UPDATE: How did Doc not know?! See below for details.
For years we've been hearing about "Doc," the alleged, ritual abuser of Teal Bosworth Scott Swan. Her recollections of him infuse her work as a "spiritual catalyst" with no small element of horror. He has hovered over her public life like a specter, more myth than man. His deeds were monstrous, as recounted in numerous blog posts and interviews. In this post, she explains her violent history with her former mentor/captor – and that veterinarians have easy access to peyote, for some reason.
For the thirteen years that followed, I was systematically and progressively separated from my family, I was tortured physically and sexually in rituals, forced to participate in sacrifices, raped, forced to eat and drink out of dog bowls, forced to undergo 3 abortions (all fathered by my principal abuser himself who was in his sixties at the time). He performed them himself with veterinary equipment, which is why I had such a hard time conceiving my son. I was photographed for sadomasochistic pornography, sold for money to men for sex out of outdoor gas station bathrooms and motel rooms, kept in basements, kept in a plank covered hole in the ground in my abuser’s back yard, exposed to electro-shock programming, forced to undergo isolation torture, left overnight tied up in lava caves in southern Idaho. I was forced to participate in bestiality and necrophilia, drugged by my abuser with Ketamine, Dormator, Xylazine, opiates, peyote and speed (all of which he had unlimited access to due to being a vet). I was chased through the Idaho and Utah wilderness by my abuser who loved to “play” tracking games in which he would hunt me, and if I won, I got a reward, if I lost, I was either raped, or he would “count coup” by making cut marks on my rib cage. I was used as a lure to other children that ended up being hurt or on occasion killed by the cult group. And the list could go on. But this experience is still something that seriously affects my life today. On one hand it is obvious that I would not be doing the job I am doing today around the world if it wasn’t for this experience. On the other hand, a life that is spent in a constant state of recovery from the past is a difficult life.
He also killed her dog and threatened to kill her family members, as means of controlling her, and to keep her all to himself. He took some rather surprising risks, such as hogtying her with cables in a public parking lot, in full view of passers by. We're meant to believe that people didn't even notice an 11 year-old girl being bound and tied by a middle-aged man.
According to teal, Doc was both a "Blood Covenant" Mormon and a Satanist. He managed this paradoxical existence by having Dissociative Identity Disorder (multiple personalities). He was also, by her estimation, a "sadistic psychopath."
I have made no secret of the fact that I think teal's story beggars belief. During her formative years, stories about Satanic Ritual Abuse were accepted with little criticism. People were tried and even went to prison with a paucity of physical evidence, on the basis of "recovered" memories and half-baked theories about occult practices. This "Satanic Panic" has been pretty thoroughly discredited. Verdicts have been overturned. Therapists have been sanctioned for creating false memories. And, stories very similar to teal's have been thoroughly debunked.
A recently released edition of Ethics and the Modern Guru, the publishing arm of a cult-watching organization, takes up the question of teal's SRA narrative. An interview with "Doc" was conducted by Cameron Clark and John Anderson. Cameron has posted the text of that interview, with some grammatical and factual corrections. A complete version of the interview, including follow-up correspondence appears here.
To say that Doc's version of events differs from teal's would be an understatement. He did know teal from an early age, but having moved when she was very young, had only minimal contact during her childhood. He was enlisted by her parents to give her some guidance. But, as per his telling, that guidance had nothing to do with her incipient psychic gifts, or any conflict with her family or community over them. It was not during her childhood years, but in her early teens, and it was because she was exhibiting behavioral problems. Her parents hoped he could provide some focus for her interest in animals, particularly horses. He is not a "blood covenant," nor any other kind of Mormon.
Doc also provided a letter sent to him by teal in 2004, roughly a year after her supposed "escape." It does not read like the letter of someone who has fled from a captor. No doubt those committed to her storyline would argue that this letter is a display of Stockholm Syndrome. Recent coverage of Elizabeth Smart's story has addressed the fact that Stockholm Syndrome is an unproven theory, with virtually no supporting scholarship.
The New Yorker’s new profile of kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart makes an intriguing point about Stockholm Syndrome: It isn’t a recognized psychiatric disorder.
The term was coined after a 1973 bank robbery in Sweden spurred bank employees to bond with and eventually defend their captors. In America, Stockholm Syndrome was made famous by Patty Hearst, an heiress who joined the violent left-wing group that kidnapped her.
