LIANA SHANTI: WOMAN OF THE MONTH & ADVOCATE FOR VICTIMS OF ABUSE
Dispelling the Myths, Sharing the Truth, and Exposing My Own Abusers (Joe Scoppino, Jack Fiorvante, and more)
Congratulations to my spiritual teacher, Liana Shanti, who’s gone viral during none other than Women’s History Month!
As historian, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, famously said:
“Well-behaved women rarely make history.”
And while I wouldn’t exactly describe Liana as misbehaved, she’s not someone who “behaves” in a way that society expects a woman to, nor does she fit into any kind of “box.”
Meaning, she’s successful, AND she’s happy. She’s humble, AND she’s confident. She’s kind, AND she’s outspoken. She’s rich, AND she’s compassionate. She’s smart, AND she’s beautiful. She’s spiritual, AND she embraces her sexuality.
And one of the things I love most about her? She loves Jesus, AND she’s not religious!
But what I feel is most important to highlight about Liana this month is that:
She’s been an advocate for family abuse and domestic violence victims for over 30 years of her life.
And today, I’m writing this post on the heels of a fake news story that was published by The Daily Beast in an attempt to tarnish her reputation and discredit her work– something many notable women have had to endure. It’s par for the course when you’re doing work that makes a REAL difference in the world– the haters gonna hate and the trolls gonna troll.
Though given the subject matter of Liana’s work and the fact that I myself have been taunted and harassed for using her programs to heal from abuse – including by my own family who’ve participated in a smear campaign against us both – I’m using my voice to share some of what I know to be TRUE about Liana and about my abusers.
And not just for her and for myself, but for ALL of her other students who are being discredited, AND for the countless other women out there who are struggling to break FREE and to HEAL from their own trauma and abuse and who need teachings they can trust.
The very teachings that have helped me to heal myself after NOTHING ELSE had worked.
I’m someone who went from smoking weed everyday, suffering with chronic physical pain, and feeling like I was wasting my precious life away, to fully sober, pain-free, and passionate about the whole NEW lease on life I’d been given, and I have Liana to thank for that.
It was through her work that, after years and years of searching for answers and solutions, it FINALLY clicked that I’d been living with complex post-traumatic stress disorder, brought on by the sexual abuse I experienced as a child, and that I’d been numbing with food, drugs, and alcohol for the majority of my life.
However, the fake news story I mentioned earlier is trying to convince the world that – despite the fact that thousands of women who’ve worked with Liana’s programs feel better than we’ve ever felt in our lives, with loads of tangible proof to back it up – her work didn’t actually help us but somehow harmed us!
Because a big part of Liana’s work is helping women to heal from trauma and abuse, which more often than not, starts with the people who had the most access to and influence over us: OUR PARENTS.
This isn’t something Liana “made up”– the research around generational trauma is out there and being taught by many educators.
And since we cannot force people to heal from the abuse they experienced that led them to go on to abuse others, going NO CONTACT, as gut-wrenching as it often is – ESPECIALLY when it’s our own parents – is typically the only way that victims of abuse who WANT to heal and break the cycle truly can.
However, as many of us can attest to, setting boundaries and going no contact doesn’t always go over well when trying to break free of an abuser. After all, they are… ABUSIVE.
So abusive, in fact, that sometimes they start entire smear campaigns. And sometimes those smear campaigns are seemingly successful.
In fact, the very reason why the poorly researched and sensationalized story even got published on The Daily Beast – a story centered around the claim that a man named Jason Veras lost his marriage because his ex-wife, Jennifer Veras, joined Liana’s “conspiracy-riddled spiritual community” – is due to a smear campaign that was started by some of the very abusers (family members) that Liana’s students, mostly WOMEN, were and ARE trying to break free of!
One of the people who played a role in smearing Liana’s name and bolstering the story?
