Nov 3, 2017

FACT CHECK: "Teal Swan Answers to the Allegations"

This is in no way a "hard hitting interview." Let's get that much out of the way, right now. This is an in-house production posted on teal's own channel. She is not being interviewed by a professional journalist, but by an unidentified member of her team. This nameless, off-screen voice is reading a list of prepared questions, with no follow-up or clarifying questions. He challenges her on nothing. Worse, I think they are trying to mislead people into thinking it's a real interview and that teal is really being challenged. Notice in this Instagram video, teal flubs, first referring to this as a a video, then correcting herself and calling it an interview. And they sure are ratcheting up the drama, with not one but two introductory segments of her sitting bolt upright in her chair, with darting eyes and a nervous expression, like she's about to interrogated.

But first, let me back up a bit. Way back in July, Blake Dyer reached out to Katherine Rose Breen for a list of questions from what teal calls her "hate group," or what people without persecution complexes call Truth Tribe. Truth Tribe is a support group on Facebook where people discuss cults, spiritual abuse, and life after Teal Bosworth Scott Swan. As Katherine explains on her blog, it was presented to her as a short video of around 15 minutes, that may not get to all the questions. The result, however, is nearly two hours long and still doesn't address a number of the questions, which have all been listed in Katherine's post. She does address a handful of the major issues that have dogged her, things that have been discussed on this blog and elsewhere. But a lot of the video is devoted to her answering softball questions, that no "hater" has asked, like how all this "antagonism" has harmed her.

The result may be the most self-aggrandizing pile of verbiage to escape from teal's mouth yet. She announces herself "superior" to her followers and the vast majority of spiritual teachers. She compares herself to Albert Einstein, Buddha, Martin Luther King, Jesus Christ, Gandhi, and Nikola Tesla. She declares herself an expert, despite her lack of training, education, and certification. Her credentials? She survived Satanic Ritual Abuse, she's been suicidal, she's been married four times, and she's "extrasensory."

One of the many questions teal did not address in this video was this one: "As a survivor yourself, how do you feel about Blake’s perspective that Tori wasn’t really raped, and that the assault was due to her 'poor boundaries'?"

Tori took it upon herself to try to hold teal's feet to the fire on her Spiritual Catalyst page. The "teal eye team" doubled down. When comments supporting Tori started to come in, the whole exchange was deleted.

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What follows is a segment by segment analysis of this video. I am using the same segment titles used in the video to simplify navigation.

Crossing Timelines of Abuse and Normal Life

"One of the things that I started off my career thinking was that by sharing the truth about my past, people would see that as a credential for why to listen to this person," explains teal. She wanted to show what she'd overcome, to demonstrate her strength as a self-help personality.

Her error, she explains, was in not realizing that much of society couldn't handle the hard truth of Satanic Ritual Abuse, so her critics set about trying to poke holes in her story. The central problem with that explanation is that it ignores the Satanic Panic of he 80's and 90's and the fact that SRA was widely and credulously accepted for a number of years. There were countless talk shows and self-defined experts. People went to prison for their "Satanic" crimes. But the evidence was always thin and a number of those cases have since been overturned. Therapists have been discredited for creating false memory. The FBI, after a thorough investigation, found that there was no evidence of vast Satanic networks raping and killing in the name of their dark lord. So teal's timing was poor. She came along with her story after so many stories just like it – I mean really, really similar – had been at first accepted at face value, then debunked.

The problem according to FBI agent Kenneth Lanning's report is not that people can't handle the horrors of Satanic Ritual Abuse, quite the contrary. It's that the realities of crimes like sexual abuse, sex trafficking, and child murder, are so horrific that it's easier to blame the devil than to acknowledge that human beings do these heinous things all on their own.

For those who know anything about criminology, one of the oldest theories of crime is demonology: The devil makes you do it. This makes it even easier to deal with the child molester who is the "pillar of the community". It is not his fault; it is not our fault. There is no way we could have known; the devil made him do it. This explanation has tremendous appeal because, like "stranger danger", it presents the clear-cut, black-and-white struggle between good and evil as the explanation for child abduction, exploitation, and abuse.

From there teal explains away the inconsistencies in her timeline, by pointing out that most abuse victims don't go missing like Elizabeth Smart. It's certainly true that most abuse victims aren't stolen from their families. The perpetrator is usually a family member or close friend. But teal takes this idea to surprising extremes. She seems perfectly satisfied to throw away the victims who do go missing... because it's rare and their perpetrators aren't very skilled, according to her.

One thing that people have to understand is that it's the rarity when it comes to abuse, a person who's stolen out of the house and vanishes and is kept in a basement for years upon years, that's actually the rarity. And it attracts attention because those abusers aren't particularly good at what they do. These are not the abusers we need to be concerned with in today's world, the people who you know go to those types of lengths to make someone vanish.

Screw those amber alert kids, man. Their kidnappers are just sloppy.

The problem with this explanation, though, is that teal seems to want it both ways: a common story of secret shame and denial and the drama of kidnapping by a cult – two cults actually, one Mormon, the other Satanic. She's been telling people for years that she was, among other things, repeatedly kidnapped from her bed at night, chained in a pit in her handler's backyard, prostituted out, used to lure other children to their sacrificial deaths, sewn into a corpse, repeatedly drugged, and forced to have sex with a corpse. All this we're meant to believe happened without her parents' awareness, while she was getting straight A's in school, and modeling around the world. Nothing in this video explains why all this does not strain credulity.

After explaining that she was living a double life – throughout her 13 year odyssey of abuse – graduating early from high school with straight A's and acquiring early bird scholarships, she blurts out, "Then you know the sad reality is once I escaped I had no life skills. I had no life skills other than skiing."

