Tech Bro Guru: Behind the Scenes

This is my behind the scenes of the article “Tech Bro Guru: Inside the Sedona Cult of Bentinho Massaro.” I spent one month in Sedona investigating and infiltrating Bentinho’s cult. The article has 200,000 views since it was published on Dec. 1st. Just 18 days after publishing, Bentinho shut down his Sedona operations and fled. He’s currently in hiding. This is the story of how it all came about.

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Written by Be Scofield 
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12/28/17


Like so many others, I went to Sedona seeking. I wondered if I’d find answers and healing, maybe a new direction. Perhaps I’d find some new insights as to what was next for me on this wild path that my life has taken. My intention was to spend most of my time sitting in stillness, doing yoga, hiking and visiting the acclaimed energy vortexes. I thought I’d perhaps move there for 3 or 4 months.

Honestly, I’m really not quite sure why I decided to go to Sedona on such a whim. I left on just about 4 days notice. I had felt stagnant in Asheville. It was getting cold. I needed a change. I had wanted to do a cross country road trip West sometime in the Fall but had no idea when or where. It’s weird. I just had this feeling that I should go to Sedona.

I had a last minute consult with my astrologer before I left Asheville to run my idea by him. My birthday was coming up and he told me that my “solar return” i.e. forthcoming year outlook is based on where I am physically on the day of my birth. He pulled up my chart based on me being in Sedona and he said it looked really good. I had had the feeling to go to Sedona but this is what gave me even more of the sense of urgency. So, rather than leaving in a few weeks, I left on 4 days notice.

I quickly sold a bunch of my stuff including many of my books from my beloved collection in an attempt to clear everything out. Aside from some books in storage everything I owned was in my car. I had just a suitcase, a yoga mat and some random things.

The day I left was hectic. At the last minute I realized I had to renew my driver’s license tag, but to do so required getting my vehicle inspected. My engine light also came on which meant a trip to the car dealership for a regularly scheduled tune up. I cleaned, cleared, packed and purged everything and I fixed my car, renewed the tag, got an inspection and said goodbye to friends in a just a few days. And the day before I left it poured rain. My storage unit was torn apart, books spread all over and the rain just wouldn’t stop. I wouldn’t let this stop me though. I pushed through.

October 27th-1st

I left Asheville on October 23rd without a hotel booked or any place to stay in Sedona. I figured I’d just wing it. I ended up stayed at the Andante Inn from Friday, October 27th — Sunday, Nov. 1st.

On the last day of the drive out to Sedona I found a sublet situation for a room in the Village of Oak Creek which is about 15 minutes south of Sedona. The owner had divided her home into two sections and the master suite was the studio sublet. It was a great find because housing is incredibly difficult in Sedona.

The room smelled like an old hotel room. There were no windows, only the tall sliding glass door. This meant that I couldn’t leave a window open during the day to let it air out. There was no kitchen, just a makeshift one in the closet with a hot plate and a mini fridge. The internet didn’t work for the first week, the shower only remained hot for a few minutes and I had to do dishes in the bathroom sink. It was dark in the room as there was a large wall that closed in a little porch that blocked sunlight. It ended up being perfect as it was removed from Sedona a bit, it was hidden away and it was cavelike. It was perfect for an undercover investigation into a cult.

November, 1st — 3rd

My first impression of Sedona was that it was the most beautiful landscape I’d ever encountered. The drive down from Flagstaff goes through the Coconino National Forest. It’s a beautiful, windy drive through lush green forest, tall cliffs and steep mountain sides.

Coconino National Forest north of Sedona

Once you leave the forest you can begin to see the expansive nature of Sedona. Enormous red rock faces pierce the landscape. It’s so open, vast and extraordinarily freeing. I felt inspired just being there.

I listened to a lot of Kevin Morby while cruising around the red rock desert.

Sedona is a small town with a very tourist centered downtown. There are shops for crystals, psychics and healing everywhere. It’s like a new age version of San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf. I like the town though because the only high rises were the mountains. Admittedly, Sedona does have a strange vibe in general. It’s hard to explain but the energy feels a bit weird. But mostly it’s about the landscape. And it’s so breathtaking.

Friday, Nov. 3rd

I heard about a Full Moon gathering on Friday, Nov. 3rd during a conversation with a friend I randomly ran into at Whole Foods. She had relocated to Sedona from Asheville a year before. One of her friends introduced us to “Phillip,” a tall, handsome, ethereal looking guy who hosted many of the gatherings that some of Bentinho’s crew often attended. He had just happened to walk by us in Whole Foods. Had that random interaction not happened, had I not heard about this party, I’m not sure the Bentinho article would have unfolded.

