7. The Inconvenient Truth: No Crime, No Motive, and No Opportunity

return to section 6…

The Inconvenient Truth: No Crime, No Motive, and No Opportunity

Here’s a most inconvenient fact for Scofield: Janis and Jil Briedis (Aaravindha and Ashayrah) were not on Orcas Island on December 14, 2005, when Carla’s stabbing incident occurred. They weren’t even in the United States. They were in Germany, as proven by their passports.

Although the police never considered them to be suspects of any kind, the couple were alarmed by the publication of Be Scofield’s malicious article, so Ashayrah (Jil Peterson-Briedis) took the couple’s passports to County Prosecutor Randall Gaylord and requested that he make a copy of them for his records. Gaylord had concluded more than a decade ago that no crime had been committed, but at Ashayrah’s request, he included the passports in the official record as proof the Briedises were not present at the time of the stabbing incident.

The couple also provided their passports to our investigator for inspection. Others who were with the couple in Germany at the time have confirmed the timeline.

For any logical person to even suspect that an individual may be guilty of a crime, there must be evidence that a crime has been committed, and there must be motive and opportunity for the individual to have committed the crime. Remember that the investigation of Carla’s stabbing included Washington State Patrol crime scene experts as well as the San Juan County Sheriff’s Department detectives. Both these agencies found no evidence that any other person was involved, and thus determined that Carla’s injuries were self-inflicted. It was obvious to all concerned that Carla was suffering a mental break. No crime had been committed. Himadra had little connection with Carla and absolutely no motive to attack her in any way. And he had no opportunity: he wasn’t even in the United States for close to two months prior to, as well as during, the date of the stabbing incident.

But Scofield deceptively calls all this into question when she writes about a phone conversation she had with him (grammatical errors are verbatim from Scofield’s blog post):

During a nearly 3-hour interview, Aaravindha told me that he and his wife were out of the country at the time of Carla’s stabbing incident on December 14th, 2005. They sent me a photo of a portion of a passport that showed a stamp indicating entering Europe on November 14th and returning to the US on December 27th. I have no idea who’s passport it is however as there is no name visible in the portion they sent.

Check the stamp page of any passport and you’ll find there is no name on that page, so that’s hardly suspicious. An ethical journalist would have followed up on this, but Be Scofield goes on to say:

And they only sent an image of one passport, not both. Without seeing both of their passports in person I have no way of verifying the truth of their claims. But a detective (or anyone) on the island could easily inspect them. He said they were both at home the night Carla disappeared and then went to help search for Carla the next morning.

Then, in the next sentence, Be Scofield recklessly slips from one event to another by saying “they were both at home the night Carla disappeared and went to help search for Carla the next morning.”

The paragraph starts out discussing the whereabouts of the Briedises on December 14, 2005 and then ends up on January 6, 2006, in an attempt to deceptively connect two completely separate events and to insinuate (Scofield’s specialty) that Aaravindha was lying about his whereabouts.

This is akin to saying, “Aha! You said you were out of town on Thanksgiving, but I saw you in town on Christmas!” This is not only sloppy and reckless but also completely unethical as it attempts to misdirect the reader. Additionally, it shows a disturbing lack of logic on Be Scofield’s part, not to mention a distinct lack of any editorial check on her ramblings.

Aaravindha never met Be Scofield. She originally contacted him via Facebook Messenger, using one of her many fake names, Metta Peace, and one of her many email addresses, [email protected], as shown in the following screenshot.

Aaravindha’s assistant called Be Scofield and left a phone number to set up the interview. Scofield later called back, using yet another fake name, Jamie. Ashayrah and the assistant listened in on the call, which was put on speakerphone. Based on the voice, the ambiguity of the names and email identities the person supplied and a North Carolina caller ID number, they were confused about whom they were speaking to, and whether it was a credible reporter. Aaravindha had agreed to talk to Jamie, but as the conversation progressed, it was clear to everyone listening that Jamie’s (Be Scofield’s) goal was to accuse him of being involved in Carla’s stabbing and death.

Aaravindha felt he needed to convince the caller of the truth to protect himself and others she’d named during the conversation. He kept trying to correct the accusations, but finally gave up. He told our investigator, “My failing was that I kept trying. I thought I was talking to someone sane.”

When he told Jamie (Be Scofield) that she had a responsibility to publish the truth, she didn’t care. When he asked why Jamie (Scofield) wanted to publish lies about him and was willing to bring pain to Carla’s daughters and family through posting falsehoods, the caller said, “Because it’s juicy, and it’s a story I want to tell.”

After Aaravindha warned “Jamie” that he’d be forced to sue her if she published all the lies, she told him, “You can’t touch me.”

He asked the caller to come to the house and talk in person. Be Scofield declined, and then informed him in a menacing tone, “I already came to your house. I searched around.”