An accelerated student and professional model with no life skills? And in this blog post, she also claims that she became a licensed EMT at 18. This she would also have had to do while being tortured by cults, because she "escaped" at age 19. I'm pretty sure being an EMT qualifies as a life skill.


"Ya got me. My actual goal is to get everyone to commit suicide," says a grinning teal. It's astounding how much teal laughs and jokes about suicide, but some of us are not so sure she's kidding.

What teal does in this segment is narrow the scope to Leslie Wangsgaard's suicide, ignoring the numerous statements she's made which sound alarms for many of us. She also botches the timeline and tries to pin the entire controversy on Cameron Clark. There were concerns about teal's commentary on Leslie Wangsgaard's suicide during the Santa Fe workshop long before Cameron went public about her own experience of having teal try to convince her that she was suicidal and should take a long drive and decide whether she wanted to live or die.

Concerns about the Santa Fe workshop were mentioned in comments on my first post on teal. I watched the video and was stunned. I raised the issue in my second teal post. As more public critics began to find their voices, that particular concern began to spread, for reasons that should be obvious. This was never about what Cameron had to say about Leslie's death. It's about what teal herself said about Leslie's death and about countless other shocking statements on the subject of suicide.

In Teal Tribe, over a year ago, teal also typed out a long explanation as to how she was in no way responsible for Leslie's suicide. The first thing that strikes me about this conversation, is how people have to phrase their questions about teal, so they don't risk getting banned. Heart emoticons and assurances that they love teal and aren't against her are de rigueur.

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In her attempt to defend herself, teal threw her client under a bus. She accused her of not wanting to get better, an appalling and lazy thing for any healing facilitator to say about a client seeking help. And she revealed personal information that any licensed practitioner would face serious penalties for disclosing.

Why would she allow a client to become dependent? She's not a clinician and has no training in dealing with such a delicate situation. Why, if she knew her client was dependent and suicidal, would she not have made sure she had back-up while she was out of cell phone range?

These justificatory statements of hers also ignore her previous statements about her client's death during the Santa Fe workshop, which sure make it sound like she was fully aware that Leslie had made the choice to kill herself.

Her failure to prevent a client's suicide aside, teal is pretty sure that she has the answers on suicide and that the field of psychology does not. This will probably come as a shock to people who have been successfully treated for suicidal ideation. It also stands in stark contrast to her own statement in the Santa Fe workshop that, "There's nothing any healer could ever do for that type of vibration."

What qualifies teal to treat suicidal people? She tried to kill herself four times. Not only is this not a qualification for handling a life-threatening condition, it's fundamentally narcissistic. Why is teal so sure that her experience of being suicidal is the same as everyone else's? But it always comes back to this with teal, she universalizes her experience, she projects herself onto everyone else.

She's also very confident that she knows exactly what will happen if people visualize their own suicide. Echoing her "What To Do If You're Suicidal" video (addressed here), she states with certainty that people who visualize their own suicide will realize that the peace of death is boring and choose not to kill themselves.

But for all her talk of the pain and isolation of the suicidal person, she reduces suicidal ideation to a binary choice.

It is your life. You get to decide whether to take it or not. Unless you realize that it's your choice, you can't actually, consciously commit to life. People who are suicidal are fence-sitters.

Yes, that's the real problem with suicidal people. They're so indecisive.

Money and Spirituality

I don't know who if anyone is giving teal guff about charging money for events and products, or who expects her to "be a Mother Teresa." She has always charged for sessions, workshops, books, her "art," and the many products made from that "art." If she's faced criticism over that, I haven't seen it. She is getting some flack about the money question now, but I think what's new is that teal is getting price resistance. It's coming from her followers, who are finding themselves priced out of a lot of her new offerings, not from her "antagonists." Her new events are mostly high ticket and a lot of her new content is behind the paywall of "Teal Swan Premium."

It's all well and good that teal wants to charge for events and even that she has a "premium" section on her site. It also makes sense that she needs to charge high rates for some events. The problem is that a lot of this seems disingenuous.

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Why put something like the 2-3 minute versions of her daily update videos behind the paywall, teasing followers with truncated one minute videos on Instagram? And why complain that Instagram only allows minute long videos, as if that's the reason she's charging for the extra minute or two of content. Did she suddenly forget that she has a YouTube channel?

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And what makes 2-3 minute videos on her celebrity crushes, cooking breakfast, and video production, "premium" content from a spiritual teacher?

One of the things that my antagonists loved to say about me is that I have a religious nonprofit because nobody has to claim the amount of money that goes through the religious nonprofit. It's not religious nonprofit I have to claim every single cent that goes through this nonprofit. That being said we've done projects with this nonprofit. We did a books to prisons program for example. I haven't done anything that I wanted to do with my nonprofit yet it's literally sitting there waiting for future projects.

None of the many "antagonists" I know have suggested she has a religious nonprofit. I've simply never come across this idea. How on earth would she qualify? What people have asked, repeatedly, is why the books for her nonprofit, Headway Foundation, have not been made available to the public. She said they would be as soon as money was in that account. She was asked this very directly during what I like to call the "entities melee." (Discussed in the comments here.) At that time, January of 2015, she said her books would be open as soon as there was anything in them.

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It sounds from her statements in this video like money has moved through that account. They've done projects. So where are the open books?

Are You a Guru?

Some people will idolize me. That is the reality in today's world. The same thing happens to pop stars.

Yup. Being a spiritual teacher is like being pop star.

She also doesn't think she can prevent "severe idolization" because that's just the level that some people are at in the "evolution of their awareness." They've disowned their own positive traits and naturally project them onto her.

However this is what I'm going to say in the spiritual field it seems to be the only place where being an expert is not acceptable. It seems to be the only place where superiority in terms of knowledge, or information, or capacity to see, is not something that is respected?