My ex-husband and Liana’s ex-student, Joe Scoppino, who submitted a FALSE AFFIDAVIT to help Jason Veras win his custody case claiming that Liana’s teachings are a cult.
And not just one false affidavit, but TWO for TWO DIFFERENT MEN THAT HE DIDN’T EVEN KNOW (that I’m aware of at this time), all in an attempt to get CHILDREN taken away from loving mothers who were fighting to protect them.
Why and how did Joe Scoppino begin inserting himself into custody cases for men he didn’t know? To better understand the answer to that question, it would help to go into a bit of the back story:
I found Liana Shanti in late 2020, and what I was learning through her teachings gave me some clarity into issues that had been prevalent in my marriage and relationship from the start. Issues that had even landed us in couples counseling three years prior.
Except now, my willingness to be the “fixer” in the marriage – the sole person dedicated to trying to make things work – had waned. I was also in my early 30’s, and I desired to have a family– something Joe never quite seemed ready to discuss or plan for. Given that I was only getting older, I felt it was time to start accepting that we didn’t share a vision for a future together.
So in early 2021, I initiated a conversation about us getting a divorce, and it wasn’t the first time that word had been said between us. Except this time, I was feeling more prepared to go our separate ways, and I asked nothing of Joe to help “save” our marriage. No ultimatum. No pressure to do anything. Just the opportunity for us to both face the music and admit we wanted different things in life.
However, over the course of an emotional few days and through Joe’s persistence and his insistence that he wanted to try healing through Liana’s work, I agreed to give our marriage another chance, though I had made it abundantly clear that I was committed to my healing path and to Liana’s teachings no matter what – that this was something I needed for myself – and we both agreed that we had free will to opt out of our marriage at any time if we no longer felt it was aligned.
From there, we spent the next several months diving into Liana’s work– a decision she played no role in whatsoever.
Meaning, Joe and I both purchased Liana’s healing and nutrition programs without any coercion or sales pitches from Liana. Additionally, Joe and I were both active students of Liana’s programs without any mandatory participation or consequences for inactivity.
And then, in March 2022, when Joe decided he was done with Liana’s healing programs, he was able to stop– just like that! Joe had FREE WILL to walk away, and so he did. Liana never contacted him or begged for him to “come back,” and Joe didn’t contact Liana to express any grievances towards her.
In fact, after we’d separated, Joe emailed Liana’s team to confirm if he was still eligible for certification in Liana’s nutrition program and to learn if he could stay in her health groups on Facebook!
The email was forwarded to Liana, in which they had a peaceful exchange, with Joe being welcomed to continue his health journey through her nutrition program and groups and being wished all the best in life.
Joe then followed up by THANKING LIANA for her wisdom!
Well, not long after his and Liana’s email exchange, Joe’s access to ALL of Liana’s Facebook groups was ultimately terminated as it was revealed through cyber-harassment by my parents that he was telling a sob story of losing me to a cult. (More about this can be read here.)
Unfortunately, I shouldn’t have been surprised. The day we separated, he had outbursts about us being in a cult.
At the time, I told myself it was his way of working through grief and anger because I chose divorce vs. compromising on my healing path.
Besides, there were countless discussions and interactions, both intimately and with Liana’s community, that demonstrated that he didn’t actually believe we were in a cult, and once we’d separated, there were some initial conversations that I felt validated that. In fact, below are excerpts from an email exchange of ours from late March 2022, less than two weeks after he’d left.
Therefore, I kept holding out hope that all I was facing was a deeply wounded man who’d run scared back to his old life. After all, if he truly thought we were divorcing because he left a cult while I’d stayed, why agree that we’re on the same page? And why ask for continued access to a supposed cult leader and her teachings followed by THANKING HER for their wisdom?
Well, because he was playing sides.
And as time passed and our communications began to wane, the fog began to lift so I could see that fact more clearly. That whatever he needed to say to whoever to get things he felt entitled to – whether it was money, a roof over his head, sympathy from family and friends (even from me!), or continued access to Liana’s teachings - is exactly what he’d say.