So Be Scofield admits to trespassing as readily as she does to copyright violations and unsubstantiated accusations. Does this sound like the work of a professional journalist, or even an ethical person? No.

Refusing to provide her real identity, refusing to do investigative work, ignoring facts that don’t fit her agenda, and then publishing unsubstantiated claims—these are all parts of Be Scofield’s standard procedure. She used exactly the same tactics, including the name “Jamie,” when she attacked TJ Bartel. Complaints about Be Scofield’s methods, copyright violations, and unverified claims resulted in her banishment from medium.com.

Before she appeared on the island, Scofield had decided that she was going to expose a cult that had caused Carla Shaffer’s death, so Scofield wrote that Aaravindha was lying, about nearly everything, including Carla’s health. Due to her belief in her own superpowers (which apparently include psychic abilities), Be Scofield is certain that she knows exactly what was in the mind of Carla Shaffer, whom she never met and who had died thirteen years earlier. Scofield is so certain that she definitively stated:

Carla was not in a constant state of pain or nausea, nor was she having psychotic episodes.

On the contrary, many who had spent time with Carla in the months immediately before she died reported that Carla was very frail and often “blanked out.” That information is contained in interviews of Carla’s neighbors and associates conducted by the police after the stabbing incident. And then there’s the inconvenient fact that she was judged by mental health professionals to be “gravely disabled,” so much so that she was institutionalized for as long as it was legally possible to keep her in custody.

Be Scofield is apparently convinced that she knows more about Carla—a woman she never met—than the mental health professionals, the police, or Carla’s doctors.

Scofield stated that she could tell by the tone of his voice that Aaravindha was lying, by the fact that he sounded defensive.

Really? Wouldn’t you sound defensive if a hostile stranger called you on the phone to accuse you of a crime you hadn’t committed? Keep in mind that all of Be Scofield’s communication with Orcas residents about Carla Shaffer was taking place nearly thirteen years after Carla had been laid to rest. It’s only natural that some folks would be surprised and confused, and yes, defensive, when the tragic events were brought up again.

Aaravindha knew from Be Scofield’s statements over the phone that she intended to include Markus Naugle in her negative piece, so he called Markus to warn his friend about the troll who was likely to call him. So, Markus did not answer the phone, and Scofield, using a fake name again, left a message saying she was going to publish this blistering piece about Aaravindha. Markus attempted to return the call, but Scofield never answered.

In her article, published on her own website, gurumag.com, in January of 2019, Be Scofield went on to detail her phone and text conversations with David Lutz, a longtime friend of Aaravindha’s who had attended many of his meetings on Orcas and in Europe. Lutz goes to Germany to attend seminars there, and he also teaches many of the same subjects that Aaravindha promotes: self-realization, self-discovery, and awakening.

Lutz was in Arizona at the time Be Scofield called him. After Scofield posted her post about Aaravindha on her gurumag.com website, Lutz was so outraged by her misstatements about what they’d discussed on the phone that he went to the local police department and swore a notarized affidavit correcting what he called Be Scofield’s “gross misrepresentations and factual errors.” See “Reactions to Be Scofield’s Malicious Article” later in this report for his complete correction of all those errors.

Again and again, Scofield refers to the “research notes” or “research journal” of Jim Shaffer-Bauck, the disgruntled ex-husband whom Carla wanted nothing to do with, according to interviews done with Orcas Island residents and police reports. Jim’s collection of rambling speculations are, by her own admission, one of Be Scofield’s most important sources for her blog post.

Be Scofield notes that many people tried to convince Jim that Carla was crazy.

Jim noted in his research journal that Herlwyn Lutz (father of Sambodha member Dave Lutz) tried to convince him the Rife machine made Carla lose it. “He was convincing me the Rife machine was responsible for Carla attacking herself. He approached me yesterday to clarify that point because people were thinking that Janis [Aaravindha] was involved…Plan to inform him that no one is buying that theory.” Jim’s notes also reflect that Aaravindha was saying the Rife machine made Carla go crazy and attack herself.

Remember that psychosis and accidental death were the conclusions of all the authorities who took care of Carla and investigated the case. Remember that Carla said she had been attacked not by any human, but by a “less dense being.” Remember that Carla had been judged to be “gravely disabled” and committed to a psychiatric facility after the stabbing incident.

Jim Shaffer-Bauck, Reed Goodrich, and Georgi Coquereau were determined to ignore the official verdicts in favor of pursuing their conspiracy theory, and their lies were exactly the types of “information” that Scofield was seeking.

A bit later in her blog post, Scofield writes:

Carla’s mental state at the time of the stabbing incident and her death are important to examine given what was being said about her.

Indeed, Carla’s mental state is an important consideration. And if Scofield were a true journalist, at this point she’d bring up the reports by the mental health professionals, the police, and the coroner, because they all concluded that Carla Shaffer had experienced a psychotic break at the time of the stabbing and then suffered a relapse that led to her death. Remember that Be Scofield had all these official documents in hand.