Since when? Has she never heard of the pope? Lots of spiritual leaders and teachers are respected for their knowledge and understanding within their disciplines and within their faiths. A lot of them write books, give lectures and interviews, and are tremendously respected for their insight into spiritual life.

Perhaps teal thinks this because she does not respect other spiritual leaders and teachers.

So my issue here is that people expect a kind of lethal humility for me, whereby I say there's no such thing as expertise, it's just one perspective. No. I'm teaching because half of the things that I'm looking at I think are a total BS. I mean nobody comes in as a game-changer, as a thought changer, and thinking that everybody's got it right. I think most people have it wrong.

I was raised Episcopalian, and though I've moved on, it's a church I still respect tremendously. One of the reasons it holds a special place in my heart is its active ecumenicism. Not only did our church reach out to other Christian denominations to do shared programs, it reached out to other religions. My youth group, for instance, invited the local Rabbi to do a presentation on his recent trip to Israel. We also went to a service at that synagogue and their youth came to a service at our church.

When I hear any spiritual leader talk about why their spiritual teachings are superior to others, I get very, very nervous.

As we all know, teal is against humility on principle. She rejects the idea that she is simply offering a perspective, because hers is a "superior" perspective.

Do I see myself as unequal to the people who are following me in this setting? Yes, I do. Otherwise I wouldn't be teaching.

What makes teal an expert? She's "extrasensory." Other people not so much.

How do I have all this information? It's because I'm extrasensory. I'm not limited to this dimension or time-space reality. But I'm not asking you to believe that. I'm asking you to look at my content.

Well, I have looked at a good deal of her content. I'm of the opinion that it owes not so much to her ability to move through dimensions, as to her ability to google and hit cut/paste.

Being extrasensory makes her a victim, too. It sucks. But she can "see truths others don't see" because of their "perceptual incapacities."

Now it's time for the superior dance. Hit it, Pearl.

After explaining that she has a superior vantage point and superior knowledge, that most of what other people in her field are teaching is crap, how much she is suffering to gain this incredible knowledge so that she can impart it, and that she thoroughly rejects the idea that her perspective is equal to other people's, she suddenly does an abrupt volte-face.

One thing that I will say is that I never taught anybody to see me as a guru. I am NOT the venue through which your spiritual information will come. I'm a person who's providing a new perspective. If you can't look at that perspective and own it as your own, it's just my perspective.

She can't possibly be a guru, because she's so "authentic." She's open about all of her "dysfunctions."

If I'm like, okay, and my personal life, my relationship is not doing well right now, what do you think people are gonna do? Are they gonna see you as a guru? Are they gonna look at you and say, oh they're dysfunctional. I don't want to follow them anymore. Believe me, if I wanted people to see me as a guru and the one through which their spiritual enlightenment is going to come, I wouldn't have taken that step.

And yet people do follow her. By her own admission, many people "idolize" her. Perhaps not as a traditional guru, but certainly as a "guru-type," which is how she defines herself elsewhere in this very video.

More to the point, teal is promoting herself, not just as a spiritual teacher, but as a celebrity. She talks about her own fame constantly. How do celebrities market themselves? Not by calling themselves famous celebrities all the time. Even by Hollywood standards, that's just crass. But what celebrities and their publicists know very well is that sharing their private lives, leaking to gossip columnists about their relationships and break-ups, and sharing personal stories in interviews, they keep themselves in the news cycle, and they endear themselves to their fans. It gives people a false sense of intimacy with these stars who are otherwise so out of reach. What teal is doing, in this regard, is not new or fresh. It's not some bold social "movement." It's plain, old-fashioned self-promotion.

Law of Attraction

Why, the nameless, off-camera voice asks teal, has she law of attracted so much "antagonism" compared to other spiritual teachers?

If you were expecting teal to take any sort of personal responsibility for why she's magnetizing so much of what she considers "hate" or "antagonism," you will be sorely disappointed. The problem is with everybody else, not her. According to teal, she's magnetizing antagonism because she herself is an antagonist, but against all those "old paradigms."

It's not anything she's doing wrong. It's what she's doing right. She's a "game-changer." It's everyone she opposes who is wrong.

What you're doing is coming up against the systems that currently exist. That means that anybody who's a part of those systems, anyone who believes in those things, or who has taught those things, now suddenly is being invalidated by you. So they have an option. Either they admit that they were wrong, that their entire way of doing it was misguided, that they've spent their life in vain pretty much and that their life is not valid. Or they hate me. What are you gonna choose?

Gosh, I cannot imagine why teal telling everybody they're wrong, that their entire lives were invalid and will continue to be if they don't embrace her teachings, could possibly make people angry.

It's really interesting to me that people, you know, always want to put the emphasis on how is teal the one making this happen, when the reality is I'm a revolutionary in this field. That's what I am. So look at what happens to revolutionaries. What do you think happened with Martin Luther King? What do you think happened with Christ? What do you think happened with Gandhi? Look at these people. What's happening with them is what's happening with me. 

That is some pretty rarefied air she inhabits, very select group.

Apparently, people like her represent only 1% of the human population. She is a "reflector," she explains. I was baffled by this concept, as it seems to fly directly in the face of her professed belief in oneness. It was explained to me that she is speaking of a specific system called Human Design. According to this system, what they call "reflectors" are only 1% of the population. I will not pretend to understand this system, but as presented by her and by what I subsequently read, I still say it's at odds with both mystical oneness and the derivitive law of attraction beliefs, in which we are all reflecting each other all the time and cannot do otherwise. But there is nothing new about teal being a walking, talking box of contradictions.

After going to great lengths to explain why it's her specialness and her revolutionary ideas that have put her on a collision course with "antagonism," she finally gets around to answering the question posed. Why is she law of attracting this? So is this where she takes personal responsibility for what she is magnetizing? Nope. It's still someone else's fault, in this case her family and her largely Mormon community, which "ostracized" her and made her the "black sheep."

