her source, “the woman,” told her a story about “a(nother) woman” and “a guy” who concluded that Carla was murdered in a satanic ritual.
To make sure that the reader doesn’t miss the drama of the scenario, she continues with:
At that point my body was vibrating so strongly that I could barely compose myself.
And then, as it’s been several paragraphs since Scofield has praised herself, she somehow stops her overwhelming vibrations long enough to emphasize her stardom by telling “the woman”:
I’m one of the most prominent writers in the world exposing cults.
When was the last time you read an article by a professional journalist who praised herself over and over again within the article?
And then, just a few paragraphs later, Scofield again compares this story to her “exposé” of Bentinho Massaro, throwing in more pulsing and more chills:
I thought back to last year in Sedona when I had had a similar experience. After I figured out the cult ambitions of Bentinho Massaro and that I was there to expose him I laid down on my bed and chills pulsed through my body. That experience lasted a few minutes.
This time it was different. The sensations were much stronger and lasted hours after randomly running into this woman. As I returned back to the Golden Tree hostel where I was staying at the time I recounted the uncanny encounter I had just had to my landlord. As I did I became overwhelmed once again with these pulsing, chill-like sensations. It was eerie.
Here’s another paragraph where Scofield shows off her journalistic skills, again violating all five of the best-practice rules previously listed:
Locals who know about Sambodha, and particularly those who lived near them, said they knew of their “strange occult practices.” One person said “For years people on the island would talk about them doing ritual sacrifices in their group and say there was a demonic aspect.” One person I spoke with also mentioned ceremonies in black robes and nude rituals. Other locals I spoke with said they also heard about these things.
Note that the “people on the island” and “one person” and “other locals” are all unidentified. Note also that everything in this paragraph is hearsay, tales told by people who apparently never attended a Sambodha gathering and had not even met Aaravindha or Ashayrah.
During a six-month inquiry of these events, our investigator never heard any hint of any “satanic” activities on the island from any person she interviewed.
Markus Naugle, who attended multiple events at the couple’s home, told our investigator, “There wasn’t anything at all cult-like about it.” He went on to say that in the early days, before Sambodha was formed in 2007, Aaravindha and Ashayrah (Janis and Jil Briedis) would hold dinner parties and other social events in their home and invite a few people to discuss meditation and other ideas. These were private events with close friends, and Naugle said, “It was invitation-only.”
Some residents of Orcas who had heard about the meetings may have been upset that they were not invited to participate. He guessed that perhaps this is where the “cult” rumor started. “There was no organization in those days—nothing to be ‘in,’” he reiterated.
Sambodha offers only seminars, most in Europe. There are no “members,” only participants who sign up to attend events. There are no rituals, no “uniforms,” and certainly no “demonic practices,” “sacrifices,” “black robes,” or “nude rituals.” Scofield either concocted those details in her own sordid mind, or was eager to repeat the worst libel she could gather from residents who were completely ignorant of the truth.
This “information” likely originated with Reed Goodrich and his wife Susan Allred, whom Scofield had contacted. In the April 2020 interview conducted with the couple, Goodrich and Allred repeatedly told our investigator about their “research” into satanic practices they suspected the “cult” of doing. During that conversation, Goodrich admitted that he had not met Aaravindha before Carla’s death, and he had no idea what Aaravindha taught in his seminars.
In her article, Scofield admits that most of the people she spoke to on Orcas Island had not even heard of Sambodha:
As I investigated Sambodha I asked locals if they had heard of the group. Most people had not.
Despite being a small population, the island is expansive and Aaravindha lived near Deer Harbor, deep in the woods, about 20 minutes from town. He also spent a lot of his time in Europe teaching to his large following there.
I learned that there were several active members on the island, probably around 10-15 in total. A few even worked at the local food co-op. They didn’t have a center but would meet at Aaravindha’s home or rent various properties on the island to host Sambodha events. Around 30 people showed up to Aaravindha’s Karunya Marga Seminar in Deer Harbor in April 2018.
Then Be Scofield goes on to write:
Prior to her death Carla may have been trying to leave the group.