Full moon gathering in 2016 (above) “Phillip” (left) Alchemical ceremony (right)

When I showed up at the party a young woman immediately came up to me and started chatting. Within just a few minutes she told me she was in town for the Bentinho retreat. “Who?” I said. “Bentinho Massaro,” she replied. “Who’s that?” She described him, the group and his teachings. She then said a bunch of folks at the gathering were also his students and were there for the retreat as well. I looked around. I was immediately suspicious. As a longtime journalist who’s written about gurus, my radar alerted me. I even joked with her “It sounds like a cult to me.” I googled “Bentinho Massaro cult” right there and showed her my phone. From that point on nothing would be the same.

It was a fun crowd of mostly younger folks. I made some great connections that evening. We all danced the night away. “That track is dope” I told the DJ. “What is it?” He said, “Kalya Scintilla, Shimmer.”

Saturday, Nov. 4th.

The first thing I did when I got home from the party was message my close friend and colleague Matthew Remski who has written about cults. “You know anything about this guy Bentinho Massaro?” It was 2am on Saturday. I had already found an article written by an ex-member Gaby Petris called “The Cult Promise of Bentinho Massaro.” I sent it to him. “Not good” I said. Matthew had never heard of him. Later that day I sent him another article, this one on Bentinho’s blog. It was a student testimonial about their experience on his retreat. It reeked of idealization and guru worship. They described the environment of the retreat, “Right from the start there was this sense that somehow they covered the whole castle and grounds in a magical spell, wherein the One Infinite Intelligence could flow and we were all able to accelerate our destinies, get to know the right people, and execute our higher self tasks.”

The very next morning a photo of Bentinho Massaro showed up in Matthew’s Facebook newsfeed. He was dressed as Hugh Hefner, his two girlfriends were Playboy Bunnies. Someone had shared it with a critical comment. My colleague had never heard of him in ten years of writing. The morning after I messaged him, an image of Massaro shows up in his Facebook feed. Weird. Matthew tagged me in a comment on the post. That led to me searching through Bentinho’s Instagram account. I found the disturbing photo of him dressed as the Joker. There were several of him drinking whisky and smoking cigars. More clues. More warning signs.

The image that appeared in Matthew’s newsfeed the morning after he told me he had never heard of him before.

My curiosity about my role in Sedona had already begun. I said to Matthew, “I wonder if I’m here in Sedona to expose this guy. I seem to keep showing up in spaces with leaders that need exposing.”

When I moved to San Francisco I ended up landing directly in a personality cult running the Cultural Anthropology program at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Four of us women walked out mid-semester and reporting serious problems. I then stayed on the cause and kept writing and pushing the issue. Several years later the whole thing imploded after the school did a large internal investigation. There have been several other situations like this since then.

Sunday, Nov. 5th 12:00pm.

The following day I went to Sedona’s Ecstatic dance. I was sitting outside when a young woman came and started chatting with me. She told me she was in town for the Bentinho Massaro retreat. I start digging more, playing curious. My detective hat was on. I would learn later that the DJs that morning were both deeply involved with Bentinho’s group. One of them was a very senior member. Several others in attendance were followers as well. When I went back inside I saw a flyer for Bentinho on the wall. He was everywhere.

Monday, Nov. 6th 12:09 pm.

I messaged my astrologer in Asheville about what had transpired. I sent the photo of Bentinho as the Joker along with this message:

“Getting a huge hit on this one. Since I arrived in Sedona I keep meeting people who are followers of this well known spiritual teacher Bentinho Massaro who lives here. He’s building a cult. I’ve seen and read disturbing stuff. Yet, he keeps coming into my awareness. He’s next.”

My astrologer and I have a cosmic connection. He knows my uncanny history of running into dangerous, dysfunctional leaders and communities and exposing them. Immediately after I messaged him my body came over in complete chills. I laid on my bed and felt a cosmic download. My body was overwhelmed with tingles from head to toe. My body started to shake. I couldn’t move. I felt surges of power pulsing through me. I just knew. “I have to stop this guy” I told myself.