I eventually got to a point where I was FINALLY able to place his actions above his words and accept that he was and is a COVERT NARCISSIST who’d been abusing me for years.
And I was finally able to accept that, despite what he’d stated above, he had indeed gone on to instigate a smear campaign against me and Liana in an effort to convince our families that I’d been sucked into a cult that ruined our marriage.
A marriage and relationship that had started off toxic from the beginning. A marriage that, again, had already been in couples counseling, several years before I even found Liana.
Why wasn’t Joe willing to admit this to himself and to others?
Because I rejected him after no longer allowing him to reject ME.
I FINALLY loved myself enough to stop pouring all of my energy into him and our failing marriage and to give myself the chance to see him for who he TRULY is.
So when Joe was presented with the opportunity to join in on the smear campaign targeting Liana Shanti, he did just that by committing perjury, a criminal offense, when he agreed to write false affidavits for men he didn’t know from a hole in the wall.
This was his way of getting back at me through the women I care about – the very women who he’d wished the best to when he emailed Liana – and as a way to get back at Liana for having the backbone to remove him from ALL of her Facebook groups.
But this wasn’t just about getting back at her for removing him from a few Facebook groups– this was also about getting back at her for helping him to see THE TRUTH.
Because unlike other types of tools and teachings that Joe had tried over the years for his depression and anxiety, it was Liana’s tools and teachings that finally helped open his eyes to:
a) the deeper reality of his abusive childhood (something he’d already been gaining awareness of and voicing to me for YEARS– even to our couples therapist in 2018), and
b) the ways in which he himself had become an abuser throughout adulthood:
Yet now that he’d stopped healing, all of a sudden Liana was the big, bad wolf.
Meanwhile, the fact of the matter is, behind closed doors, away from everyone who knew, saw, and interacted with us:
Joe had always been an emotionally abusive and neglectful husband who viewed me as a sexual object and had ZERO vision and drive for building a stable life or family together.
Which makes sense considering that THIS is the household he grew up in:
And, of course, there was the extreme fear he had of his father:
Then there were the things he learned and witnessed from his mother:
And that doesn’t even scratch the surface of what he’s shared with me, not including what I personally have experienced and witnessed.
However, once Joe started coming face-to-face with every dark thing he’d ever experienced and done (more than what I’m sharing here), he realized just how much he’d been hiding from himself and from others, including me, and it became too much for him.
So he ran from what his heart knew to be true and went back to a life of “performing:”
But not before trying to get me to go back with him!
Which I feel was really his motive for doing Liana’s programs all along– hoping that if he dipped his toe in and “tried” to do the work, eventually I’d lose steam, and we’d reach some kind of “compromise” where I could somehow heal my life, yet go on ignoring the TRUTH of our relationship.
Which was NEVER going to happen.
I was NEVER going back to living inside a marriage where everything seemed rosy on the outside but behind closed doors, I only existed unless I was naked or cooking food.
And I was NEVER going back to our families.
Because going back would mean having to pretend to myself, to Joe, and to everyone else that I was never sexually abused.
It would mean pretending that I hadn’t spent the past several months facing the vile flashbacks I’d been having for YEARS and healing from my worst nightmare:
That when I was 6-years old, this man – my FATHER – Jack Fiorvante, ANALLY RAPED me on his and my mother’s bed while she was out at work.
Jack Fiorvante also forced me to perform ORAL SEX on him inside of his van. To make matters worse, my mother, Ann Fiorvante, was AWARE of his abuse, yet turned a blind eye, and went on to open and run a daycare called Home Away From Home Daycare INSIDE of our house in Suffolk County, New York for the next TWENTY YEARS.