According to teal, no spiritual teacher has ever been open and honest about the difficulties in their lives before. That does not accord with my experience. There are lots of teachers who've opened up about current and past difficulties in their lives and shared a range of emotions. But your better spiritual leaders also know that what they're teachings isn't really about them and try not to make themselves the issue.

Poor teal is constantly working against preconceived ideas that spiritual teachers have to look a certain way and should maybe not be living in a never-ending state of drama.

I mean it's really funny because there's a lot of speculation about how it should look but are you awakened? Then how do you know how it should look? This is the big question that I have for people. Because, like I said, it's all speculation until you get to that point and, believe me, it looks a lot different once you're there.

If no one knows what an awakened teacher looks like, because they're not "awakened," how can they possibly know that teal is awakened? Because she says so?

As her mind-reading of her "antagonists" goes on – and really, we can speak for ourselves – this whole thing takes a dark turn.

Another reason why people antagonize me like they do is because in this group that I've set up, which is an intentional community that's worldwide, is a sense of belonging. A lot of the people who are following my material are deeply lonely people. The only place they find belonging is in this group that I've created, the Teal Tribe. Now the problem is when, let's say, that they decided that they hate something that I've said, or they're starting to speculate about what kind of a person I am, and they turn against me, then by virtue of turning against me, in the type of group that is set up around the support of me [emphasis added], they now are seen as an antagonist. 

So Teal Tribe is set up to "support" teal, not the other way 'round. And there is only mutual support and friendship, in that group, so long as members are not questioning or criticizing teal. Got it.

When that happens, they lose their sense of belonging within the Teal Tribe. Now you've got a person who did feel belonging and is now losing belonging. And they're alone and isolated and where are they gonna go now? They have to find a sense of belonging. And what my hate groups have done is set up that belonging, oh if you don't belong with teal, belong with her antagonists. so they're literally switching one belonging for the other sense of belonging, and belonging is one of the principal needs for a human being. So this is another reason why. And the problem is once they fall in with each other to get a sense of belonging, their only way of staying belonging in that group is hating on teal so they have to keep doing that.

They are either "belonging" with her, or "belonging" against her, according to teal.

In point of fact many people come and go from her "hate groups." Many get complete with their processing of what they've experienced with her and move on with their lives. That's what a healing context looks like. It's not about becoming part of a new group. Most of these people have lives. Some restore their relationships with their families and friends, relationships that had been damaged by following teal. People are not adrift without her and in desperate need of a new group identity.

She's building global community, not teaching ideas. She's made this about belonging. That sounds awfully culty to me. It doesn't seem to occur to her that people should be able to pick her material up and put it down as one of many sources of information. They're joining something.

I have come into the world on a platform of authenticity, which means that I have shared the deepest aspects of my own vulnerability with people. And that is a level of intimacy which is not normal to have with most people, especially most people who are famous. And by virtue of doing that, people feel like they know me. So what happens when they feel this level of intimacy with me and I don't know them at all? Because I'm a public person I don't know one fan from another fan often they feel completely rejected.

If you don't know one fan from the next, that is not intimacy. That is obsession. As I said above, she's creating a false sense of intimacy, the same way celebrities and wannabe celebrities have been doing  since the dawn of PR. She's also taking it to extremes.

Another reason that I feel like I get the amount of antagonism that I get is that I'm not a fluffy person. I do not sell novocaine. I'm gonna tell you that like 99% of the people that are in this business, they sell novocaine. It's just I'm gonna give you whatever material makes you feel better and then you're gonna have to keep coming back to my material. Nothing's really gonna change but I'm gonna keep feeding you this positivity and you know all these beliefs that basically make you feel like the world is better. I don't do this. I'm in the business of serious, lasting change.

I'm not real fluffy, either, and I've been pretty outspoken about the tyranny of a positive attitude for a long, long time. For the few minutes I was enjoying my first reading of teal's blog, her apparent dismissal of love and light was the reason... you know, before alarm bells started ringing in my head.

But I take her invented statistic with a few grains of salt. It's not based on anything but her own narrow reading of what constitutes the spiritual marketplace and a back of the envelope calculation that I expect only has meaning to her. It also very conveniently throws all her competitors under a bus.

But the larger problem is that she's not leading her followers to independence anymore than she claims all those novocaine paddlers are. In fact, she's far worse. She's openly fostering dependency on her "tribe" as a place of belonging and participation in some greater mission of authentic something, something.

I also think her work is potentially far more damaging than the love and light pabulum. Her work has the potential to break people down psychologically. Her "processes" are push polls into despair. Her Completion Process can, by her own blunt admission, lead people to self-harm and suicide. On balance, maybe that novocaine is the better option.


Why should anyone take marriage advice from a 33 year old woman who's already on her fourth marriage? In teal's tortured analogy, because sea captains who have only ever sailed in calm seas aren't prepared for storms. But a storm is a natural phenomenon, something beyond any captain's control. I think a better comparison might be to the sea captain who ignores weather forecasts, heads out into storm systems despite warnings, sinks one ship after another, and then publicly disparages the crew.

It's hard to be in a relationship when you're famous and she's very, very famous. Like all celebrities, she has fans waiting in the wings who all want to take her away from whoever the current "asshole" is. Is this a veiled admission about the demise of her third marriage, and the fan who sent her a mash note about the Eiffel Tower? Hmmm...

Anyone who wants to be in a relationship with teal has to be "addicted" to "awakening" and to "being worked on all the time." And this is very hard, by her own admission.

Why? Because just come to one of my events and sit in the hot seat and see what it's like to just be in that position for one hour. To be in a relationship with me, that's your life. I do not put up with a lack of awareness. I won't do it.

I'd just like to point out that the term "hot seat" is slang for the electric chair. To be in the hot seat is to "face intense questioning, criticism, punishment, or scrutiny." Having seen some of her workshops, that sounds about right.