But instead of relying on professionals, Scofield returns to her innuendo:

Again, Sambodha members were pushing a narrative that she had lost it mentally and that the Rife machine had contributed to her going crazy and stabbing herself. Deborah Martyn claimed, “Carla just knew it was her time.” The predominant narrative amongst locals was that Carla had a mental breakdown and committed suicide.

Here Scofield lies, saying that Deborah Martyn was a “Sambodha member,” when in reality, Martyn was never connected with Sambodha in any way. Sambodha was not even created for another year after Carla’s death. And yes, mental breakdown and suicide were most likely “the predominant narrative” and the conclusions that most of the locals reached, for good reason, although nobody can know what was in Carla Shaffer’s mind when she entered that pond.

Remember Carla’s altered state of mind at the time of the stabbing incident, and her abnormal behavior after her release from the mental facility. On the day she died, Carla may have believed she was under attack from another “less dense being” or that the way to win the “struggle between Light and Dark” was to drown herself in the pond. We can never know. And Be Scofield certainly can’t, either.

Then Scofield continues with:

I spoke with several of Carla’s friends and family members and none of them said she had any history of mental illness. Yes, she was very sensitive to chemicals and scents but there was no mental illness. There were several accounts from friends in the police reports as well saying she had no mental illness, with several saying she was in good spirits around the time of the tragic events.

Carla didn’t have a history of mental illness before her last months, but several neighbors had commented on her decline, and the mental-health professionals concluded that the poor woman was suffering from psychosis and was “gravely disabled.” Scofield doesn’t bother with those inconvenient facts, but instead writes (grammar mistakes verbatim from Scofield’s blog post):

A statement by one of Carla’s close friends to the police reads “Life was only improving for her. She was physically feeling great and looking forward to earning income healing others with her Rife machine.” Another friend s notes from the time pointed out Carla was organizing a movement against more cell towers on Orcas Island, she was planning on teaching an arts & crafts class and was writing songs with a Baha’i friend with performances in mind. “She had many good friends and two loving daughters” it reads. Their notes conclude by saying “None of her old friends observed any suicidal tendencies or indications of suicidal behavior. No one I know has come up with any reason for her to take her own life.”

Notice again that none of Scofield’s “sources” are named.

It is the nature of psychosis to behave in illogical ways. And, check the police reports: multiple friends did say that they believed that Carla was capable of hurting herself. Scofield lied again when she wrote:

Markus Naugle and Laura Wheelock told police Carla was “clear and lucid as she always had been” and that she was “happy” and appeared to be in “good spirits.”

Markus Naugle told our investigator that this was a lie, the total opposite of what he told the police, which was that Carla’s mental health was deteriorating. Scofield went on to completely misrepresent another person she had spoken to, lying once more when she wrote:

Current Sambodha teacher Dave Lutz told me that he never noticed Carla show any signs of mental illness or express interest in killing herself.

According to Dave Lutz, this statement from Scofield is absolutely false. Check out the wording of his notarized affidavit later in this report (“Reactions to Be Scofield’s Malicious Article”), where Lutz stated:

I actually told Be Scofield that Carla indeed had been getting more psychologically loopy towards the end.

Carla had also shared with me and other friends that she was in nearly constant discomfort and nausea, and also severe fatigue from her disease. She also showed real signs of mental instability when Carla told numerous people, including her investigators; she was being attacked by other-dimensional less dense beings.

Scofield concludes her discussion of suicide with:

And the coroner’s report noted that there was not enough evidence to conclude she committed suicide.

That’s true. Carla left no suicide note. And because there was absolutely no evidence that anyone else was present, Carla’s death was judged an accidental drowning. But that’s an inconvenient ruling for Scofield’s purposes. So, according to her blog post, she felt compelled to ask Randall Gaylord, the San Juan County Prosecuting Attorney and Coroner:

“If she had been suffocated and then put into the pond would you have been able to tell in an autopsy?”

Randall said no, most likely not. He admitted he had no idea what events led to her death. It was a mystery.

Scofield could just as easily have asked Gaylord, “If Carla decided to commit suicide that night and walked into the pond and drowned herself or died of hypothermia, would you have been able to tell in an autopsy?” or “If Carla believed an extra-terrestrial was controlling her when she walked into that pond, would you have been able to tell in an autopsy?” Randall Gaylord would have answered in exactly the same way. He’s a by-the-rulebook, evidence-based kind of guy.

Scofield clearly needed to toss in a hint of murder for her own salacious purposes. The official verdict of accidental drowning did not fit the “juicy” narrative she wanted to tell.

The term “mystery” appears five times in Scofield’s article. Yes, many details surrounding Carla Shaffer’s final months are mysteries, meaning that nobody knows exactly what happened. Including Jim Shaffer-Bauck, Reed Goodrich, Georgi Coquereau and two or three other conspiracy-mongers. Including Be Scofield.