I went to Whole Foods for lunch. It became one of my regular spots. A strong wifi connection is gold in Sedona and Whole Foods had it. It was hard to find reliable internet anywhere. When I complained to the manager at a coffee shop she told me “The net is just moody today. That’s what happens when you build a city in the middle of the desert.” Everything closes really early in Sedona too. Many places close by 5pm or 6pm. Whole Foods is open till 9pm and has great wifi. I spent much of my time there.

Immediately after entering Whole Foods I saw the young woman who originally told me about Bentinho just three days prior at the party. She was there with her boyfriend who was a long time member of the cult. I was curious. I played the role of newbie well. I asked the right questions. She told me I could come to his weekly public talk on Wednesday. I learned a lot more about him and his teachings. It was only a few hours earlier that I was laying in bed, my body overcome in chills. Now here she was. Here her boyfriend was. They’re giving me the critical next pieces of the story. I leave. Four hours later I go to a coffee shop and they are both sitting in it. “Oh, Sedona!” we joke.

Creekside Coffee in Sedona where I spent time working on my article.

Tuesday, Nov. 7th.

More research and digging. I began watching Bentinho’s videos and reading his blog and Facebook posts. I found the numerous well designed sites he was running. I immediately thought “This guy is such a tech bro.” The look, the startup game, the tech savviness. He had it all. I knew that this would be my way into his group. I knew I could get close to him given my expertise. I have a long chat with Matthew on Facebook messenger and and I drop “Tech Bro Goes Guru” to him as a potential title.

7 Centers Yoga center where I practiced Kundalini Yoga in Sedona.

Wednesday, Nov. 8th.

This was the first day I saw Bentinho in person. He pulled in just a moment after I did. I got my first glance at him through his windshield. He parked his customized 2014 Mustang almost right next to me at the Sedona Creative Life Center. Amazing timing. As I walked to the building I looked back at him and his girlfriends. I couldn’t find my way in so I asked them. I awkwardly yelled out “Hey, you guys know how to get in this place?” They directed me up the steps. I followed right behind them.

Bentinho’s $55,000 Mustang. His Instagram post reads:I often feel like Michael in this beast. #knightrider #lawofattraction

The day before, Matthew and I had briefly explored alias’ I could use to infiltrate the group with. I told him I met a bunch of people in Sedona with new spiritual names. I didn’t want to use my real name as a google search could easily reveal my anti-cult journalist history. He suggested “Maya Honeypot.” I countered with “Shakti Kali Chai.” He added a “Latte” on the end to make it “Shakti Kali Chai Latte.” I didn’t settle on anything at the moment but the seed had been planted.

The Creative Life Center where Bentinho held his weekly meetings.

Before I entered Bentinho’s talk at the Creative Life Center I had to sign in. It forced my hand, literally. “Ok, here goes. From now on I’m Shakti Hunter,” I told myself. I scribbled it down on the sign in sheet. The woman working the desk starred at me, confused. It’s not easy to just switch your name on a dime like that. It takes a moment to sink in. I stuttered the first few times someone asked me my name. You have to believe in it.

I didn’t know at the time but Bentinho had often referred to himself as Shiva. How perfect. Shakti, the fierce divine feminine comes in and takes out Shiva. A sign of our times.

After the talk I tried to speak with as many of his followers as I could. I wanted to get a sense of how they understood him. I asked the important questions like “Do you think he’s awakened?” They said “Oh, definitely.” This person was wildly indoctrinated. That was a common sentiment among his followers. Several also said “there is nobody in there.” Others believed he was in a “constant flow state.”

The group generally gathered at Chocolatree after the talks. It’s a popular organic and vegetarian hangout in Sedona.

I spent a lot of time engaging with his followers while at Chocolatree. Many moved their families to come be with him here in Sedona, some on two occasions. The people are sweet, warm and genuine. It’s sad to see what is happening to them. I listened to their stories of searching, longing and growing on the spiritual path. I could see the excitement in their eyes. I also saw hurt and confusion. I just remember feeling compassion as they were so sincere and genuine. Somehow they came to believe that a very mentally ill young man was a highly awakened being who could control the weather with his mind.

The acceptance, inclusion and community vibe was seductive. I showed up in Sedona and didn’t know anyone. Here was a wonderful community of caring, loving and sweet people who embraced me with open arms. I completely understood how one could have gotten involved. I felt the pull.

A note left on my door when I ran into the drugstore for a minute. It joked on Facebook “You know you’re in Sedona when…”

Thursday, Nov. 9th

I discover Gaby Petris’ Youtube channel with 200+ edited video clips of Bentinho at 2:30am. I send some of them to Matthew. I watch many of them to determine which ones I will include in the article. I take screenshots of some video scenes and embed the images in my article.