Some experts speculated that Smart had Stockholm, too, even though the disorder has rarely been studied and isn’t listed in the DSM V, the bible of psychiatric disorders. One of the few academic studies on Stockholm Syndrome concludes that there’s hardly any academic research on the subject.
“There is very little evidence to sort of validate that Stockholm Syndrome exists,” Emory University clinical psychologist Nadine Kaslow told Business Insider. She added, “It is mostly talked about in the media.”
The letter is affectionate, friendly, and a little needy, in tone. Completely absent is even the barest whiff of fear or intimidation, quite different from the dynamic teal has described with Doc.
I have this recurring dream, where I am back with my childhood abuser. I’m trying to placate him and pretend I’m on his team so he won’t kill me and I can escape. In my opinion, it is the worst feeling a human can experience. I had that feeling so much as a child.
Pathos: 1, Logos: 0
When teal learned that her alleged abuser was interviewed and given an opportunity to tell his side of her very strange story, she went on the offensive. In this blog post, she explains her apoplectic response in this ridiculously long paragraph. My questions and commentary are inserted in brackets.
This last week, they began harassing and threatening my extended family members, including my parents (right after I made things right with them for once and for all). [If you can call offering them an opportunity to present their side of the story harassment, okay, sure.] And today, I was told that as a result of an epic level of betrayal on the part of a former member of my intentional community, they managed to find and interview none other than my very own childhood abuser. They have threatened me with the release of the interview, which they are planning on going public with today. [Were they threatening to release it, or were they releasing it? Well, we know the answer to that. We also know that teal does not know what the word "threat" means.] Blake could hardly breathe reading the e-mail. The chief of police who was in charge of the original case was informed. Of course, they were not stupid enough to think they would call up a man who has been implicated in ritual child abuse and he would say “Yes, I did it… it was all me!” They did it because they have already made up their mind that it is all a fabricated story. But consider for a moment… If what they claim they have done is something they actually did, they do not have the slightest understanding of what they have done. [Huh??? What have they done?] The potential ramifications for so many people, including myself are just too much to wrap my head around. The only people, who could possibly relate to what this feels like on an emotional level, are those who know what kind of internal strength it takes to come forward and speak despite the grip of terror after abuse has occurred. I would love to describe it. But I am without words to do so at the moment. I let myself hide under the covers with Graciela and cry with my compression vest for over an hour when I found out. Blake left the house to ride his bike into the mountains and process his emotions there. He has been there for me through the worst of it since the beginning of my recovery. So he was more furious than even I was. I hesitated writing about this latest event in my life seeing as every time I do, I manage to drive a truckload of attention straight to my detractors. Which is exactly what they want. I’m sick of people getting their dose of significance from hating me. [Good Lord. If teal's ego gets any bigger, it's going to need its own zip code.] But I can think of little else and it is the truth of my life at the current moment. It feels better to get it off my chest. For a long time, it has not been in alignment to respond in any way to their slander or threats. I decided to just carry on with my inspiration and let them yell from the sidelines. But this strategy is beginning to feel less and less in alignment as time goes on and so it may very well change.
What I find more than a little odd here, is that teal claims to be so concerned about about her alleged abuser being interviewed that she called the police. This is the same woman who claims that she has absolutely no interest in ever seeing him prosecuted. And, sure, if he's the monster she claims he is, his continuing lack of incarceration would put other potential victims in danger. But, as per teal, you can't protect them from the law of attraction anyway. Victims are ultimately responsible for their own victimization.
People ask me all the time, “If you could have your way, what would you hope would happen to your abuser?” I usually answer by saying; “I wish he could find relief.” The average person HATES this answer. They tell me it is because I am still bonded to him (an aftermath of Stockholm Syndrome) that I feel this way. The thing is, there is no simple answer to this question. I did not go through an entire enlightenment process, where the oneness of the victim and the abuser was made obvious to me, to then turn around and wish him unwell. Our jails do not rehabilitate people. They destroy people. I am a spiritual teacher first and foremost. Our system of reward and punishment is not in alignment with universal truth. This means, I am not in alignment with a system whose justice is based on a system of reward and punishment. But I don’t want to see any other girls go through what I went through, which of course is the potential if someone who hurts children is still on the loose. It feels like I am between a rock and a hard place.