One thing you get pretty quickly watching teal in action is that she's one of those people who is just never wrong. To hear her tell it, it's her personal torment that she's so aware of what's wrong with everyone else, that when they don't acknowledge it, it's like being gaslighted. It's never because she's mistaken. If you disagree with her at all, or if what she's saying doesn't connect, she just verbally beats you into submission.

During her Dublin workshop, a woman sought her help with Chronic Fatigue, but teal's interpretation of the cause didn't resonate. And the more she resisted, the more aggressive teal got. Over the course of about an hour, teal enlisted peer pressure by bringing another CFS sufferer up on stage to "play them against each other." She scared her with warnings about her potential death, played her discomfort and frustration for laughs, and after repeatedly invalidating her, busted her chops for thinking teal had criticized her at all. Talk about gaslighting.

And then, of course, there was the man who went to Philia for a singles retreat, only to have teal assess his "vibration" as "creep."

So on this I agree with teal. Being subjected to that kind of treatment 24/7, in any sort of relationship, sounds like hell.

Much of this we already knew from her interview with Ale, who explained her ministrations thusly:

Because you’re always a work in progress and she sees all your imperfection, and you have to be willing to see them yourself. Because if she sees it and you don’t see it, then there’s a conflict. And she’s not going to let go.

And challenging her on her imperfections?

I don’t go there… what people don’t realize about Teal, her self-esteem is not high. She’s struggling with self-esteem issue…. I had this advice from a friend who gave me a reading early in our relationship that we shouldn’t walk on each other, but the truth is I should never walk on her.

In other words, she's free to walk on him. Sounds lovely.

Your Pain

Just in case you were fooled by the set-up of this video into thinking that the off-camera voice is a real journalist and this is a real "hard-hitting interview," this question should put an end to that illusion.

What pain have you experienced from this situation and antagonizers accusing you of these lies?

Wasn't the point of this exercise for teal to answer questions from her "antagonists?" (I'm assuming that's the word she found in her trusty thesaurus, because it sounds a little more sophisticated than the very juvenile "haters.") So what "antagonist" ever asked how she was being hurt by their "lying?"

To illustrate the pernicious nature of "slander," teal explains that Napoleon Bonaparte was not short, he was tall for his era, but was insulted by some nameless foe, who called him short. The Napoleon Complex is predicated on a lie, according to teal.

I love teal histories. They can be counted upon to be wildly inventive. Napoleon was indeed not particularly short, but neither was he very tall. He was of average, or slightly above average, height for his time. The confusion comes not from any defamation, but from a difference in measuring systems and his predilection for surrounding himself with tall soldiers.

Napoleon was not short. At the time of his death, he measured 5 feet 2 inches in French units, the equivalent of 5 feet 6.5 inches (169 centimeters) in modern measurement units. The confusion stems from the French and British measurement systems used at the time of Napoleon's reign, which used the same terms even though the actual measurements varied.

Napoleon was of average height, but his battle strategies may have earned him a reputation for being short. Apparently Napoleon preferred to surround himself with very tall soldiers, and these members of his personal guard made him look short-statured in comparison.

So, yes, errors happen and mythologized history can be pervasive. All that is true, but it doesn't explain the problems that teal is having.

I have lost talking deals based off of these campaigns, people who don't want to work with me because they're afraid of the controversy. Most people in this field do not require security. I require security teams at every single event. Most people in the spiritual field who are in the love and light don't feel comfortable with that type of dynamic happening at their events.

I'd just like to point out that teal has been alluding to threats against herself and her family since at least 2013, which was when I first became aware of her. Back then it was the "establishment" and nameless corporations and she was going to flee to Europe for her own safety, which, of course, she never did. Now, it's "antagonists" and evil plots hatched out of that "hate group" Truth Tribe. So this is just the latest completely unsubstantiated conspiracy theory, with which she can create drama and paint herself as a victim in need of protection.

Criticism is not slander. Perhaps teal's losing talking deals and not getting the support she wants, not because people are avoiding controversy, but because at least some of these folks recognize that there is ample truth in what her "antagonists" are saying. From the time of my first blog post on teal, she characterized my work as "outrageous claims." But, as I pointed out in the second post, I made no claims. I simply analyzed her own public record and stated my own opinions and deductions.

Since then people from her inner circle have come forward and shared their own experiences with teal. While much of this can't be empirically verified, their stories share many similarities. They also accord with her public record in many ways. The way that teal has retaliated against these folks, personally and through proxies, looks similar to the way Scientology handles the "suppressive persons" who've publicly broken with the "church." She doesn't take the high road. She takes no personal responsibility. She doesn't apologize for how she may have even unintentionally hurt them. The problem is always them. It's up to readers and viewers of that material to make their own deductions as to who seems more credible.

She compares her work to a "crown jewel" that nobody wants. None of her "famous" friends are giving her a hand up while she is doing so much to help them. I don't know. Would these be those same spiritual teachers who she says are selling "novocaine?" Or perhaps other people in her industry whom she's plagiarized? Ever think maybe teal makes at least some of her own problems?

Unusual for a law of attraction teacher, teal proclaims herself a "victim." She'll admit that she's a "vibrational match" to this, but that's because of how she was ostracized as a child. It always comes back to how she was victimized by others. Nowhere in this does she take any actual, personal responsibility. It's all blame-throwing, all shadow projection.

She is right about one thing, though. Some of us really do think people need to be protected from her influence, not necessarily because we think she's "like Satan." But as I've said many times since I started cataloguing her, someone had to bell the cat.

College Dropout

By her own admission, teal has no academic credentials beyond a high school diploma. Her answer to that conundrum is that she doesn't need any.

