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Business News/ News / Trends/  Jay Shetty: Monk, self-help guru or copy-cat Instagram influencer?
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Jay Shetty: Monk, self-help guru or copy-cat Instagram influencer?

Jay Shetty, the self-help guru who officiated JLo's wedding, faces scrutiny. Additionally, his life-coaching program with hefty fees is under fire for misrepresenting accreditation and university partnerships. Allegations of plagiarism further cloud his image.

Jay Shetty, a former businessman turned monk, claims his life took a dramatic turn after encountering a monk who inspired him to pursue a spiritual path. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni (REUTERS)Premium
Jay Shetty, a former businessman turned monk, claims his life took a dramatic turn after encountering a monk who inspired him to pursue a spiritual path. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni (REUTERS)

Jay Shetty, a popular self-help personality, has risen to fame with his relatable wisdom and celebrity connections. However, a recent investigation raises questions about his background and the legitimacy of his business practices, according to a report by The Guardian.

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Shetty, a businessman-turned-monk, claims his life took a dramatic turn after encountering a monk who inspired him to pursue a spiritual path. He spent three years in an ashram before transitioning to self-help guru, sharing his insights through podcasts, books, and even officiating Jennifer Lopez's wedding.

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Questioning the Narrative

However, several close to Shetty dispute his narrative of a life-altering religious awakening and time spent in India. They reveal his spiritual education primarily occurred in his hometown, and his association with the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (Iskcon) remains largely undisclosed, as per the report.

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Controversy srounds credentials

Shetty's life-coaching program, charging a hefty $7,400, claims accreditation and university partnerships. However, investigations reveal misrepresentations. The program is not directly regulated by the mentioned government bodies, and universities deny any official affiliation with Shetty's school, as per the report.

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Shetty is not alone in embellishing his background, but his methods raise concerns. Charging substantial fees for purportedly accredited programs while misrepresenting their legitimacy is a serious matter, the report further added.

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Shetty's backstory

In his origin story, which he tells in his books and countless podcasts and talk show appearances, Shetty is a business student, preparing himself for a life of corporate ladder-climbing, until one day he attends a guest talk by a monk. Shetty is so in awe that he seeks the holy man’s tutelage. 

“It changed my life," Shetty said on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. “It was the most captivating presentation I’ve ever been to. He spoke about selflessness, service and kindness, and it just got me hooked," as quoted by The Guardian.

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Plagiarism allegations

While Jay Shetty boasts immense popularity, his journey hasn't been without controversy. Accusations of plagiarism have shadowed him for years. In 2019, he removed over 100 posts from YouTube and Instagram after YouTuber Nicole Arbour exposed the original sources behind several of his popular anecdotes, according to the Guardian report.

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While he now attributes content to its creators on Instagram, multiple individuals informed The Guardian that Shetty reposted their content without seeking permission or offering compensation. These concerns raise questions about his approach to content creation and respect for intellectual property.

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Published: 03 Mar 2024, 09:56 AM IST
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