How self-proclaimed godman Nithyananda’s ‘fake country’ Kailasa conned 30 US cities


Nithyananda’s fake country ‘United States of Kailasa’ has reportedly duped over 30 American cities into signing a “cultural partnership” with it. The report, which was first reported by Fox News, came days after Newark in the state of New Jersey admitted it was conned into becoming a “Sister City”. It later said it rescinded a “sister-city” agreement with the fictional country. 

The report said that the sister-city agreement between Newark and the “United States of Kailasa” was inked on January 12 and the signing ceremony took place at the City Hall in Newark. The incident took place when Mayor Ras Baraka invited representatives of Kailasa to Newark City Hall for a “cultural trade agreement,” only to discover later that Kailasa was not a real country.
The city mayor did not realise Kailasa’s inauthenticity while signing the deal. They realised this only after the official ceremony was organised. Newark apparently committed to partnering with diverse cultures to enrich each other with connectivity, support, and mutual respect. 

“Newark thought Kailasa was a Hindu nation just off the coast of Ecuador. No one in the entire Newark government thought to themselves, ‘There’s a Hindu island off the coast of South America?’” Fox News host Jesse Watters said while reporting the scam. 

Following the incident, the Newark City Council reportedly rescinded the agreement just days after signing the “Sister City” papers. One city council member called the oversight “unacceptable” and said it “cannot happen any longer.” 

The official website of “United States of Kailasa” says there are over 30 American cities that have signed a cultural partnership with the fake nation. Cities include Richmond, Virginia, Dayton, Ohio, Buena Park, and Florida, among others.

A report by Fox News on Thursday said that authorities have found “the supreme fake pontiff” has a “long list of cities” he has duped. 

Fox News blamed the cities for not “googling” for information about the fake nation. 

“If someone wants a proclamation, someone gets a proclamation. They’ll just say you’re an exotic Hindu Island and they’ll name a street after you,” the Fox News anchor said. 

The report added that it’s not just mayors or city councils but “people running the federal government” who are falling for the fake nation too. 

It added that according to the fake guru, two members of the Congress have given Kailasa “special congressional recognition.” One of them is Congresswoman Norma Torres of California, who is on the House Appropriations Committee. 

“So, the person who decides what we spend our tax dollars on just got duped by an alleged rapist guru with a fake country,” the Fox News anchor said.

Republican Troy Balderson from Ohio also presented “his divine holiness and pontiff of Hinduism congressional recognition.” Earlier this month, Press Secretary in the Department of Communications, City of Newark, Susan Garofalo had told PTI in an email that as soon as “we learned about the circumstances surrounding Kailasa, the City of Newark immediately took action and rescinded the sister city agreement” on January 18. 

“Based on deception, the ceremony was groundless and void…Although this was a regrettable incident, the City of Newark remains committed to partnering with people from diverse cultures in order to enrich each other with connectivity, support, and mutual respect,” Garofalo said. 

Newark Councilman at Large Luis Quintana sponsored the motion to rescind the agreement. 

He said during official proceedings that going forward any city entering into a sister city agreement “must be in good standards of human rights. 

“We cannot bring Sister Cities International into an issue where there is controversy. This is an oversight, cannot happen any longer,” he said, adding that Newark cannot put itself in a situation where there is a sister city that has no human rights. 

He had said going forward, it must be ensured that while sister cities are encouraged, agreements cannot be entered into with “governments that don’t have human rights.” 

The Fox News report quoted a Newark resident to say that the sister-city agreement with a fake nation was an embarrassing episode for the city. 

Nithyananda and United States of Kailasa 

Nithyananda is wanted in India on several charges of rape and sexual assault. He was charged with rape, torture, kidnapping and wrongful confinement of children, under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), allegations the pontiff has denied. He fled India in 2019. He is also being reportedly investigated by French authorities for an alleged fraud of $400,000. 

In the month of February this year, Kailasa representatives attended two UN public meetings in Geneva, which were general discussion on ‘Equal and inclusive representation of women in decision-making systems’ organised by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). The general discussion on the General Comment on economic, social cultural rights and sustainable development on February 24 was hosted by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR). 

Responding to questions on Kailasa’s participation at the UN forums, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) had said registration for such public events is open to NGOs and the general public. 

“Anyone can submit information to the treaty bodies, who will use their judgment to determine the credibility of the submissions received.” 

“On the day of the CEDAW general discussion, USK members were prevented from distributing promotional material in front of and inside the conference room. Their written submission to CEDAW will not be published by the Committee as it is irrelevant to the topic of the general discussion,” OHCHR had said. 

(With inputs from PTI)