Neither Aaravindha and Ashayrah, nor anyone associated in any way with them, were ever considered suspects by the authorities, because there was no evidence of crime, no motive for anyone to kill Carla, and no opportunity, because no other person was present. Carla’s death was never considered foul play by anyone except for Jim, Reed, Georgi, and a handful of others they managed to convince of their outlandish suspicions.

Were some residents defending Aaravindha? Of course they were! Remember the anonymous posters accusing him of murdering Carla? If such vicious lies were circulated about someone you knew to be innocent, wouldn’t you defend that person with the truth? None of the people our investigator interviewed on Orcas believed that Aaravindha or Ashayrah were involved in Carla’s death.

Over and over again, Be Scofield “quotes” unnamed sources, often several times removed, to imply all sorts of terrible things were happening. Here’s a typical example of Scofield’s unethical “journalistic” efforts:

The surgeon was reportedly quoted by a witness as saying “If I had to swear in a court of law that those injuries were self-inflicted I couldn’t do so.”

Note that “the surgeon” is not named and is “reportedly quoted” by “a witness” (again unnamed). Be Scofield might as well write “Someone said that somebody else said this.” There’s no way for any reasonable reader to know whether Scofield made up the entire statement.

Be Scofield hints that it’s somehow suspicious that various parties left the island after Carla’s death.

Of interest to note is that Markus and Laura moved to Guatemala for ten years soon after Carla died. According to Aaravindha they left “very shortly” after Carla’s death, perhaps within a month or two. They returned in 2016.

And the basis of Aaravindha’s book on Sounds True–his trek through the Himalayas–also occurred the summer after Carla’s death. A friend of Carla’s said she was told Aaravindha also left soon after Carla’s death, first going to Germany before the Himalayas.

Why are the whereabouts of Markus Naugle and his wife Laura “of interest”? Markus and Laura owned a nonprofit company in Guatemala that helped Guatemalan people. They traveled to Guatemala in spring of 2006 with four students from Orcas for a six-week pilot of a gap year travel program. Aside from that trip, Markus and Laura were fully on the island for months after Carla’s death, and after they returned from the pilot trip until 2007, when they began spending more time in Guatemala than Orcas. For the ten years of the Guatemala program, Markus and Laura maintained residency on Orcas.

Of course, Aaravindha’s life also continued on its regular course. As did the lives of all other residents of Orcas. Did Be Scofield expect the lives of all the island’s residents to stand still from 2006 onward?

Most of the following statements from Scofield’s blog post are lifted directly from either Georgi Coquereau’s or Reed Goodrich’s statements submitted to the police. Clearly Coquereau, Goodrich, and Jim Shaffer-Bauck are the primary sources that Scofield depended on.

One resident and Orcas business owner spoke of the fear that many people lived in after Carla’s death. “It was a really, really scary time. We were all locking our doors and on edge. Everyone was afraid.” Many Orcas Island residents never lock their doors given the generally peaceful and crimefree environment. On several occasions this person asked me if I was from Sambodha, fearing that I may have been sent from the group. Their fear of talking about this was still very much alive.

Some people who were pushing for more investigation into Carla’s death at the time experienced strange encounters with group members.

An Orcas Island business owner and friend of Carla’s said that after Carla’s death Aaravindha and his wife showed up every day for a month in front of her business. “They would show up everywhere. It was really creepy.” Aaravindha and Ashayrah could also both be seen doing a ritual/symbolic movement with their arms repeatedly after Carla’s death she said. She demonstrated the arm movements. The arms stay at the side and the forearms raise up and down and then the forearms cross over each other. She also said Stacy Ramillah had tried to leave Sambodha but didn’t make it out. During her process of trying to leave she could be seen doing the same arm movements frequently.

These statements are clearly preposterous. Our investigator interviewed Stacey Ramillah. She is clearly alive and well, attends or does not attend events as she pleases, and she didn’t make any ritual arm movements during the conversation. Be Scofield continues:

One person investigating Carla’s death claims she was followed on four separate days by a dark green SUV. On one occasion she said the car aggressively came at her while visiting Carla’s grave site. On another day the same car followed her the entire 23-mile trip to the ferry and back. On one occasion the car followed closely behind her with no lights. This person claims that after these incidents she awoke to someone shining a flashlight in her window at 3:00 am for 30 seconds. And her son reported that he was followed and surrounded by cult members.

This odd repetition all came from Georgi Coquereau’s letters to the police, which they immediately dismissed.

Then Scofield is compelled to pile on more inflammatory hearsay, including speculations of sexual assault, from “the housemate” of “a guy,” as told by “a friend of Carla’s.”