Joe knew that going back wasn’t an option for me, yet he tried anyway, which was one of the biggest acts of betrayal– something I was only able to see and accept more clearly after going no contact with him. That the man I’d married – who I know FOR A FACT believed me about my abuse – actually tried hand-delivering me back to my abusers for his own selfish reasons.
Which is why, after continuing to heal and assess the history of my life, it’s not the least bit surprising that I ended up married to another toxic, abusive, and narcissistic “man”– it was a pattern setup long ago in my childhood.
A “man” with moral weakness who could care less about betraying women, falsifying affidavits, and associating with other abusive “men.”
Abusive men like Byron Horvath– the man who helped kick off the smear campaign against Liana and who made actual DEATH THREATS to her and her family, including her two CHILDREN.
Byron ALSO left death threats to another woman in Liana’s community, and she was actually granted a STALKING INJUNCTION against him.
To make matters worse?
Some family members who are more outwardly involved in the smear campaign against Liana – including my father – have been colluding with two men, Steve Hassan and Joe Szimhart, who have made entire careers and tens of thousands of dollars as “cult deprogrammers.”
These men have been named in legal affidavits and court documents by victims who they LITERALLY KIDNAPPED (after being hired by the victims’ family members) in an attempt to “deprogram” them out of their beliefs.
They have a long history of detaining victims from days to weeks, putting them through psychological torture, threats of institutionalization, physical abuse – even RAPE – in order to make them denounce their beliefs. One tactic that’s been used by these men is to have family members kidnap the victims so that they themselves cannot be criminally charged.
This is all PUBLIC RECORD and can be easily researched and found online, and yet, Hassan and Szhimhart were actually cited as credible resources in the fake story published about Liana by The Daily Beast.
The same fake news story that led to my father – the man who sexually abused me and who has A LOT TO HIDE – publicly stating on The Daily Beast Facebook page that he’s “on a mission” to “get me back” and that they will need to “DEPROGRAM” me:
What’s especially chilling about the comments my father made are that I have strong reason to believe that a SERIOUS ATTEMPT was made to harm and silence me on Sunday, January 8th, 2023 leading me to call 911 for help and permanently flee from my home.
In fact, my father stating that he’s “on a mission” to get me “out” and “deprogram” me are more HUGE CLUES that add further weight to the extensive police report I filed where I showed with screenshots that, leading up to January 8th, he had begun publicly linking himself to these kidnappers and deprogrammers.
What’s also chilling?
In just five years, I will be 40 years old.
Not 14. FORTY.
And yet, my father has been talking about me as if I’m a child that he has any right or authority whatsoever to “get back” when, in reality, I have spent nearly TWO YEARS of my life - between a lawyer and police reports - trying to get him to stay OUT of my life.
But to Joe Scoppino, none of this mattered.
It didn’t matter that he witnessed me, with his very own eyes, go from living in chronic physical pain, experiencing night terrors, and depending on weed for nearly every facet of my life to becoming healthy, joyful, and passionate with the help of Liana’s teachings.
It didn’t matter to him because the healing we were each doing shined a BRIGHT, GLARING LIGHT on every nook and cranny of HIS life, too, including the wounds he’d both received and inflicted on others.
And when that light got too hot and uncomfortable for him, rather than hold the people who’d created his wounds accountable, he chose to blame and betray the WOMEN who had helped him see them more clearly.
It’s just like Liana has been teaching all along:
The most dangerous, damaging, and disguised cult of them all? THE FAMILY CULT.
And the family cult is the EXACT reason why Joe was experiencing fears like THIS before he ran:
Because in his parent’s eyes, to be a happy, successful man who LOVES HIMSELF would not be ACCEPTED. It would be seen as “feminine,” which, in their household, is something to be desecrated and destroyed.
And since he craved his parent’s approval MORE than he craved his freedom, it was “easier” to go on hating himself, remaining depressed, and staying stuck in their shadow than to finally grow up and become an honest, respectable, fully-fledged ADULT MAN who’s capable of taking accountability for his actions and supporting and protecting women.