Friday, Nov. 10th

Matthew knew someone in Boulder who was familiar with Bentinho. It’s my first source connection to speak with. They weren’t a member but they were in Boulder and knew several people involved. We spoke at length about Bentinho and cults in general. They also connected me with two other key sources that I would end up speaking at length with as well.

I also emailed Gaby Petris for the first time telling her I’m a journalist writing an article about Bentinho and his cult. She is the ex-member who runs the Youtube channel. I knew she’d have many insights and connections. She told me her story and why she left, although it was just the online group. It was because of some bad experiences with the teachings, watching verbal abuse and the shutting down of critical voices. She also suggested four names of people to contact.

Saturday, Nov. 11th

Matthew and I discuss at length the article I’ve begun writing. I explore different angles with him and talk about how the tech angle would make this story so relevant in multiple areas. He agrees but wonders how much Bentinho was actually responsible for the tech elements. I do some more digging and learn that there is a tech person responsible for actually designing the sites but that Bentinho laid out the vision and clearly articulated it.

I speak with another source in Boulder. They had been part of the group and gave me crucial insights into Bentinho and his following.

Sunday, Nov. 12th

Matthew and I had been discussing where I could publish my article. I ultimately decided with Medium.com. I told him, “I decided I need to publish it on medium. I have so much creativity when it comes to images, screenshots, video, layout and what I say. There is simply no other platform where I could have that level of creative freedom. A larger magazine will write something after I publish mine.” I was right. The combo of media and text that I was able to lay out proved essential in telling this story.

One of the places I frequented in Sedona was a restaurant called Paleo Brio. I would sit at the bar and work on my laptop. It was right across from the Andante Inn where I stayed the first weekend I arrived.

I met Spenser Alfred the first time I went to Paleo Brio. He worked at the bar. Over the course of the month I spent a lot of time eating there and chatting with him. He plugged me into all of the events and people in town including DJ’d parties. Spenser randomly moved to Sedona a few years ago and eventually started his own organic vegan coconut based desert company called the Ice Cream Alchemist. He was really fun to be around.

Paleo Brio in Sedona

Paleo Brio was great because it was open till 9pm (late for Sedona) and it had wifi. With my gut issues it was a saving grace. I could get really clean, simple but flavorful food. My only complaint is that they’d often undercook the steaks and almost every time I had to send it back.

The last time I was in I told Spenser I was going to be splitting town because I was an investigative journalist about to break a story. “Is it about the Bentinho stuff?” he said. “Who?” I replied. “Bentinho, the culty thing?” he said. We had chatted briefly about him before. “Ah, no” I replied. I played dumb. I couldn’t tell my secret.

One of the club parties that Spenser told me about in Sedona is called Secret Sessions. I checked out one of their gatherings down in the Village of Oak Creek.

Photo from a Secret Sessions party in Sedona

Monday, Nov. 13th

I learned more about Bentinho’s past and hobbies. He loved free diving and rock climbing at points in his life. He also loved to travel.

Bentinho flying a drone in front of the mansion he was renting in Boulder.

Wednesday, Nov. 16th.

I went to Bentinho’s weekly talk again. This would be the second and last one I would attend in person because the following weeks session was cancelled and the last one before I left I chose not to attend.

I mentioned to one of Bentinho’s core people that their tech game was really impressive and that I was a digital strategist. He started suggesting I could perhaps get involved and offer support to them. I told him I wasn’t sure how long I’d be in town but that I could maybe do a consulting session for them. He immediately introduced me to the inner circle of people running Bentinho’s group. They were excited to connect and started discussing a potential meeting.

I walked out with one of Bentinho’s core staff members and I sold her even more on my services. I knew this would be my way into Bentinho’s inner circle. As we were standing in front of her car at the Sedona Life Center I had the inkling to turn on my recorder on my iPhone. We then went to Paleo Brio for dinner and I recorded the entire conversation. It would prove invaluable as she was freely discussing the ins and outs of the organization as well as stating some very strange beliefs she had about Bentinho. These were the audio clips where the woman was talking about Bentinho moving the clouds and impacting the weather with his mind as well as the numerous other clips that were originally in my article. I had to remove them because Bentinho organized his people to protest my article. Because the audio was not recorded with permission I was forced to take them out.