People seem to enjoy revenge. They call revenge justice so they can feel better about wanting it. But the truth is, pain begets pain. I gain nothing by watching my abuser suffer. There is no justice in this system. Even if you locked away every abuser you could find on earth in a jail cell, you could not save people from their own creations. Victims are not exempt from this creation process. They too create their reality. We live in a society that does not yet recognize the vibrational reality that directs and dictates and trumps everything that is physical in nature, so no one wants to hear it when I say this… But locking up the perpetrators does nothing to improve the powerless state of those who sit squarely in a vibration of victimhood. It changes nothing about them at all. And so they remain a match to what comes as a result of that vibration. They will be victimized by something no matter how hard you try on a physical level to prevent it for them. You could not physically do enough to save them from their own point of attraction. And yes, you should listen to this, because it’s coming from me… someone brave enough to own up to the reality that I held a vibration of powerlessness and attracted the experience I had as a child into my life. The only answer is to empower the victim so their point of attraction changes, and empower the perpetrator, so their desire to hurt others wanes. All pain on both sides (victim and perpetrator) is a result of the perception that they are powerlessness.
So, potential victims can't be protected from the law of attraction, but teal should be? It's everybody else's responsibility to protect her from the discomfort of this man being given an opportunity to speak his piece, but protecting children from a murderer is no one's responsibility but their own?
She doesn't want him to ever see the inside of a jail cell, but he should, what, be confined to his home and kept incommunicado? She should be able to talk about his alleged crimes to anyone with a YouTube channel, but he shouldn't be allowed to be interviewed by a magazine? No wonder she has such disdain for the criminal justice system. The law at least attempts to be fair.
For someone who blames victims as often as she does, teal sure can play the victim card when it comes to herself. Anyone who is willing to consider that her alleged perpetrator might be innocent, is really just out to get her. They're all "haters" who don't appreciate, for some mysterious reason, her Christ-like divinity.
After this appeal to pity, came an appeal to lack of logic. This she did in an Ask Teal video on "Skepticism." The text can be found here, for those, like myself, who cannot stand the sound of her voice. In order to invalidate skepticism, teal inverts the meaning of the word. It is not, according to teal, a willingness to accept uncertainty. "It is instead a state of rigid certainty, the certainty of invalidity."
This she can state this categorically, because of its "energy" and how it "feels" to be skeptical.
Skepticism is the opposite of suspended judgment. It is the rigid judgment that absolute certain knowledge is impossible. This is why skepticism does not feel good emotionally to the skeptic or to those who are on the receiving end of the skeptic. It is tempting to think skepticism can be healthy but it cannot. There is no such thing as healthy skepticism. To experience how unhealthy skepticism is, next time you encounter skepticism, pay attention to and feel how skepticism robs things of energy and forward movement, a bit like water being thrown on a fire.
Yes, being skeptical will surely make you ill. Having doubt is also bad for you.
The actual vibration of doubt looks nothing like genuine uncertainty, instead it looks like disbelief. To doubt is to consider something unlikely. To consider something unlikely is to act as if you know. It is to pretend you know something that you do not know. It is to bring a sense of certainty to a universe of uncertainty. For this reason, doubt in all actuality, is the flip side of faith. Doubt is only another kind of faith. It is faith in the negative instead of faith in the positive. Like the shadow side of faith, to consider something unlikely (doubt) is to act as if you know. People use doubt to gain a sense of certainty and cognitive closure in the same way that people use faith to gain a sense of certainty and cognitive closure.
What does the vibration of manipulation look like? That's what I want to know, because I suspect it looks a lot like this video. The whole thing is a brain pretzel. In my humble opinion, what she's attempted to do here is leverage the cognitive dissonance that might be created by an interview that deymystifies her all-purpose bogeyman. She's flipping any qualms back on her followers and criticizing their potential loss of faith in her.
The Originality Gap
The self-quoting info-graphics that teal generates troubled me from the beginning. And, sure, in this age of "memes," this passes for normal. It is, however, extremely problematic, as anyone who's ever passed on some viral quote from a politician or historical figure that proved to be entirely fictional has discovered. Quotes should have citations, whether or not they're your own. If it's from a book, an article, or a speech you wrote, it really should be cited.
The problem with teal's self-quotes, as compared to other self-help authors who do this, is that so many of them are inscrutable. These are not pithy aphorisms. They don't really stand on their own. Invariably, they're extracted from a blog post, Ask Teal video, or some other recent outpouring of teal verbiage. Of course, the more familiar I've become with teal's writings, I have to admit that the context doesn't help much. It's all a headache inducing mind-scramble.
One of the things we learn from the interview is that both the incoherent writing and the self-quoting go back years. "Doc" passed along a letter he received from teal in 2004. It reveals more than a very different relationship dynamic than anything teal has claimed.