A friend of Carla’s who was investigating her death at the time said there was a guy at the memorial bonfire on January 6th who didn’t even know her but who was sobbing crying. When he returned home, the housemate of this person reportedly had asked him if he went and he said yes. They then said “You didn’t even know Carla” to which this man reportedly said, “At least I didn’t fuck her like the other guys did.” This friend speculated that his housemate was present to a sexual assault or a ritual in which she was sexually violated. One of Carla’s close friends told me that the man who made this concerning statement quit his excellent job at the post office and left Orcas Island very soon after Carla’s death.

Be Scofield might as well have written “Someone told me that he heard that a guy said his roommate reportedly knew someone who assaulted Carla.” Such a statement would be immediately tossed out of any courtroom, the jury would be asked to dismiss the hearsay, and the witness would be considered unreliable and downright ridiculous. It’s telling that Scofield has no qualms about identifying “cult members” she has never met, in a cult that never existed, but is unable or unwilling to name her sources.

What is Scofield attempting to insinuate here? That even more residents of Orcas were out to get Carla? Police records, which Scofield had in hand, indicate that this tidbit of gossip and speculation originated with Reed Goodrich, one of the three conspiracy-mongers whom the Shaffer family asked the sheriff to protect them from. Goodrich was neither “a friend of Carla’s” nor involved in the investigation of her death.

In one of Reed Goodrich’s “reports,” shared in April 2020 with our investigator, is this paragraph:

… she told me that the night John returned from the bonfire she asked him if he had gone to it-he replied yes-she said-“You didn’t even know Carla,” to which he retorted out of the blue “At least I didn’t fuck her like the other guys did.”

Goodrich attributes this shocking statement to “an individual who shares a house with John Milton.” Then Goodrich goes on to explain:

“The immediate conjecture is to assume that part of Carla’s ritual sacrifice was gang rape.”

The name “John Milton” never appears in the police reports about Carla Shaffer, and it’s unknown whether a person with that name even exists on Orcas. John Milton is a 17th Century poet who wrote Paradise Lost, a poem about the Biblical story of Satan’s temptation of Adam and Eve and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden.

Given Reed Goodrich’s obsession with all things satanic, Goodrich likely substituted Milton’s name for someone else’s. Whether this is an intentional lie or the product of Goodrich’s confused mind is unknown, but using names other than the ones in the police reports is typical of Reed Goodrich’s “reports” that he gave to everyone he could. He used the name “Janice Porter” as the source of many statements that appear in the public records as coming from Jennie Joplin, and substituted the name “Margi” for Georgi Coquereau’s.

Be Scofield used Reed Goodrich’s “research reports” as a primary source for her article on Himadra and Carla Shaffer, even though to any diligent investigator it is clear that Goodrich is not a credible source. His writing is filled with outright lies, as is Georgi Coquereau’s and Jim Shaffer-Bauck’s.

This isn’t journalism. This is nothing but a repetition of malicious gossip. “Fake news” of the very worst, malevolent kind, designed not to inform anyone but to malign Be Scofield’s latest target and titillate her followers with yet another cult accusation. This has become standard procedure for the blog posts with which Scofield fills her websites, especially gurumag.com and bescofield.com.

In the following passage, Be Scofield accuses the police of not doing their jobs:

What is noticeably missing from the police reports, however, is any sign that the authorities–either detectives or Randall–investigated Aaravindha Himadra or Sambodha. He nor his wife were ever interviewed. Had the authorities actually interrogated them and other Sambodha members thoroughly, checked phone records, alibis, and compared the stories to each other they would have discovered inconsistencies as I did. When people being questioned lie, it raises even more suspicion and should lead to even further digging and interrogation.

There were several specific statements given to police and Randall explicitly warning them about Carla’s involvement in the group and these were ignored. Some of them named specific people and concerning behaviors. When one of Carla’s friends asked the detective to investigate her death further she says he told her “I’ve already put 150 hours into this case and I need to wrap it up.”

The “specific statements given to the police” were no doubt those of Coquereau, Goodrich, and Jim Shaffer-Bauck. And yes, the police responsibly ignored them. Remember that the police had long ago concluded that no crime had been committed. The conspiracy theories of these three individuals had long ago been dismissed by all authorities, including all previously contacted media sources.

Be Scofield demonstrates more than her ignorance of police procedure here and her unwillingness to consider the police reports she had in hand. Making public statements in “reckless disregard for the truth” can be prosecuted as a civil crime. After a thorough investigation that included not only San Juan County Sheriff’s Department personnel but Washington State Patrol experts, no evidence had surfaced to indicate that any other person had been involved in Carla’s stabbing incident or in her death. Even Carla’s family acknowledged that the department had done a good job.

But remember, Carla’s ex-husband Jim Shaffer-Bauck couldn’t accept his ex-wife’s mental breakdown, and again, by Scofield’s own admission, was her main source when she wrote:

Carla’s ex-husband wrote an impassioned letter to Randall pleading him to further investigate her death. He wrote: “My observations, and the circumstances of the initial attack have led me to conclude that Carla was murdered…I think we are dealing with sophisticated, experienced psychopaths, which implies that similar incidents have been executed in the past…”

There was a long police statement written by a friend of Carla’s that detailed numerous suspicious activities on the part of Sambodha members and raised many questions for authorities. And there were some other accounts given to authorities by Carla’s friends as well.

In his coroner’s report Randall himself acknowledges that he was made aware of the group and their activities but effectively ignored it. “After her death, other strange events were reported to me, concerning neighbors and others trespassing into Carla’s residence, a description that Carla and her friends are members of a cult referred to as “Children of the Light’ and that she used an energy machine called a ‘Rife’ machine…These events confirm bizarre behaviors but they are not specific for the purposes of determining that anyone else was involved in this death…”

Those raising concerns didn’t have specific proof of foul play but they provided evidence and clues that Randall and the police should have followed up on. It was a huge oversight on their part. Randall learned that a woman who died under mysterious circumstances and her friends were part of a cult called “Children of the Light” and he did not even investigate them at all. How is this possible? Had they understood cult dynamics and dug deeper they could have realized the full extent of how indoctrinated Carla and other members were.

Remember that more than twelve years previously, Reed Goodrich and Jim Shaffer tried to interest the media in investigating their illogical conspiracy theories, and no media outlet published an article on the subject.

Scofield came to Orcas Island and swallowed the conspiracy theories promoted by a handful of residents whom the police and the media had determined were not credible. She felt compelled to once again proclaim her expertise in “cult dynamics” and stated that in her short visit to the island more than twelve years after Carla died, self-named “inter dimensional demon slaying, cult busting” heroine Be Scofield could see how indoctrinated Carla and other members were. In a cult that the local police knew did not exist.

Scofield makes a big deal out of the fact that pictures indicated that Carla was wearing torn socks when she died. (She was not wearing shoes.) To Scofield, “the implication of the torn socks is that she was dragged from her residence to the pond.” Scofield also stated:

I just remember feeling that something was not right when looking at it.

If holes in socks are indicators of foul play, then there’s a lot of evidence of foul play lurking in drawers and laundry baskets around the world. SJCSO Officer Zerby noted in his report (Figure 5 Appendix A) that “There were no signs of new injury on the body. Her socks were worn away on the heals [sic] and bottoms, indication she walked some distance W/O shoes. … It appears that Shaffer either intentionally or accidentally went into the pond and drowned. There was no sign of fowl [sic] play at the scene.”

Cuts and abrasions on Carla’s ankles at the time of death are also questioned in Scofield’s blog post, with the suggestive statements:

… at least some of them could have happened the night she disappeared. Were these cuts and abrasions on her legs, ankles, and feet also evidence of her being dragged?

Without any actual evidence, Scofield needed to introduce more hints of foul play, although she had in hand Zerby’s report with his statement of “no signs of new injury.” Remember that Carla had disappeared several times in the days before her death, and remember that between her stay in the mental hospital and her death, her caretaker Markus described Carla’s appearance like that of a homeless person. If anyone was inspecting Carla’s socks or ankles on a daily basis, that sock and ankle inspector has never come forward to second Scofield’s insinuations of abuse.

The officials found no drag marks anywhere on the scene. They found no evidence that any other person was there when Carla entered the pond.

Be Scofield wraps up her article with a long summary of the conclusions she had reached, due to her cult hunting expertise, her few weeks on the island nearly thirteen years after Carla’s death, and the “information” supplied by the conspiracy-mongers.

Scofield chose to disregard the police reports she had in hand, ignored the facts uncovered by the authorities, and repeated her many previous misrepresentations of what Orcas residents had told her, because she was on a mission to find and expose a cult and prove her cult-busting superpowers once again.

Carla Jean Shaffer was a member of a cult when she died. Her search for healing and spiritual growth led her into the path of Aaravindha Himadra, who by the accounts of former members, is a controlling, abusive, narcissistic cult leader. Carla reportedly grew close to him and was “enamored” with the group, attending meetings regularly. She was undoubtedly indoctrinated and brainwashed into their teachings.

Scofield expresses her self-proclaimed wisdom and knowledge in the cult-busting field with the following:

It’s very common for someone to get deeply involved in a cult or religious group without their friends and family knowing. The person will often hide the full extent of what is transpiring or it will appear like an innocent spiritual exploration. In reality what happens in these groups is a deep process of mind control. It takes someone having gone through it to understand the depth and severity of how much someone’s mind can be changed and influenced.

Remember what a small, gossipy community Orcas Island is. It’s highly unlikely that Carla could become involved in any group without her friends and family knowing, and it’s even more unlikely that a cult could exist on Orcas Island without the knowledge of the majority of full-time residents. But Be Scofield is convinced that she knows more than the people who actually live there, so she is willing to publish her lies.

