Be Scofield is a queer and transgender writer and digital media strategist. She is a prominent journalist exposing cults and abusive gurus with her independently published articles receiving over a million views in the last few years alone. Her investigative reporting and innovative digital media tactics have pioneered the modern landscape of cult exposition. She is also the founder of the site Decolonizing Yoga and has done cutting edge work on the int
In December 2017 Be infiltrated Bentinho Massaro’s cult and published an article that went viral called “Tech Bro Guru: Inside the Sedona Cult of Bentinho Massaro.” In two weeks it got 200,000 views. 18 days after it was published he fled Sedona and went into hiding. One of his followers committed suicide 9 days after the story was published while he was on Bentinho’s week-long retreat. Barcroft TV and VICE each produced short documentaries about Bentinho as a result of her story. Playboy magazine also ran an article about him.
In July 2018 Be exposed a rape and sexual assault scandal at Agama Yoga in Thailand. Having been in place for over 20-years the school was one of the largest yoga training centers in the world with thousands of students coming through each year. Four days after the expose was published, the founder, Swami Vivekananda Saraswati and the other 3 accused teachers fled the island and went into hiding. In September The Guardian ran a front-page story about Agama Yoga which got 300,000 views in the first week. Over 50 stories appeared in over 20 countries worldwide. Agama Yoga shut down in September.
Be’s articles exposing sexual abuse in the modern tantra scene have reached global audiences and put several prominent teachers into retirement. She wrote an in-depth story on a tantric sex cult in Europe called The New Tantra and exposed teachers Andrew Barnes, TJ Bartel and Shantam Nityama as sexual abusers.
Exactly one year to the date after Be went to Sedona and discovered Bentinho she went to Orcas Island and stumbled upon the story of Carla Jean Shaffer, a woman who mysteriously died under suspicious circumstances 13 years ago. She may have been leaving a cult called “Children of the Light” at the time. The article uncovers clues, facts and information that help shed light on her mysterious death. Story: Aaravindha Himadra and the Mysterious Orcas Island Death of Carla Jean Shaffer.
Be also published a comprehensive examination of the claims by spiritual leader Teal Swan. The article “The Gucci Guru: Inside Teal Swan’s Posh Cult” went viral and ended up being covered on the front page of the Daily Mail where it received hundreds of thousands of views. The article led to significant coverage of Swan in the media, including an article on VICE and a podcast series called The Gateway.
In her article “How a Cult Infiltrated the California Institute of Integral Studies” she describes the harrowing account of leaving and exposing a personality cult in her graduate program in 2007. The husband and wife team were fired after a commission was convened to investigate. They found a “cult-like” atmosphere in which patients were in danger.
The story “Ashevillage: Where Dreams Go to Die” recounts her experience at an all women’s eco-urban permaculture community in 2015. It was run by Janell Kapoor, who was exposed for abusing and traumatizing residents and workers for nearly 10 years.
In 2013 she was the first to break the story about the depth of transphobia within Derrick Jensen’s Deep Green Resistance movement. The article led to public outcry and spurned numerous actions, petitions
In 2010 she published the article “Integral Abuse: Andrew Cohen & the Culture of Evolutionary Enlightenment” which exposed the rampant abuse amongst integral leadership. It’s now considered a classic on the site Integral World where it first appeared.
Be started writing as an intern at Rabbi Michael Lerner’s Tikkun Magazine in 2008. When they launched a blog she jumped at the opportunity and slowly built a large audience with her provocative articles about atheism, spirituality, religion and social change. She became the most read blogger for the Tikkun Daily blog before leaving to start Decolonizing Yoga.
Decolonizing Yoga was founded in 2013 as a way to bridge the gap between modern spirituality and social change. The site pioneered the modern movement towards inclusivity of race, class, gender and justice in spirituality and yoga.
Other stories include exposes on Padma Aon, Gano Grills, Uma Inder, the California Institute of Integral Studies and the eco-urban farm Ashevillage.
Be Scofield is also a web designer and digital strategist who has worked with and advised NYT bestselling authors, The Yoga Alliance, Chani Nicholas
Be holds a B.A. in Psychology/Philosophy from Warren Wilson College. She has done graduate coursework in Postcolonial Anthropology and holds a Master of Divinity from Starr King School for the Ministry in the Unitarian Universalist tradition with emphases in women’s studies in religion, sacred dance, African-American religion and Buddhism. Be specializes in the radical teachings of Dr. King and has taught a graduate course called “Dr. King and Empire: How MLK Jr. Resisted War, Capitalism and Christian Fundamentalism” at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley.