Arnaldo Chamorro, the victim: how a minister was deceived by an international hoax?

Arnaldo Chamorro, the victim: how a minister was deceived by an international hoax?
El escandalo diplomatico de Paraguay

The Chief of Staff of the Ministry of Agriculture of Paraguay, Arnaldo Chamorro, was dismissed and replaced for signing an agreement with a fictional country: the United States of Kailasa, which is not a real state but a place invented by the well-known Indian scam artist Swami Nithyananda, also known as Paramahamsa Nithyananda. On Thursday, Chamorro admitted to being deceived by alleged representatives of this fictional state, who in the past managed to deceive officials from other countries and infiltrate important official events, causing certain uncomfortable moments.

The agreement between Chamorro and the country invented by Nithyananda was signed on October 16. Images shared on social media show a memorandum of understanding on letterhead paper, with the ministry’s seal, which contemplates the possibility of diplomatic agreements between the two countries. In the document, Chamorro addresses the “honorable Nithyananda Paramashivam, sovereign of the United States of Kailasa,” praising his “dedication to Hinduism, humanity, and the Republic of Paraguay.” Furthermore, he mentions that he will urge the Paraguayan government to press for Kailasa to be recognized as a sovereign and independent state by “various international organizations,” including the UN.

Speaking to reporters, Chamorro explained that the alleged officials from Kailasa claimed to want to help Paraguay and presented him with some projects for that purpose. Chamorro also pointed out that these same individuals had also met with the country’s Minister of Agriculture, Carlos Giménez, but admitted to having no idea why they specifically contacted Paraguay. The ministry clarified that the document “cannot be considered official” and does not imply any obligations on the part of the country.

Both Chamorro and the Minister of Agriculture of Paraguay are not the first to be deceived by alleged officials from Kailasa, which claims on its website to be a country committed to humanitarian activities for decades and to have diplomatic relations with several states, including Ghana. In early 2023, the US city of Newark, New Jersey, had signed a twinning agreement with what it believed to be a group of representatives from the nation, only to discover days later that the country did not exist. Additionally, in February, some people claiming to represent Kailasa managed to infiltrate two UN meetings in Geneva; UN officials clarified that their interventions would not be considered.

Born in India in 1978, Nithyananda is a charismatic and extravagant figure. He founded a Hindu religious order and owns dozens of temples and sacred sites around the world. He claims to have magical powers, such as the ability to delay sunrise, make animals speak in Tamil and Sanskrit, and have taught his disciples dozens of paranormal abilities, including seeing through walls and curing blindness. Over the years, he has been accused multiple times of sexual assault and has been on the run from Indian authorities since 2019 due to rape and kidnapping allegations.

In 2019, Nithyananda acquired an island off the coast of Ecuador and named it Kailasa, defining it as “the Holy See of Hinduism.” He claims all people who practice this religion as citizens.