The sentence “It takes someone having gone through it to understand the depth and severity of how much someone’s mind can be changed and influenced” is interesting. So, Scofield admits to having “gone through it,” to having been controlled by a cult? That might explain her obsession with imagining cults everywhere.

Then she invents her own story of what happened to Carla, in direct opposition to the conclusions of the law enforcement and mental health professionals:

When this poor woman was brutally attacked in her home and left bloody and unconscious she was under heavy mind control. She said so herself on the lawn that morning. “They’re trying to control my mind” she said repeatedly. “Do you know anything about mind control?” To the police and others, this was evidence of mental illness.

There’s no supporting evidence to state that Carla was “left bloody and unconscious.” Remember that she drove, naked, to the Boucher residence. On that morning, the reports from police and medical personnel indicate that Carla was mostly incoherent, raving about “the light” and “less-dense beings.”

Does Be Scofield believe that the schizophrenics arguing with invisible companions on the street are victims of cults? It seems probable that she would be willing to use their hallucinations as sources for a “juicy” story.

Too afraid to name her attackers, Carla either created a story that she was attacked by spirits or the story was planted in her mind by Aaravindha or fellow cult members. Both Clay Philbrick and Deborah Martyn also believed Carla was attacked by spirits.

The police then concluded that Carla was deranged and mentally ill and had somehow stabbed and cut herself 30-40 times, broken her own rib, punctured her liver, smashed her own face, gave herself a black eye and shoved in her teeth, damaged her breastbone, sliced two, identical, fine cuts into her eyelids and then knocked herself unconscious. All this by a woman with no history of mental illness. A woman who was reportedly seen just hours before by two different people and was said to be in good spirits. A woman who emphatically said she did not attack herself and did not try to commit suicide. A woman who was calm and lucid while in the hospital.

Every time Carla Shaffer was asked about who had injured her, she responded that her attacker was not human. None of the mental health professionals in Bellingham who interviewed Carla after her wounding incident described her as “calm and lucid” while she was hospitalized there. They would not have committed her to the Sedro-Woolley mental health facility if they had believed Carla was rational at the time. Be Scofield had the hospital reports in hand, but again, the evidence did not support the conclusion Scofield had come to before she even arrived on Orcas Island.

Mental illness is a sad reality; one only has to review the news each day to read stories of how those afflicted are often violent to themselves and to others. In disregarding the opinions of professionals, Scofield stated that she magically knows what was in the mind of Carla Shaffer, a woman whom Scofield never met, a woman who had died nearly thirteen years before Be Scofield even heard of her.

Toward the end of her blog post, Be Scofield uses sleight of hand to imply all sorts of nasty things about a wide variety of people. Rather than directly accusing the individuals, she asks questions that insinuate that unsavory answers are lurking out there somewhere in the dark.

This is an unethical technique used to imply all sorts of threatening events were taking place.

You can try this for yourself to make nearly any situation look suspicious. Say, for example, that you want to accuse someone of breaking into your neighbor’s house. You might write your questions this way:

Why did I hear a loud thump next door after dark when nobody was home there? Why did I hear footsteps quickly walking away? Why did the neighborhood dogs suddenly all start barking? Why did I hear a strange truck drive hastily away from the house?

The answer could easily be that UPS deposited a package on your neighbor’s porch after dark. But didn’t all the questions grouped together make the situation sound suspicious?

Any unscrupulous writer can imply a lot using this tactic.

Just like this example, all of the questions Scofield packed together have answers, but Scofield chooses not to provide them. Let’s break them down. Be Scofield wrote:

Was Aaravindha actually out of the country as he claims during the initial stabbing incident? Where was he the night she disappeared? When she was found dead?

Yes, Aaravindha was in Germany, as proven by his passport, given to the police and to our investigator, and verified by others who were with them; that fact was apparently too inconvenient for Scofield to verify before publishing. If by “the night she disappeared,” Be Scofield is asking about the night before Carla’s death, that same question could be asked of all Orcas residents. Where were they? It’s likely that they were all home asleep, as one would expect. When Carla was “found dead,” Aaravindha and Ashayrah were in a search party looking for her, along with many other residents on the island who had volunteered to help.

Where were other Sambodha members?

For the umpteenth time, there were never any “members,” and Sambodha didn’t even exist before Carla’s death. If Scofield means individuals who had ever attended a gathering sponsored by Aaravindha, those people were scattered all over the globe, going about their normal lives. Like individuals who have attended seminars everywhere.

Why has Aaravindha lied about his relationship with Carla and Markus?

Either Be Scofield had already made up her mind that Aaravindha was lying, or she’s repeating statements from the conspiracy-mongers. Keep in mind that Be Scofield was questioning island residents about events that had happened nearly thirteen years ago; it’s likely that recollections of dates and numbers of meetings were not exact. Most of us do not possess journals detailing what we did thirteen years ago.