This is a portion of the text from her letter to "Dearest [redacted]":
I wish I wasn't flawed, but still had places to go towards Self Improval however small. So I Could Stare at the grain of Sand and feel the world. Instead of walking beaches and still feeling small or Large, depending on the day.
This is one of teal's early self-quoting "memes," from the original Teal Eye site, showing a copyright date of 2004. (I have blacked out some portions of the image to remain within family-friendly guidelines.)
I wish I wasn't flawed but still had places to go towards self improved, however small, so I could stare at the grain of Sand and feel the world. Instead of walking beaches and still feeling small or large... depending on the day.
Aside from some unsuccessful attempts at corrected grammar, the text is identical.
There is a larger problem with teal's tendency to quote herself endlessly. She doesn't only do this on her "memes." She recycles her own material routinely, without noting the repetition. My husband and I found numerous instances wherein the text of her Ask Teal videos, which is published as articles on her main site, is reused nearly word for word as large segments of her "new" blog posts. For instance, this ghastly self-justification for homewrecking recycles this article on being open. This blog post about New York is almost entirely a word for word rehashing of this article about fear of the unknown. Worse, she'd already pirated the text of that article in this post on letting yourself be lived, not even a full month before. That's three posts with large swathes of identical text. The last several paragraphs of this post on fear and division are retrofitted from this article on false selves. This blog post on the voice of faith is rather predictably to be found mostly in an earlier article on faith. This post on hay fever naturally derives from the article on allergies. Her recent self-serving defense of her many marriages and divorces is largely made up of this article on whether or not to marry.
These are not deeper explorations of earlier ideas. They're word-for-word lifts from other material, shoehorned into longer posts, sometimes on topics that are only tangentially related. What difference does it make if it's all her own material, you may be asking. Surely you can't plagiarize from yourself. Well, yes, you can. It's called self-plagiarism. It's a a potential copyright issue and violates APA guidelines.
Per APA Rule 6.02 "Self-plagiarism refers to the practice of presenting one's own previously published work as though it were new" (p. 170).
It's also disingenuous and a crappy thing to do to your readers.
Beyond that, teal's self-plagiarism underscores a larger problem with her work that we could call her "originality gap." This has been discussed a great deal on this blog and elsewhere. Cameron covered the issue well in her recent blog post, found here and here, in which she confronted the issue of teal's library and how much she may actually be relying on other people's books and web-surfing. None of this would be an issue if teal cited her sources, but she doesn't do this anymore than she cites her own recycled paragraphs. It was also noted in the dust-up over Gabriel's post that a number of people in her field will no longer work with her because they think she's stolen their material. Considering that she appears to have even plagiarized my ideas, this surprises me not at all. (page search: butterflies)
A Squandered Opportunity
The attempted interviews with teal and her associate Blake Dyer are more interesting for what they do not say. As the magazine makes clear, they gave them every opportunity to respond and to have their commentary published word for word. The conversation with Blake that they did publish is mostly a lot of hemming and hawing and then, as they say in the postscript, "negotiations completely broke down."
They provided no formal statement. Dyer also refused to have any of their answers to our questions published without their final approval of the finished text. We advised them that none of our interview subjects have this kind of editorial control or approval over the publication, therefore, their provision could not be met. At press time, we have no agreement from them and no official statement. We will continue to seek clarity from them and a statement addressing these questions. An addendum will follow on our website....
It's really quite bizarre that they should be so reluctant to have their side of the story included in the publication. This was their opportunity to refute the assertions made by teal's alleged abuser. Why would they demand final approval over their text, when they were promised that it would be published verbatim, that it would all be in email form so that any changes could be proven? It just seems terribly foolish and self-defeating.
So, what were these questions that they ultimately refused to answer on the record? As it happens, I am in receipt of a copy of the questions sent to Blake. I am redacting some portions, as I think this material risks revealing too much about the alleged abuser's identity.
- You referred several times to Teal’s alleged abuser as a “potential” murderer during our first conversation. Can you expound on what you meant by “potential” murderer? Teal has, on many occasions, stated as an absolute fact that her abuser murdered countless children? Do you believe that he murdered those children or is there some question in your mind?
- You stated repeatedly that Teal has been keeping her alleged abuser’s name under wraps and seemed very concerned about it being made public. You have described it as “extremely sensitive” information. But, Teal gave his name and a lot of other information about him to Cameron. You have since stated more than once that Cameron only lived with you for two weeks. You both seem to be minimizing Cameron’s past relationship with Teal and with your intentional community. So how is it that Teal told Cameron such sensitive information about her alleged abuser “in confidence”? Was Cameron a trusted member of your inner circle for a period of more than two weeks? Or are you releasing Teal’s abuser’s name to anyone who comes over for a brief visit or stays for dinner in your household?
- You also stated that Teal hasn’t named her abuser publicly. You said all public mention of him has been done under a pseudonym. However, we have spoken to 000, 000 00 000000000 000 00 00 0000 00 000 0000000000. 00 00000 000 00 000 000000 00 000 00000. The magazine is not going to publicly release this info, but we need some clarity on this point. How can you say that this is closely guarded information, when Teal 000 0000000000 000000000 000 00 000 0000 00 0000 000 00 000000 0000 000000 0000 000? What does Teal have to say about this?
- Teal has publicly described her alleged abuser using specific identifying characteristics, such as, 000 0000 00 0000, 000 00000000, 000 000000000 00 00000000 00000000, 000 000000000000 0000 000 0000000, and so on. It would not be hard for anyone in the region to identify him. How is this protecting his identity? What does Teal have to say about her decision to publicly reveal all of this information?
- You also stated that Sarbdeep identified Teal’s alleged abuser to a television station only after he had moved out of the house. It is our understanding that he left Teal in late April or early May of this year, well after her interview with this network. Are you saying he has continued to communicate with the network? Why would he give this information to them? Were you aware that he was planning to turn that information over to the station? When did you learn that he had done so? Did you find out before or after he had already turned over the information?
- We must ask about the Jason Freedman question. In an online publication, evidence was shown that you and a “free lance journalist” named Jason Freedman have the same phone number. You have stated that you do not know who he is or why he has posted your phone number. But, Teal was interviewed by Mr. Freedman in a face to face interview. Weren’t you responsible for arranging and scheduling all of Teal’s interviews? You yourself promoted an interview with Jason Freedman on your Facebook page. This appears to have been one of Teal’s first interviews around the time of her first book release. Jason Freedman even wrote in one of his articles that he interviewed Teal’s parents. Don’t Teal or her parents know who he is?
- As we told you previously, we have consulted with morticians. It is physically impossible for an eight year old child to fit inside a corpse, but this is what Teal has claimed on more than one occasion. How do you reconcile this with the facts of human anatomy? How does Teal?
- The stories Teal has told about her abuse are hair-raising. Why doesn't Teal feel that this man needs to be prosecuted to protect other children? He's not really as old as she has publicly claimed, and it’s not as though he’s too old to still be a threat.
- What does Teal have to say to people who think that it showed a lack of concern for other children who may be killed by waiting so long after she escaped to notify police? Also, a number of people have pointed out that the timing of Teal’s police report was right around the time of Teal’s first book release. Was this just a coincidence?
- Teal has mentioned on many occasions that she is in hiding from her abuser and the cults since she escaped. Did Doc make any attempts to reach her? Did she have any further communication with her alleged abuser or any former alleged cult members?
- Did Teal pose for Playboy at any point? Did she appear in that publication? If so, what was the date of that publication?
- Was Teal scouted by a New York modeling agent outside of a feed store at age 12? Did she travel around the world as a supermodel? If so, where are the ads? Why does she have no online portfolio?
- Teal writes: “When I was acting as if I was in an altered mental state because of the drugs that had been administered to me, or because of the extrasensory abilities, it was explained away as schizoaffective.” (http://tealswan.com/biography) So, now that Teal is no longer under the influence of drugs, how is it that Teal has definitively determined that she is extrasensory and not schizoaffective?
- How is it that it is safe for Teal to drive a vehicle even though she reports regularly experiencing pseudoseizures? Teal has stated that she cannot risk being left alone with her young son, because of the chance she may get triggered and seizure in front of him? Is there some element that Teal is confident she can control with her seizures that makes it safe for her to drive a car or careen down a ski hill, without fear of injuring herself or others?
- Was Teal aware of her history of Satanic Ritual Abuse previous to her therapy with Barbara Snow? Or was this a recovered memory? [Barbara Snow DSW/LCSW accepted a voluntary probation in 2008, rather than face charges for creating false memory in patients. In the course of that investigation, police fed her false information, which her patients subsequently "remembered."]
- Teal has mentioned that her alleged abuser was a lifelong bachelor with no children. After speaking with him, we learned that he has been married for 35 years to his current wife and 15 years to his first wife. He also has two stepsons. Why has Teal never mentioned that her alleged abuser had a wife? If Teal’s claims are true, they would seem to implicate Doc’s wife as well. How could she be married to a man for 35 years and never notice he was a sociopath with multiple personalities who took an interest in Nazi-Germany style mind control programming? How did she not notice that he had Teal tied up in holes in their backyard, or was administering electroshock treatments in their basement, or any of the multiple abuses she has claimed took place on their property?
- What position did Teal place at nationals when she was telemark skier? How many seasons was Teal on the Olympic ski team? When did her telemark ski career end?
I, for one, would have really liked to see their answers to some of those questions. For instance, I've wondered for some time how she reconciles driving through the mountains of Utah with her claimed pseudoseizure condition. I was reminded of this conundrum when I saw the most recent trailer for the "documentary" currently under production. In it, Blake makes the startling claim that teal used the address of a police station on her driver's license.
The address information, shown in this image is, indeed, that of a Salt Lake City police station.
The problem is that it's illegal to list anything other than your own address on your driver's license. I called the Utah DMV and asked if there were any exceptions to this, like say, if you were afraid for your life because of an unindicted violent offender. Could someone in a case like this, for instance, use the address of a police station? The woman I spoke to seemed mystified by the question, but assured me that there are no exceptions. The DMV must have your actual address. You cannot, under any circumstances, falsify that information on a driver's license.
I also asked if there were any instances in which it was acceptable not to inform them of a condition that causes seizures. I was told that any seizure causing condition should be reported and required a doctor's note verifying that you're safe to drive and under what possible restrictions. They admitted that this was hard to enforce, as people obtaining licenses are on their honor to report such conditions.
The law in Utah does not pertain only to physically induced seizures, and in fact, cites mental and emotional impairments as cause to deny or restrict driving privileges.
Individuals must refrain from driving if there is uncertainty due to a physical, mental or emotional impairment which may affect driving safety [UTAH ADMIN. CODE R708-7-5(1)(A)]. This is meant to include side effects of medication or associated problems that may affect driving safety. Individuals who apply for or hold a license and have, develop, or suspect that they have developed a physical, mental, or emotional impairment, or associated side effects, which may affect driving safety, are responsible for reporting this to the Department of Public Safety, Driver License Division. [UTAH ADMIN. CODE R. 708-7-5(1)(C)]. Restricted licenses are available. [UTAH CODE ANN. § 53-3-304(2)(a)].
In addition, "Any physician or other person who becomes aware of a physical, mental or emotional impairment which appears to present an imminent threat to driving safety and reports this information to the Department of Public Safety, through its agents, in good faith shall have immunity from any damages claimed as a result of so doing." [UTAH CODE ANN. § 53-3-303(14)(C)].
The driver's license picture above shows restriction code A, which means that there are no restrictions on teal's driving. But, it would appear from numerous statements on her own blog, that she suffers from mental and emotional impairments known as pseudoseizures. Pseudoseizures can be indistinguishable from and misdiagnosed as epileptic seizures. The only real difference is the causation, which is psychological.
In one post, teal describes one of these episodes in graphic detail.
My son came up to me while I was cooking in the kitchen today and when I said “Winter, how are you lovey?” he replied by saying “Winter is gone. He went to another planet and only Jack is here now”. I felt my body go weak. The panic hit my chest and my vision began to go dark. Even though Winter was playing a game, it was a PTSD trigger for me. When children undergo things they can’t cope with, they often invent a personality (or multiple personalities) of someone that can cope with the experience. When I escaped from my childhood abuse, the torture of it all had left me with 12 alter personalities. I had developed what they call dissociative identity disorder. I spent nearly six years with one of the leading psychologists in the country for ritual trauma, integrating those personalities. I associated Winter calling himself by a different name today, with my own childhood. I passed out on the kitchen floor and slipped into a dissociative seizure. Blake saw me fall and carried me upstairs to my partner, who was reading over a business contract in our bedroom.
In another post, she describes her propensity to be triggered by things as innocuous as movie previews – not movies, the preview is enough to cause a seizure.
People expect me to always act like the perfectly enlightened being they imagine me to be in their minds. And then, they feel let down or tricked when they see me seizure or get triggered as the result of a movie preview that reminded me of my past.
Here she describes her terror of washing machines.
I still haven’t ever done laundry in a washer dryer. I do it by hand in my bathroom sink and hang it out to dry. The three times that I have tried to wash my clothes in a washing machine, I get a far as opening the door and I loose consciousness and fall into what is called a dissociative pseudo seizure.
It seems to me that she's taking quite a risk when she gets behind the wheel. How many everyday sights and sounds might cause her to collapse while she's driving down the highway? What risk might a song or commercial on the radio pose to other drivers? Why would she risk her son's safety by driving him to the museum or library, when some imagination game of his could cause her to collapse behind the wheel?
We are not a cult!!!
On this point, at least, Blake was clear and non-equivocating.
Alright. Well—I mean—the last thing we are doing here is trying to start a cult. We don’t want anything to do with that—uh—we— constantly tell people to believe themselves, check their own information, decide for themselves.
It is true that teal makes statements about people trusting their own inner guidance. The problem, though, is that she undercuts this message at every turn, arrogating to herself the authority of "source awareness" and setting herself well above her followers.
This conflict is on full display in this recent blog post, in which teal can't seem to decide whether or not she wants to be on a pedestal.
Not all people are ready for the sacrifice of the guru image. Not all gurus are ready for it either. It is a challenging task for the guru’s ego (including my own) to lose idolization, respect and reverence and still try to teach as an expert in the public sphere. I can feel my own ego react when people feel free to come up to me at workshops to give me personal advice. At my last workshop, a woman came up to me and said in a mothering tone, “I hope you take some time to get to know this new guy you’re with and don’t get married right away again. These things take time.” I said nothing, but internally I thought to myself, “This is the unfortunate consequence of the authenticity movement, people completely forget they are talking to a spiritual teacher”.
Yes, it's so "unfortunate" when the little people think of you as an equal, just because you keep claiming you are.
I think her latest ex-husband, Sarbdeep [Singh Swan] – to whom she alluded with an image of a man hiding in swan camouflage – has the right of it. She's an exhibitionist.
What teal is doing with all of her "tearing down the velvet curtain" isn't about authenticity and it certainly isn't about being equal to her followers. It means that her "teachings" are all about her. Her practice isn't client-centered. It's teal-centered. As is so often the case with cult leaders, she is operating as a charismatic authority.
Her language is larded with allusions to her specialness and higher vantage point. One phrase that I've noticed comes up repeatedly is "even I." A quick search of her blog brings up numerous examples, such as this one:
We (even I) get to a point where we feel utterly powerless to all the suffering in the world.
I can see that even I had become addicted to knowing.
Think about this for a minute, we all do this to our children. Even I have tried to “make it ok” for my son when he has felt badly because I cannot stand to feel the way that I feel when I see him upset.
Even I found it confusing.
I could post these all day, but the result would be a blog post so long it would wrap around the earth twice. The implication is that teal mostly transcends the issues that plague mere mortals, but not quite.
A Nova Zem interview has been much discussed for her vain and grandiose claims. I touched on some of her jaw-dropping statements here. In that interview, we learn that she is distinguished from average folk, by her extraterrestrial perspective.
Most people are the higher self and their human perspective, two points of perspective. I'm three, human, extraterrestrial, and nonphysical.
Not only that, but she's higher on the spiritual totem pole than channelers like Esther Hicks. Hicks is a terrific channel, very accurate, according to teal. As the "really high vibratory being" that she is, she likes her. But, Esther still has "problems with the floor." She and her late husband Jerry: mortal humans. Hicks can function like an antenna and pick up the channel of Abraham. This, as per teal, is what channelers do. They are still, you know, humans with problems. But, teal IS a being like Abraham.
I am more like the physical expression of this energy. So, if Abraham was able to come down and physically manifest, that's what I'm like.
As long as teal goes about saying things like this, I will have to take with a grain of salt any suggestion that she's about empowering her followers to think for themselves and acknowledge their own divinity. She can't really do that if she's constantly putting herself up above them.
She also divides the world into "tealers" and the "anti-teal" "hate groups" that oppose her "mission and movement." If that isn't cult-speak, I don't know what is. And, let's not forget that she wants to BUY COUNTRIES.
As I've already said, I think teal's organization fits many of the criteria of a cult. That it caught the attention of a cult-watching organization surprises me not at all. I would be more inclined to call it a quasi-cult. It doesn't fit all of the cult criteria. But, the concerns about teal's influence over a large number of people are very real and very serious.
She is a text-book example of a charismatic leader, capable of winding up her following – that she has described as an "army" – into intense and erratic emotional states. She corrals them into despair, endorses suicide, and enlists them in her near-constant, personal struggles. She plays her "mental chess" with a devoted following, many of whom are psychologically injured and emotionally vulnerable.