That didn’t happen until I was driving through Texas and I saw the email from Medium threatening to suspend the article. They said I had two hours to remove them, but the message was from two hours prior. I was in the middle of Texas! I had to wait another 45 minutes until there was a small town with a cafe.

Tuesday, Nov. 21st

I spent a lot of my time at Chocolatree. Not only was it a super chill place to work but the added benefit was that I’d randomly run into Bentinho members while there. On Tuesday, Nov. 21st I saw a Bentinho member who told me there was a going away gathering for one of the members. I joined them a little later on the patio. We talked about the group. I asked a lot of questions. I played curious as a new follower.

The group members often spontaneously break out in eye gazing with each other. That evening at dinner a group of folks would lock eyes with each other for 10+ minutes at a time. They’d just randomly start eye gazing at the table in the middle of a conversation. It was common to have two or three pairs of people eye gazing at once.

There was one awkward moment where I had explained to them that I was going to be meeting with Bentinho. I explained that I did high level digital marketing, Facebook advertising, web design, platform creation and lots more. A few minutes later when a member asked to add me on Facebook I had to tell them “Uh, I’m not really on Facebook.” I was using the name Shakti Hunter with them so I obviously didn’t have a Facebook profile set up for that. And I didn’t want to give them my real name. One of the members was like “That’s strange that you do high level digital and Facebook marketing yet you don’t use Facebook.” Busted! I just kind of quickly changed the subject and moved on. Phew.

I had to leave Chocolatree to go to Whole Foods and grab some food before they closed. Right after recording the conversation with his members at Chocolatree I’m at Whole Foods and I run into “Kyle” who is one of Bentinho’s closest confidents. I ask him if I can join. I grab some food and before I sit down I turn my recording app on my iPhone on and place it on the table. I set it upside down in case someone texted me and the screen lit up. If he saw that he may see a red bar at the top of the screen indicating it was recording.

We chat for about 30 minutes. I learn more about his role in the group. He tells me he lives with Bentinho and runs the coaching sessions on the site. I also ask him about some of the things that Peggy has told me. “Is he human?” I ask. He struggles to answer. He also says that it’s no big deal that Bentinho can change the weather.

Thursday, Nov. 24th

Lauren texted me telling me that Phillip was having Thanksgiving gathering and that I was invited. She said Bentinho would be having a small gathering separately and then would come to Phillip’s later. I was hopeful I’d get a chance to spend some one on one time with Bentinho and perhaps his crew too.

There were about 20–25 folks that attended Thanksgiving at Phillip’s house. It was potluck style and people sat around a long table on the floor of living room. I did eye gazing with a few of the members that night. We joked about how I was now “indoctrinated.”

As the evening progressed a dance party ensued. As we danced the night away it was hard for me to hold both aspects of the group at the same time. Here was a group of young, fun, really nice people laughing, smiling and dancing. This can’t be a cult, I thought.

I spent that night talking late into the night with Bentinho, two of his girlfriends and the core staff. It was a small group of his inner crew. We spoke about spirituality, the dark goddess, awakening and more. I spoke about my experience with gender dysphoria and Bentinho felt his teaching on the darkness and the void echoed my experiences closely. It was uncanny. We stayed up until 3am chilling on a mattress in Philip’s living room.

I was actually messing with them pretty hard. I could tell Bentinho was quite gullible. I told them about how I repeatedly get sucked into dangerous situations and then expose them. I joked about how I was a Scorpio Dark Goddess and that his sign (Pisces) would always lose against a Scorpio. I was essentially telling them what I was going to be doing to them without fully giving it away. I wanted to see how much I could actually say. His girlfriend even asked me “What happens when you are in the dark, dangerous situations?” I smiled and said “I expose them.” They had no idea I was days away from publishing a huge expose about them.

Sunday, Nov. 26th

The meeting was finally happening. Lauren texted that she wanted to meet me in a parking lot and then drive me to Bentinho’s home. I was suspicious. If anything went down I’d have no easy way out of there. Perhaps my cover had been blown and they were going to kidnap me? A lot of thoughts were running through my head. So, I insisted that I drive. She agreed.

Bentinho’s home was remarkably boring. It was very minimal. It was his second home in Sedona that he had only recently started renting, so everything was bare. His room had just a mattress on the floor.

For three hours I gave Bentinho and his team a digital strategy and business consultation. It was my way in. We covered email marketing, landing pages, Facebook, lead generation, overall business strategy and lots more. How could I provide these tools and resources to help a cult thrive and grow? I was definitely conflicted about it but I also knew that once I published the article most of everything I had told them wouldn’t actually be able to be implemented given the fallout that would ensue.

Leadpages, one of the landing page programs I told Bentinho and his crew about.

My plan worked. I got close to Bentinho and his team. I was able to see the inner workings of his organization and how it was run.

That night his three girlfriends, myself and a few of his core team went out to eat. Any reservations I had about publishing were quickly dissolved once I heard them talking about Bentinho again. It was more disturbing cult speak. I was even more confident at that point that I had to publish.

I came back to the house with Jocelyn, one of Bentinho’s girlfriends. Myself, Bentinho, Jocelyn and his other two girlfriends hung out until around midnight. I got to spend some more time with Bentinho and was able to witness just how mentally ill he really is. He is deeply afflicted. His girlfriends claim “there is nobody in there” in a way that means he is spiritually evolved. Unfortunately, the truth is that a core part of his self is missing.

One of the tracks I listened to often during my Sedona adventures.

Monday, Nov. 27th - Dec. 30th

During my time in Sedona I tried to get to the vortexes as much as possible. I managed to make it to all of them. My favorite was the Kachina Woman.

Kachina Woman Vortex

I spent time hiking, climbing and meditating around the various vortexes. I had originally gone to Sedona for healing and transformation. I had thought I’d just do a bunch of yoga and chill at the vortexes. This story seriously interrupted my plans but I did make it to the vortexes. I tried to get as much in during my last days in Sedona.

Bell Rock Vortex
Me at the Kachina Woman Vortex trail

Friday, Dec. 1st.

I fled Sedona on Thursday, Nov. 30th and headed to an undisclosed location. I publish.

Saturday, Dec. 2nd

Bentinho releases first statement about my article in his private Facebook groups. Read the full post here.

December 3rd. Bentinho publishes a blog post responding to my article. He promises to post something more in depth later that addresses the specifics of my article. As of December 27th he has not published that.

Monday, Dec. 4th

Bentinho posts a video in his private Facebook group talking about the article. There is confusion as to whether or not they should try to organize to get it taken down or not. Some fear it is “negative” to do so. Bentinho waffles back and forth on the issue but in the video he decides that it is important to address.

Tuesday, Dec. 5th

I posted on Facebook about the stats of the article.

My article has 108,000 views since Friday when I published it. 4 days. No list, no big Facebook page to push it. #IndyJournalism
* It appears #1 in Google search for:
- “Sedona Cult”
- “Bentinho Massaro Sedona Cult”
- “Bentinho Massaro Guru”
- “Bentinho Massaro Cult Leader”
* It appears #5 in Google search for “Bentinho Massaro Sedona.”
* Aumbase Yoga cut ties with Bentinho Massaro and canceled all of his classes for the Sedona Experiment this week citing my article as the reason.

Wednesday, December 6th

Matthew emailed the Sedona Creative Life Center with my article about Bentinho asking them to reconsider renting to him. They email him back stating that they would indeed end their contract with him after January.

December 9th

Brent Wilkins, a devout follower of Bentinho commits suicide by jumping off a cliff near the Midgley bridge in Sedona.

I was driving in the middle of Mississippi when I heard the news. My body came over in heavy chills. I was shocked. I pulled over and started to process it.

Sunday, Dec. 10th

Bentinho releases video statement in response to my article.

Monday, Dec. 11th

Someone with inside information posts an update about Bentinho’s group.

“Just to provide additional context, I’ve been told that many of Bentinho’s team are leaving. That he is very much under scrutiny, feeling paranoid and on edge. His team is monitoring all of his pages, removing any comments that are negative and blocking people that are standing up against his teachings. But people are continuing to come forward to discredit him, even his inner circle is turning against him, the truth will come out and he will lose his power and influence.”

Another source tells me that he is hearing from members who are turning to him for advice and support as they leave the group.

Sunday, Dec. 17th

Bentinho posts a long update on his public Facebook page.

Update — When Will The World Know Peace?
My intention with this post is not to complain or blame, it is simply to shed a light on some collective dynamics I have had the privilege of being at the receiving end of, and thus have had the unique opportunity to distill learning from this and share some of my findings with you all. 
:
First off: The more we truly know about each other, the greater the chance of us becoming a sustainable, loving civilization and, quite frankly, the greater the chances we’ll actually survive.
:
I’ve never received so much blind hatred pointed directly at my life from thousands of people who I have never even had a dialogue with. I’m getting intensely hateful threats from individuals I have never met or who seem absolutely set on taking every action they can to take away my personal freedom or even life based on an article they read and some out of context snippets from my past appearances.