Why did Markus flee the country for ten years soon after Carla’s death?

As previously explained, after Carla’s death, Markus Naugle, like everyone else on Orcas, was getting on with his life. He had no reason to “flee.” Markus was working for a nonprofit organization in South America during those years.

Scofield could just easily have written “Why did so many of the police officers who worked on Carla’s case leave the force afterward?” to which the answer would be “Well, they retired.” But logic would not serve Scofield’s purpose. She wants to make every question sound suspicious. Here’s what Scofield wrote:

Why did Clay run out of Carla’s home in a panic two nights before she disappeared? What were the “bad vibes” that caused him to leave Carla’s the night she disappeared? How did Clay know the location of Carla’s body before it was found?

Only Clay Philbrick could answer those questions. And why did it take so long to find Carla’s body if anyone knew where she was? What is Scofield trying to imply here—that a “cult” is capable of producing “bad vibes”? Or that Clay is also suspected of murdering Carla?

Why were Sambodha members trying to convince others that Carla lost it mentally and committed suicide?

Why doesn’t Scofield name these “members” and these “others” if she knows who they are? Any reputable journalist would. Every resident of Orcas who knew Carla was naturally speculating about what might have happened after she died. That’s the nature of gossip.

Why were the lights on in Carla’s bedroom from 12:00 am – 2:00 am for several weeks after she died? Why did Aaravindha and his wife stand in front of the business of a woman who was calling for more investigation for thirty days in a row?

These wild statements come directly from Georgi Coquereau’s ramblings, as documented in the police records. Neighbor Deb Martyn told police and our investigator that various friends of Carla’s gathered in her house after Carla had died to perform a healing ceremony. Aaravindha and Ashayrah were not present at that gathering.

Remember that Coquereau also believed mysterious vehicles were stalking her, and people were shining lights in her windows, and she was the first to use the word “cult” and the name “Children of Light” in her missives to the Shaffer family and police. According to Carla’s daughter, Coquereau was not a friend of Carla’s, although Coquereau claimed to be. When questioned by our investigator, few residents of Orcas even knew who Coquereau was.

And why would anyone stand in front of any business for thirty days in a row? Does that sound like a credible tale told by a reasonable person? This tale came from the same woman who accused Aaravindha and Ashayrah of “doing ritual/symbolic movements with their arms repeatedly after Carla’s death.” It’s hard to imagine what purpose ritual arm movements, or standing anywhere for thirty days in a row would serve.

The police obviously dismissed Coquereau’s statements as crackpot accusations. But Be Scofield was happy to broadcast them far and wide. To Scofield, the more outrageous and illogical the accusation, the better.

Why didn’t Markus agree to answer questions about Carla if he had nothing to hide?

Do you answer your phone when you know it’s a call from a scammer? Markus had been warned about this strange, hostile caller “Jamie” who was determined to accuse him of harming Carla. Markus told our investigator that he did attempt to call “Jamie” back on the number Scofield left on his voicemail. “Jamie” never answered.

Even the National Enquirer admits that they publish gossip. Only in Be Scofield’s imagination is Be Scofield a credible journalist, which is why her “articles” are posted on her own websites, most prominently on gurumag.com.

To close out her story, Scofield again hints even more strongly of evil on the island in a conversation with yet again an unnamed person (“a young woman”). Yet one more time, she feels compelled to introduce the magic word “cult” and remind readers of her heroic exploits and her quest:

There’s a demonic presence on this island,” a young woman sitting at the Lower Tavern bar said to me. “I can feel it,” she said. “I know. I feel something too” I replied. I was telling her about my work writing about cults and my story investigating Sambodha. I told her the island had a deep, dark and creepy vibe to it.

Next, Scofield seeks to keep the spotlight on herself with:

Given what my research revealed about Sambodha members following people and showing up in unexpected places I became increasingly concerned about my safety. Jim had told me he that he suspected Sambodha knew something was up. He had a few tense interactions with members. And I was stared down hard by a current Sambodha staff member and potentially followed. The last night I stayed there I even had a police officer do a patrol around the hostel premises throughout the night.

Before I left I visited Carla’s grave at the Woodlawn cemetery. I told her I’d get justice for her.

These paragraphs, with her constant references to herself, make it clear that Be Scofield wants (again) to underscore that she is the superhero of her own story. And “potentially followed”? What does that mean?

One of the aspects of narcissistic personality disorder is to portray oneself as a victim; read more about that in “What Motivates Be Scofield?” later in this report. Scofield often states that she’s “a wounded healer” and regularly implies that she’s in danger from all those she’s “exposed.” In reality, Be Scofield endangers others by publicly attacking them with insinuations and sensational gossip.

Imagine what hell your life would be if she came after you.


continue reading section 8…

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