Okay, so my question to you would be are you gonna go back in time and sit at the foot of Albert Einstein and ask him for his credentials? No. People who know him understand that he was given a PhD. Why? Because he didn't need to study. What was going on his material was already better than what was going on. 

What she appears to be saying here is that Einstein only had an honorary degree. This is woefully inaccurate.

Later, they moved to Italy and Albert continued his education at Aarau, Switzerland and in 1896 he entered the Swiss Federal Polytechnic School in Zurich to be trained as a teacher in physics and mathematics. In 1901, the year he gained his diploma, he acquired Swiss citizenship and, as he was unable to find a teaching post, he accepted a position as technical assistant in the Swiss Patent Office. In 1905 he obtained his doctor's degree.

He did receive many honorary degrees throughout his very accomplished life, but those were in addition to those he'd earned academically.

According to teal, traditional education doesn't create "game-changers" like her. It only teaches people old, outmoded thinking. Of course a lot of thought leaders and change agents have had traditional educations, people like, say, Albert Einstein. This is the kind of basic information that she would know, or at least  know how to fact-check, if she'd had a proper education.


The question and the answer are, once again, narrowed in scope, focusing only on the allegations of plagiarism in The Completion Process, ignoring her long history of plagiarizing from multiple sources. I have it on good authority that my Fullmetal Plagiarist post was discussed in Teal Tribe, that she defended herself within in the confines of that group, and that the entire discussion was deleted, as criticism of her typically is. Can I prove that? No, it was deleted and no one got screenshots. But I also know that the issues raised in the post have circulated widely. I'm pretty sure she knows that she was caught plagiarizing swathes of text, word for word. But she's not addressing any of it in this video, only The Completion Process, where I guess she feels safe. She's not safe, for reasons that will become apparent.

According to teal, Ma Nithya Swarupapriyananda "who was already hating me because I'm competition for her in terms of the world stage and disseminating teachings as female prophet, basically, uh, she decided when she saw this process coming out called The Completion Process, having been angry that I used her guru's picture, flipped out, I mean literally flipped out..."

What someone literally flipping out would look like, I can't imagine, so let's assume teal means she figuratively flipped out. What she actually did was post a video on teal having plagiarized Nithyananda. But teal's narrative is very inventive and makes many assumptions. We all know that envy is the prime driver of any woman who takes issue with her, according to teal, so this is nothing new. But the thing about the photo I knew wasn't right either, so I checked. In point of fact, Ma Nithya Swarupapriyananda had no idea about the use of the photo until after posting the video in question. She learned it from a comment on that very video.

Click Image to Expand

In teal's version of events, Ma Nithya Swarupapriyananda and the Nithynanda followers, unable to prove the similarity of the two bodies of work, turned their attention to Michael Brown, but that is bollocks. Nithyananda's followers are still actively and aggressively targeting teal for plagiarizing their guru and they were never the people who accused her of plagiarizing Michael Brown.

I had been hearing chatter about teal plagiarizing The Presence Process long before Ma Nithya Swarupapriyananda's video. In fact I was directly contacted about it shortly after my Fullmetal Plagiarist post went up and asked if I could look into it. This was before her book was published and when the details of her process were not available for perusal anywhere, so I could not find text to work from. It was Katherine Rose Breen who ultimately did the pick and shovel work of comparing the two books and her post can be found here and here.

In her video, teal claims that she has spoken to Michael Brown and everything is good between them. A friend of mine reached out to him to find out whether or not this were true. Brown had nothing good to say about teal. He provided the following statement. (Screenshots follow.)

"When Teal Swan's management first contacted me, asking if we could engage on some level about the commonality of our work, or some other pretext like that, I brushed them off. I said something like, 'when people do explorations into themselves they likely find the same things...blah, blah, blah'. When readers told me Teal Swan is plagiarizing The Presence Process, I wasn't really interested. I do recall comparing such mutterings to, 'yapping dogs'. I apologize for that now. My initial flippant response is because I have heard exact sentences, verbatim from my two books, come out of the mouths of many known New Age 'teachers', and even celebrities like Jim Carey, Oprah and Ellen. Even my own friends do it to me, not realizing they are talking my book back at me. This is because The Presence Process is full of perceptual catch-phrases I created in the 90' to communicate the intricacies of emotional processing, which have now become meaningless New Age memes. People love to use them to impress, especially when they have no experiential clue what they really imply. Some of these catch-phrases now appear on fridge magnets in New Age homes, always ascribed to some fake guru, like Teal Swan. The word 'integration', for example, was only used in the context of the business community before I added it to the vocabulary of emotional processing in the early 90's. So I take people plagiarizing my work with a pinch of salt. However, Teal Swan does take it to a whole new level. Since my one and only interaction with Teal Swan, last year if I recall, Namaste Publishing Inc. has been contacted about this matter by others and did pass their documentation on to their legal advisers. I would encourage readers to contact them again if this matter concerns you. [Attention: Constance Kellough ] I have not read Teal Swan's recent book, or any of her writings, other than excerpts sent to me by concerned readers. So beyond what has been shown to me, I have no idea to what extent she copies anything by anybody. But I have seen her videos on you tube. Teal Swan is everything I hoped the writing of The Presence Process would protect people from. I guess I failed a bit here!!! As long as people confuse 'taking their power' with 'following another despite their obvious inconsistencies', the Teal Swans of the world will be here to rake in the cash and leave a wake of confusion and disappointment. The Presence Process is delicate, personal, self-facilitation, written in context and with extreme care. People using any part of it to gain followers are naive, reckless, irresponsible and ignorant. Or otherwise they are just power-hungry psychopathic narcissists." Michael Brown, author of The Presence Process and Alchemy Of The Heart.

Practicing Psychology Without a License 

Neither I nor anyone I know, and you how we "haters" stick together, put the State of Utah onto teal.

