The TwinRay mystery: A spiritual group in Ashland raises eyebrows and worries

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When a store selling glass bottles of gold-flecked “living water” for $111 apiece opened on a busy downtown Ashland arterial in 2022, people in town started whispering.

Main Street is a bustling avenue that reflects the hobbies and cultures of the small Southern Oregon city, which has a population of around 21,000. A bike shop and a running shoe store cater to the outdoorsy set. The city’s famed Oregon Shakespeare Festival — headquartered a block away from the main drag — is even reflected in business names: the Bard’s Inn, Oberon’s Restaurant, Three Penny Mercantile.

But The Haven, which sells that gold-flecked water out of one of the largest retail storefronts on Main, seems aimed at another part of local culture: the spiritual side that seeks yoga, natural food and New Age ideas, and that has a long history in the region.

The shop once housed a clothing store. Now it’s run by a spiritual group called TwinRay, which relocated its operations to Ashland from California in 2020. Blank-faced mannequins swaddled in pashminas stare out from the store’s front windows. Inside, tall crystals glitter underneath spiral chandeliers. Dressing rooms have been converted to meditation booths. Ceremonial teas, pyramid-shaped candles and “bio-jewelry” are for sale, as well as TwinRay-branded “bioceuticals.” With names like “Immortal Monotomic,” “Poseidon’s Power” and “Mermaid Magic,” the packages of ingestible supplements purport to have myriad health benefits, including “preventing and treating cancer.”

Everything — from picture frames to packaging to TwinRay’s own logo — is outlined in gold.

TwinRay’s leaders are hard to miss when they appear in the store or around town: a white man and woman who wear long white robes and headscarves. He changed his name to Akasha Sananda and sometimes goes by Sanandaji; she changed her name to hMiananda Maitreya Shekina, but Sanandaji is also known as Shekinah Ma. They drive a white Mercedes G-Class SUV and, oftentimes, the people who accompany them wear all white too. The store is often closed for months at a time.

“You cannot go to a dinner party or a gathering here without it coming up,” said local resident Alexis Mixter. The opening of the downtown store inspired Mixter and others around Ashland to do their own online research about TwinRay, and what they found was a group grounded in talking about prophecies, mystical mentorship programs and genetic liberation. It seemed like a spoof of the Twin Flame Universe — a cult-like group that was recently the subject of a Netflix documentary and preaches that each person has a soulmate called a “twin flame.”

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