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Jay Shetty: British-Indian ‘monk’ who sold a fake life story

Jay Shetty, a British-Indian life coach and author known for his inspirational social media content and best-selling book ‘Think Like A Monk’, has been accused of fabricating parts of his life story and plagiarising social media posts. He is also popular for his podcast ‘On purpose’.

Jay Shetty, born in London and raised by Indian parents, has garnered widespread acclaim for his inspirational videos and motivational talks since 2016.

Shetty’s upbringing has been a central part of his narrative. He claims to have spent his school vacations living with monks in India and later serving as a monk himself for three years.

His website says, “During his school years, Jay Shetty spent vacations living with monks in India, immersing himself in their wisdom and teachings.”

However, a recent report in The Guardian has cast doubts on these claims, raising questions about the authenticity of Shetty’s narrative and his credibility as a self-help guru.

Inconsistencies in Shetty’s Account

Jay Shetty even presided over Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck’s wedding on August 20, 2022, in Savannah, Georgia. It is said that Lopez was so enamoured by Shetty that she wanted the “Hindu monk” to officiate over the ceremony.

Shetty attended a White House state dinner for visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June 2023, according to the Guardian. He also had a one-on-one interview with Joe Biden about the US administration’s mental health initiatives.

Despite his popularity and endorsements from celebrities like Michelle Obama and Matt Damon, recent allegations have surfaced questioning the authenticity of Shetty’s background.

In an article by journalist John McDermott in The Guardian, Shetty’s claims of a transformative spiritual awakening during business school and years spent studying at an Indian ashram have been called into question.

The report reveals inconsistencies in this account.

People close to Jay Shetty have questioned the “dramatic” nature of his supposed conversion, and Shetty himself has provided conflicting details about his age at the time of the pivotal lecture.

Additionally, the monk who delivered the lecture, Gauranga Das, told The Guardian that the event in question occurred in 2007, when Shetty would have been at least 19 years old, contradicting his claim of being 18.

The report further alleges that Shetty has plagiarised content from others without proper attribution.

In 2019, Jay Shetty removed over 100 social media posts after allegations of plagiarism surfaced online.

These accusations raise concerns about the originality of his content and his overall approach to knowledge sharing.

Questions Surrounding Shetty’s Time as a Monk

McDermott’s investigation reveals that Jay Shetty’s time as a monk may not have been as extensive as portrayed, with some former associates stating that he primarily resided at an estate in London rather than immersing himself fully in Indian ashrams.

Allegations also suggest that Shetty’s disconnection from society may have been exaggerated, as he was reportedly engaged in activities such as filming YouTube videos during his monk stint.

Moreover, Shetty’s association with the Iskcon, a Hindu religious organisation, has raised eyebrows, especially considering the movement’s history of controversies, including allegations of abuse.

Additionally, Jay Shetty has faced accusations of plagiarism, with several creators claiming that he reposted their content on Instagram without permission or compensation.

In the realm of business, scrutiny has fallen on the Jay Shetty Certification School, a self-help course with a hefty price tag that promises a master’s degree in life coaching.

McDermott’s investigation reveals discrepancies in the school’s accreditation claims, with assertions that it is approved by UK regulatory bodies being called into question.

Jay Shetty has remained silent on the matter, offering no direct response to the accusations levelled against him.