Fortunately, letting go of our pain and healing our mother and father wounds are EXACTLY what Liana’s teachings help with… for those who are truly willing to do the WORK.
And as the evil smear campaign against Liana and her students continues (for now), those who are finding inner peace and seeing results know better than to let a few dozen weak, self-loathing individuals who helped publish a propaganda piece to sidetrack us from healing and from remembering the TRUTH of our lives.
Because YES, I REMEMBER the way that it felt to have my father move his grown body into and out of mine, as I lay face down, small and defenseless, on his and my mother’s bed– a feeling that sent an icy chill up and down my spine and shattered my soul into pieces.
Until the day came along when I found a woman named Liana Shanti who could help me put it back together again. A woman who I will be FOREVER grateful to.
It’s because of the work Liana does in this world that I now know that the cycles of abuse I experienced as a child led to similar cycles of abuse as an adult and how to BREAK MYSELF FREE.
I’m even grateful to The Daily Beast for their lack of discernment and low standards– it’s because of their fake story that I’m able to further expose my ex-husband, my father, and every other abuser I know and have come in contact with while sharing how Liana Shanti can be a literal lifeline for other women seeking to heal from abuse and trauma of their own.
More to come,
– Malana Hokulani (formerly Lisa Fiorvante)
VERY IMPORTANT NOTE:
If you’re someone reading this who truly believes that Joe left a cult and what’s real and credible are ONLY the things he’s said BEFORE he started learning from Liana and AFTER he stopped learning from Liana, then you should believe what he said about one of his former best friends, Ryan McGuire, being toxic and unhinged.
This screenshot is from part of an email Joe sent to me on February 10th, 2021 when we were discussing the history of our relationship, and it was before Joe purchased anything of Liana’s:
With a past full of “debauchery” and “hedonism” and an upbringing that taught him to “objectify women,” I can’t help but wonder what Joe, Ryan, and his Baruch buddies were up to?
What exactly did those hangouts “turn into” that Joe had to “eventually stop” because they “didn’t feel right?”
Isn’t it an oxymoron to say that you “didn’t plan on” something happening but yet admit that it was happening “often?” Doesn’t that imply a pattern?
What, in fact, was “no longer serving” him?
And why did Ryan, all of a sudden, become “increasingly unhinged” and “toxic?”
All I can say is, if you believe the pre and post-Liana Joe, AND you’re someone who needs support with your mental health, then please, whatever you do, NEVER go see Brooklyn-based psychotherapist, Ryan McGuire– ESPECIALLY IF YOU’RE A WOMAN:
(Maybe The Daily Beast should reach out to Ryan and hear what HE has to say?)
As Jordan Belfort’s wife assured him in the movie Wolf of Wall Street (an old favorite of mine and Joe’s):
“LISTEN. There is NO such thing as bad publicity, sweetheart!”
Well, unless, of course, you’re a wolf in sheep’s clothing with something to hide…
More articles exposing my abuse here
More information around my father and family here
More information around Joe’s journey as Liana’s student here
More information around family cults and what happened to Jennifer Veras here
Podcasts I was interviewed on and other information can be found at malanahokulani.com
Thanks for reading Malana’s Substack! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
(This article was first published on March 8th, 2023, and has since been updated.)
This is so powerful. Your writing is so clear, fact based, supported by written evidence and such a powerful contrast to misogynistic-driven writers like the poor sap who wrote for the daily beast. I actually feel sorry for that guy. He has nothing going for him... last thing was a 2017 piece on another powerful influential woman 😂 But your article shows anyone who is actually looking for truth versus click bait trash - accessible.
Fucking A Malana. This is fucking powerful. I went through so many emotions. Thank you thank you thank you for this. 🙏🙏🙏 I Can feel this momentum under what you write. Cannot wait to see what else comes!!! 🔥🔥🔥🧡💚💛💜