See the full update here:

Monday, December 18th

I discover a video clip of Bentinho Massaro telling his followers to kill themselves if they can’t find something important to dedicate their lives too.

This was from the Flat Rock, NC retreat in 2014 and Brent Wilkins, who committed suicide on December 9th was on that retreat.

Tuesday, Dec. 19th

Bentinho posts in Sedona Adepts group that he has fled Sedona with his two girlfriends.

Hello my friends,
Allison, Jocelyn and myself have felt this intuitive pressure on our system for the past week and a half being here in Sedona. I will describe it in greater depth soon, but for now all you need to know is that we left Sedona and it is unclear yet if/when we will return.
Everywhere we went, restaurants, grocery stores, favorite places etc we would be talk of the town and get nasty looks. Moreso than that our address and phone numbers have been compromised and I do not wish to take any risk with these girls’ lives. Or my own for that matter (I decided upon wisdom rather than blind love, feels great!)
We also received some threats and the energy felt ominous even without us actively fearing anything. We felt unsafe in our own home and unwanted in town, and our bodies would feel borderline nauseous without explanation other than this strong feeling that we should leave Sedona ASAP. And so we did.
Also from the public sedona bulletin group and the gossip going around it was made very clear that there are many people who don’t want me here, and there were very few voices standing up toward the greater community for our stay here and what we do. I have truly no desire to be somewhere where the majority of those who are willing to raise their voice vote for me gone.
I go where my work is being called for because I do not wish to infringe upon any town or collective or person. In fact my incarnation exists because of a calling only. I have no other personal reason for being here, and so I go where the calling is strongest.
I apologize for those who DO desire me in Sedona, but your voices have not been sufficiently heard in the sedona collective or made enough of a difference at this point to outweigh/shift the other voices/energetics.
And so we are extremely excited about our next adventure. Every day will be non-linear from now on and I’m shifting my work to online and to those who really want to become powerful shepherds themselves and are willing to show up for that fully.
As a result of this, the session tomorrow at Creative Life Center will either be a past recording or a live video with me depending on my whereabouts and the internet situation. Also I will write a longer message to the Sedona adepts which Ryan or Callie will read during the meeting at Creative Life Center.
I recommend you all show up and come together! This may be the last official meeting.
Much love,
Bentinho
PS — We did not tell anyone where we were going, not even my own team, nor will we, so no need to ask us or others.

Friday, December 22nd

Bentinho posts about a new 6-month online leadership program that he will be launching.

Thursday, Dec. 28th

Bentinho sends an email to his list detailing the situation and why he left Sedona. He states:

Until about 4AM, a group of about 5 of us all held patient space for her as she kept telling us about how rough her life is, and how she is a channel for the Dark Goddess. She also kept emphasizing how she knows better than other people because of her pain, and how a Scorpio (her sign) would always win over Pisces (my sign).

LOL. We were all having a conversation and I was totally fucking with them so hard. I essentially told them what was about to transpire with my huge expose without saying it. I wanted to see how much I could get away with saying. I told them I keep getting sucked into dangerous situations and then exposing them. I said I was a Dark Scorpio Goddess and that I would always win against a Pisces (Bentinho’s sign). His girlfriend even asked me “What happens when you get into those dangerous situations?” I replied “I expose them, of course.” I even said to her “What are you going to do when this whole thing falls apart?” She smiled and said “Oh, Shakti.” LOL. I was encouraging her to do her own thing and be independent given what was about to transpire.

This story will continue to be updated as it unfolds…

Be Scofield, M.Div, RYT200

FB PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/bescofieldwriter/

Be Scofield is a queer/trans writer & digital strategist who has worked with and advised NYT bestselling authors, The Yoga Alliance, Chani Nicholas and Greenmedinfo among others. She is the founder of the online yoga school Mettaversity and the popular online magazine Decolonizing Yoga. Her writings on social change, spirituality and LGBTQ issues have reached hundreds of thousands of people and have appeared in Huffington Post, Tikkun Magazine, Alternet and Integral World amongst other places. She also has a chapter in the book “21st Century Yoga: Culture, Practice & Politics.” 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.

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