What kind of drivel is this? Anyone who has attended one of Aaravindha’s gatherings could have told Scofield that there was no “group” to leave. The doors were open at all times. Carla was not even present at most events. In other words, anyone can simply stop participating, just as you would if you’d signed up for an exercise class and then decided it was not for you. As a matter of fact, several people who attended multiple teachings did tell Be Scofield precisely that, but Scofield chose to ignore them because those facts did not fit the story she’d come to fabricate.
Be Scofield’s article repeatedly uses wording that implies that Sambodha, which did not exist at the time of Carla’s death, is some sort of closed group led by a master manipulator in the form of Aaravindha Himadra.
Then comes this tidbit:
Jim’s research notes from the time indicate Carla told a friend about another side of Sambodha. His notes read, “Carla had told her she had discovered that there was a dark side to the Sambodha group and that she wanted out.”
Why doesn’t Jim (or Scofield) reveal the name of “a friend” so his story could be verified? Carla could not have “wanted out,” because she was never “in.” Neither was anyone else, because there is no Sambodha “group,” and never has been. Sambodha is the business name for the organization that offers Aaravindha’s seminars.
Here Scofield admits that she is relying on Carla’s disgruntled ex-husband’s “research notes,” whatever those might be. Research on what? For what purpose? Remember that Jim Shaffer-Bauck repeatedly called deputies asking for information on Carla’s case. Remember also that in his report, Deputy Johnson noted that Carla did not want to talk to her ex-husband while she was in the hospital. Many of Carla’s acquaintances told investigators that Jim wanted to get back together with Carla, but Carla did not welcome her ex-husband’s presence. And Jim Shaffer-Bauck was one of the few who refused to believe any of the police findings. Scofield is again presenting hearsay from an unreliable source.
But Scofield goes on to include another tale from Jim’s notebook in her article:
Jim also described a time when Carla dramatically confronted Aaravindha during lunch at a restaurant called Chimayo. Jim was eating in the back, facing Aaravindha’s table. “Carla walked in very briskly, pulled a chair up to their table, spoke vigorously directly to Janis (Aaravindha), then got up and left. Janis never responded. She saw me as she left; she appeared to be quite angry.”
Renee Davis, an Orcas resident who at the time knew both Himadra and Carla Shaffer, remembered the incident differently, and she speculated that the incident may have given Jim motive to attack Aaravindha. Davis shared her memory about the restaurant incident in an email message to our investigator. Here’s how Davis recalls it:
Carla and Jim were in the restaurant arguing. Aaravindha was at another table in the restaurant. Carla left Jim’s table and walked over to Aaravindha’s and spoke about her frustrations. Jim saw that.
Next, Be Scofield wrote:
And Carla’s ex-boyfriend had said that around the time of the stabbing she told him that she was afraid. Another friend of hers I spoke with also told me Carla was afraid at the time.
Why doesn’t Scofield name the ex-boyfriend (probably Reed Goodrich), or name the person he said that to? And who is “another friend”? And afraid of what? Or of whom? Scofield is clearly trying to imply that Carla was afraid of Himadra or others who had attended his gatherings.
In fact, multiple acquaintances of Carla’s told our investigator that yes, Carla was worried about many things at the time of the stabbing: “less dense beings (her own words),” extra-terrestrials, electrical devices (except for, oddly enough, her Rife machine), and that she was becoming increasingly paranoid about nearly everything and everyone. But when she was in the Sedro-Woolley psychiatric hospital, Carla told her friend Jennie Joplin that she was not afraid to go home and not afraid for her children (Figure 4.5, Appendix A). In the police reports, many officers and other observers stated that Carla was making no sense at the time of the stabbing. The poor woman had clearly experienced a psychotic break.
Describing the day that Carla Shaffer’s body was discovered, Be Scofield wrote:
Jim had heard Carla may have been found and started to walk down the road to the pond. He was intercepted by Markus Naugle. Markus walked Jim up to Seaview Street, where Jim got into a Jeep that was stopped there. Soon the car was surrounded by a group of people including Aaravindha and Ashayrah. Jim said, “they were right there keeping control of things.” They all gathered around the Jeep and prevented him from going down to the pond he said.
Jim was correct about Markus Naugle intercepting him. Naugle and other Fire Department first responders, acting in their official capacity to preserve the scene, prevented him from going to the pond on that day. Aaravindha and Ashayrah were not present.