Some die-hard tealers don't care whether or not her stories of horrific abuse at the hands of a Mormon Satanist are true. I have always found this more than a little odd. As I wrote here, it would substantially undermine her role as a beacon for other abuse survivors. More than that, without that story of tortured personal history, how can teal justify her own "problems with the floor." We are talking about a woman who can't plug in an appliance or do her own laundry without collapsing in a seizure. A great many psychological problems are explained by this dark history. We are meant to judge her not by where she is, but by how far she's come. Without that story, she's just an inexplicably low-functioning adult in a leadership role – the blind leading the blind.
Other followers, though, are very invested in this story. They are moved to passionately defend her honor against her detractors. Members of her "army" can be counted on to appear in comment sections, as they have on this blog and on YouTube videos critical of teal. They can get very hostile, even wishing death on anyone critical of teal.
In fairness to her followers, even teal struggles with these feelings of intense rage and animosity.
I am a spiritual teacher. I am not supposed to have prejudice in my being. But I have spent nearly my whole life in a state of prejudice towards the Mormons. If I saw Mormon missionaries while driving around town, I would point them out and rant for the next ten minutes of the drive. We’d play a non-Mormon game called ‘ten points’ where you joke about the idea of gaining points for running missionaries over. Five points for one and ten points for two. If someone told me they were Mormon, I could feel an absolute rage come over me and I would instantly shut down to them. I would not entertain the idea of ever talking to them again. I would go so far as to say there was a violent hatred in me towards Mormons for the better part of my life.... If even I could feel the kind of rage that would lead to war, what hope is there for someone with less compassion and empathy inherent in their personality structure?
Yes, teal is a box of contradictions – such compassion and high mindedness mingled with intense rage and self-pity. It's a good thing she's so recently transcended all that homicidal anger. Otherwise, someone might mistake her compassionate desire for her alleged abuser to be put out of his misery for some kind of dog whistle to her army.
What do I want to experience out of life before I die?... My abuser being free from this life.
Update: How did Doc not know? (11/11/15)
Cameron has updated her Complete Interview with "Doc," in part, to address some confusion as to his lack of awareness about teal's accusations against him. Some readers saw a discrepancy between Doc's assertion that he'd read up on teal, including her bio, but that he claimed he was unaware that he was being implicated as the abuser she has described. Many of the details she has provided describe him well enough that it should have been obvious. Cameron pointed out that it is only in her more recent bio that teal has provided this level of detail.
It is important to recognize that Teal doesn’t appear to have provided any clues that point directly to “Doc” in her online bio until the end of 2014. The first online bio of hers that I can find appears to have been published on her website on or around October 13, 2011. Its only reference to her alleged abuser is this: “she was inducted as a child (unbeknownst to her parents) into a local cult by a family acquaintance, where she was routinely ritualistically tortured and programmed for a period of thirteen years.” By contrast, the first version of her online bio to mention “Doc,” as well as other identifying details, appears not to have been published until November 22, 2014 (or around that time). Point being, Teal has had many bios, in many places, with numerous revisions, and it's difficult to pin down exactly which version "Doc" ran across online in recent years.
While true, this may be a moot point, as Doc's explanation in their recent exchange clears up the matter completely. Firstly, what he was calling a bio was most likely none of the versions that appeared on her main website. As he explains, he doesn't really recall what he read or where.
Not really, one was a promo for her book, another one or two articles on the internet at various times about her initial interview with a journalist from the local paper.
Moreover, he was aware of the resemblance between teal's alleged abuser and himself, but assumed she was just drawing on some details of his life to create her fictional character.
I did realize that I was probably the model for her fabricated villain but did not think she would ever go so far as to specifically name him, simply because he was not a real person.
He also had assumed that her "fabricated villain" was a composite character, because the most salient feature does not describe him at all.
Because I am not and never have been a Morman [sic]. Morman [sic] cults were a central element of her story.
So, he knew she was including elements of his life in her newest fantasy story, but it simply never occurred to him that she had given her character a name and that it was his. This explains why he was taken aback when he learned, during their first interview, that she was disseminating his name to housemates like Cameron, members of the media, and to the police. It was the first time he learned that he had directly, by name, been implicated in multiple crimes.
There is some other new material that Cameron has added that fleshes out the interview, but this, I think is the most important part. It clears up, to my satisfaction, any possible confusion as to the seeming disconnect between his being aware of her story and his shock at being specifically accused by name.
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