In a classic teal move, she claims in this video that the citation is ridiculous because they based it on her using the clinical term "social anxiety." It's not because she used the term. It's because she used her process to treat this clinical condition.

Compared to a laundry list of abuses that could have gotten her license revoked if she had one – like, say, abandoning a dependent and suicidal client to go on vacation and then disclosing that client's personal details after her death – the technicality the State cited teal for may seem trivial. All I can say to that is that they brought down Al Capone on tax evasion.

Cult or Movement?

Here again, the question is narrowed, in this case to Teal Tribe, the Facebook group, but even some of her answers point to the larger issue, which includes things like the building of intentional communities of her followers.

I may at some point do an analysis of her Cult or Movement blog post, but now is not the time. One can certainly, though, compare even what I've documented in this post to the checklist she presents in that post and see some of the problems for themselves. I also took a look at some of the cult criteria I think she meets in this post here.

We can also just look at what she says in this segment of her video.

She claims here that she'd be a terrible cult leader because she's teaching people to "follow their own internal guidance system." Take another look at the Dublin video. How is she helping that poor woman with CFS to follow her internal guidance system. By invalidating everything she says, including how she feels her own intuition and "guidance system" have been serving her?

"There is no money to belong to this group," says teal. That's true if we are narrowly defining group to mean her Teal Tribe Facebook group but to be an active participate in her greater "tribe," there are certainly costs. She charges for her events, and a lot of her new offerings are pricey. People have to pay their own travel to get to those events. She has much of her new content behind a paywall. To really engage with her material, costs are involved, and they are increasing.

There may be no consequence for breaking from her "tribe," but there sure are for speaking out about your reasons, as discussed above.

Nowhere have I ever taught that this is the one truth. Do I think I have a hell of a lot of things to share and that most people on the planet in this field of doing it wrong? Hell yes. Otherwise I wouldn't be standing on this platform. But I've never said that there is one true truth and that is something that all cults do.

Sometimes the jokes just write themselves. She may not have the "one truth" but most everyone in her field and in the world are wrong. She is, at the very least, in a very elite group of people who are  right. Who those other people are, she does not say, nor does she cite most of her sources, so...

Whatever problems people are having in Teal Tribe, it's because the group is made up of people. Some of them are "super awake" but some are "super asleep." I love the way she just casually throws away a swathe of her members for, ya know, not being "woke." Anyway, what problems people are having, it's with the membership, not with teal. Nothing is ever her fault.

"It's basically a mini-society." It's not a cult, though. It's definitely not a cult.


Says teal:

I'm an empath. It's impossible to be an empath and a narcissist at the same time. Basically, by definition, narcissists are incapable of attuning. They can't feel other people's emotions. An empath is the exact opposite of that. My entire career is set up upon the basis of me being able to feel other people's emotions and see them and experience them. I would be really bad at my job if I couldn't do that, so you can't argue that I'm a narcissist.

Scroll up this page and take a look at that Dublin workshop footage again. Where exactly is all this empathy? Here's what I see when I watch that and any other workshop exchange. She's not a good reader. Her answers are one-size-fits all assumptions, based on her own beliefs. In the above example, she insists there's only one underlying cause for chronic fatigue syndrome and when it doesn't resonate for the woman in front of her, she plays her against another woman with chronic fatigue, as if all chronic fatigue sufferers have the same problem and there's only one way to deal with it. A good empath would find something specific about this woman, as a unique individual, to help her gain insight into her situation. Instead of "feeling into" this woman, she plays her mental chess game, "I'm gonna do a checkmate move. I'm sorry, you asked for it. You ready?"

She uses this kind of chess terminology a lot in her workshops, which is very interesting because it really echoes her thought experiment in this video.

Because I am an energy vampire, I am a master at manipulating energy. I could become a brilliant energy worker. I have the capability of consciously pulling in negative energy and transmuting it inside my own body. This means I can feed off of illness and discordant energy rather than stealing life force from people’s bodies. I can manipulate energy to heal people. Also, being an energy vampire, I am a master at mental chess. I play mind games with people. So, the highest aspect of that trait (what we call the exalted aspect) is to play mind games with people that benefit them. I could become a brilliant counselor or psychologist. I could outsmart other people’s egos and help them to see things about themselves that they are totally unaware of.

And she plays to win.

Narcissists aren't introspective and she's very introspective, according to herself. But narcissists are very definitely self-absorbed.

She exposes her dark side and lets people see her "in a bad light" which is "not the action of a narcissist," according to teal. But as anyone who has had much experience with narcissists can tell you, what they crave is attention, and if it's not positive, negative attention will suffice.

The narcissist’s insatiable quest for attention (what Vaknin was the first to describe as “narcissistic supply”), leads him or her to seek out a steady source of admiration. Where that is in short supply, the narcissist prefers to inspire fear or hatred than suffer the nightmare of being ignored.... While the narcissist’s need for “supply” is inexhaustible, their sources are not. Devoid of empathy, narcissists will escalate the drama of a situation – regardless of whether the attention is positive or negative, it is simply more attention.

Why does it matter if she's narcissistic? Why are displays of narcissism discussed? Because "pathological narcissism" is a defining feature of toxic mind-control cults.

Is she using her "seduction and looks" to grow her business and fame?

She tries to appear passive in the way her image is being used to market her. It's beyond her control, because she has employees who handle her marketing and social media. And she can't help that she's pretty and sexy. It's just who she is. She thinks it's terribly unfair that there's an idealized image of what a spiritual teacher or "guru-type" should look like.

I want to smash the paradigm of the image, this little, boxed image, of what we think spiritual information needs to come through.

I almost agree with what she's saying here. There shouldn't be a certain type of appearance or level of attractiveness that determines your value as a spiritual teacher. The problem is that teal is on record saying exactly the opposite. She's said that her looks are very important to her ability to get her message out all over the world and that the Arcturians designed her to be pretty for that reason. Black women are seen, according to teal, as "pretty ugly" except to other Africans, so they're not able to get the kind of attention that she is. She's said that the mainstream doesn't want to hear spiritual teachings from someone who is "wrinkling and greyed." So teal has her own little, boxed image of what a spiritual teacher should look like and it's pretty, young, and white, because "sex sells."

Shadow Motivations

She's enlightened like the Buddha, and is now leading others toward enlightenment, but she feels unsafe in the world. Doesn't enlightenment mean awakening to the illusory nature of this world and that all that awaits you is Nirvana? What then could she possibly fear? How can she feel unsafe?

The Buddha stayed in the world to teach, as she claims she is doing, but out of compassion and to alleviate the suffering of others, not because it was the only thing he could do and was otherwise incapable of functioning.

Not for the first time, I am very troubled by the way she characterizes "extrasensory" ability. She presents it as this very unusual ability that she has, this rare "gift." Psychic ability is our birthright. We all have it and so do our pets. We certainly vary in our awareness and acceptance of our "sixth sense." Some of us have more developed abilities than others, but we all have these abilities and can refine and improve upon them. In my own practice I facilitate my clients innate intuitive abilities, help them to recognize and develop them.

I think I'm even more disturbed that she's also characterizing these abilities as a "curse." This makes psychic development sound scary and is potentially discouraging to people who want to acknowledge and expand upon their own innate abilities. Once again, she's fostering dependency on her. She is suffering to bring you insight, so you don't have to. How benevolent of her to martyr herself in this way.

Why Now?

Synopsis: She and her team followed the "what you resist persists" playbook. Turns out some things persist even when you don't give energy to them.

Suggestion: Might be time to rethink that whole what you resist persists idea.

Note: No one is lobbing actual bombs at teal, to be clear.


I am again left wonder what "antagonist" has asked her to share her life passion and mission, but here we are.

My life purpose and mission is to find an answer to suffering and one that I can convey. 

Didn't she just say that she was enlightened like the Buddha? Didn't he already do that? And didn't he understand the cause of all suffering when he became enlightened and only stay in the world to teach that?

But first, her mission is to "infiltrate mainstream media" and make it "so it's almost like you're tricking people into becoming conscious." It's always about the tricks and the mental chess, isn't it. Not surprisingly, her focus is reality programming. For some reason she thinks it's a novel idea to teach better relationship dynamics through television scenarios, and this is how she's defining "consciousness."

Note to teal: Higher consciousness has already "infiltrated" media. You are so far behind the curve.


All powerful movements within society are controversial, says teal. Sure. But that doesn't mean they're all good. The Nazis were a powerful movement that ultimately upended the fledgling democracy of the Weimar Republic, instituted a dictatorship, invaded other countries, and put their eugenics beliefs into practice by killing millions of Jews, Gypsies, disabled people, and anyone else who opposed them. Some social movements it's better to resist.

What are people resisting when they criticize teal? Messaging that we think could lead to suicide... and arguably has? Yes. We are resisting that. I know that's not the message she claims to be sending. But many of us disagree. If we really thought she had a great model for preventing suicide, we'd support it. It's not that her "haters" are against preventing suicide.

Many of teal's stated goals sound good, prison reform, integrating holistic health care... As overarching ideals they sound fine. But the devil is in the details and her details range from puerile to scary.

I find it troubling that teal can make even "authenticity" a binary, with me or against me thing. It's particularly troubling in that teal has redefined authenticity to mean a lack of personal boundaries and privacy. Authenticity as TMI. If I thought it were an actual movement, I'd be against it.

I mean the reality is is that when racism was the issue, people found themselves at that point. Are you gonna side with the, the aspect and with all the antagonism of being pro integration of blacks, or are you gonna be against it?

Well, you heard it here first, folks. Racism is not an issue anymore. Apparently, once segregation ended, it was all over. But even if we define racism that narrowly, it's far from over.

One thing that I would wish is that people stop focusing so much on me and start focusing on the content. It speaks for itself.

Whaaaaaah?! (LaVaughn carefully wipes coffee from the computer keyboard.) Is that why her group is called Teal Tribe and she thinks its purpose is to support her?  Is it why she has endorsed her followers calling themselves "tealers," and calls anyone who questions her "anti-teal?" Is it why all her social media is awash in glamour shots of her and she embraces these "sex sells" marketing methods? Is it why she does daily updates about her celebrity crushes, her cooking skills, and whatever is irritating her on a given day? Because she wants people to stop focusing so much on her?!

If You Could Say Something To Your Haters What Would It Be?

Hate is your word, teal, not mine, and it's a lazy and juvenile way to dismiss legitimate criticism.

I would love to be able to say to you that you haven't impacted me at all, but you have. You've impacted my life immensely and I know that there's part of you that's happy about that. But the question that I'd have for you is can you honestly rejoice in the suffering of others?

I can honestly say that I have never rejoiced in the suffering of others. I know some people experience schadenfreude, but I never have. I can't stand to see anyone suffer, even hardened criminals. I do like to see criminals removed from society, in order to prevent them causing more suffering. And this is one of those ways that you and I differ, teal. You may not want to see even your own alleged abusers incarcerated, even if it means others might suffer, because, hey, you can't protect anyone from the law of attraction. Yet here you are, asking for an exemption.

I am so troubled by the sight of suffering that your public humiliation of your ex-boyfriend motivated me to put pen to paper. I think you're a spiritual abuser, teal. I think you cause suffering.

If you hate something, it must have hurt you. How did I hurt you?

How can you ask that when a number of people have already posted their own accounts of how you have hurt them, and your response was to attack and defame them, never to consider that there might be at least some truth to their words, never to acknowledge their suffering at your hands. Why ask a question when you clearly don't want to hear the answer?

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