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Update: The Noncasts (See Below)
Further Update: Blake Addresses Jason Freedman Mystery (See Below)
Yet Another Update: Kicking "Tealers" Down the Memory Hole (See Below)
Some years ago, when I was doing the Flower of Life teacher training with Drunvalo Melchizedek, one of my fellow travelers shared with me that he was troubled by what he called the "Drunvalettes." The term was his own invention but there was no mistaking his meaning. He even pegged a few of our classmates with that term. He liked Drunvalo quite a bit but that there was this kind of adulation by some Flower of Life folks made him uncomfortable. He had some concern that Drunvalo might have been fostering this unquestioning sycophancy. So one day when we were enjoying a break, he asked Drunvalo very directly how he felt about his Drunvalettes.
Dru shook his head and sighed. "I just try to stay out of it," he said.
That's one approach. There's a conversation to be had, for sure, about whether ignoring the phenomenon and trying to distance oneself from it is enough. Is it necessary to more actively discourage such behavior? But I think the one thing we were all in agreement on -- Drunvalo, myself, and the gentleman who raised the concern -- was that such hero worship was not a good or healthy thing.
The term "tealer" has similarly been thrown around to describe those who've drunk the "teal-aid." Some of her more passionate and angry defenders who've posted on my blog have been quite pejoratively labeled "tealers" by other commenters. So imagine my horror when I read this in a recent TEAL post about her seminar in Atlanta.
I am struck by how much the imprint of the days of slavery still remains on some of the older buildings and railways here in town. It has soaked its way especially into the old wood that dots the brick walls. The venue for yesterday’s workshop was one such a building. It was a fitting energy, seeing as how the theme of the entire workshop was self-liberation.
This group which is being called the “Tealers” is the most open minded, eccentrically intellectual group I have ever beheld. I think it is now my favorite part of holding these workshops. Long-term friendships are formed. People find their place to belong. And I get to witness the fact that this world is in good hands. All across the globe, they form a supportive web of awakening. They touch the lives of the people in the cities they live in. It is like a little legion of enlightened spirits, whose practice is that of non-resistance and expansion.
You're Freeeee! Wait. Not so fast.
TEAL's posts are always a box of contradictions. The scenery is beautiful. The people are lovely. The town oozes its fetid history from every nook and cranny. Life is beautiful and filled with joy. I wander through a briar patch of PTSD triggers that hurl me into seizures and despair. My life is so rich and full that I've written a how-to book on self-love. Everything reminds me of my ritual abuse and being sewn into corpses.
And, bonus! This post comes with a healthy dose of bigotry... and, for good measure, a naked lady.
But I digress. She actually wants "tealers." It's positively Orwellian. You too can be liberated if only you will define yourself by your adoration of TEAL.
As I said in my first post on the topic, I have never seen a spiritual teacher who has so blatantly courted adulation and fostered dependency. What I've learned two posts and volumes of feedback later is that it's so much worse than I thought.
Recently, yet another TEAL related Facebook group launched: Teal Tribe Dating. That might not be so bad right? A nice little meeting place for people of similar interests under her general auspices. But then I read the copy.
"Teal Tribe Dating" is a group for human beings(Well... at least in the 3D) who are single and looking for a loving relationship with a like-minded partner. Teal Tribe turned out to be an easy awesome way for people who are familiar with Teal to find their true friends and soul family, and now you have a chance to meet your true love too. That idea works by the law of attraction: The vibration in this group is high because of the high vibrational message of Teal Scott; Which means meeting high quality and spiritual-minded people. To break the ice, here is a suggestion for introducing yourself:
. . .
Favorite Teal's Video/Art/Quotes:
*To search for profiles go into the 'Photos' tab and click the desired category... [All emphases mine]
Yes, you are part of an elite group of "high vibrational" people because you like TEAL. TEAL's followers are your true soul family. And you can all bond based on your shared devotion to TEAL. You can even find the love of your life as long as it's really all about ♥ TEAL ♥.
This all looks more and more cultish by the day. I can't help thinking of the Moonies and their arranged, mass weddings.
Obviously, Teal Tribe is not a cult like Unification, Hare Krishna, or other highly organized groups. It's not a totalitarian regime. But there are definitely cultish elements. It's enough, in my mind, to be concerning. I say this, in part, because of what I'm hearing from people, publicly and privately, about having difficulty extricating loved ones or even disengaging themselves from her strange pull.
Much of the feedback I've gotten has been from people who described themselves as having been "obsessed" with TEAL, or words very much to that effect. Some said their interest moved rapidly from interest in what she was saying to fascination with her and the soap opera that is her life.
That she turned her life into a kind of reality show called Shadow House, which opened a window into her "intentional family," fed the fascination. Her life is decidedly more interesting than her spiritual teachings. It's full of sex, fights, verbal abuse, and melodrama. Some of these programs made viewers privy to things like TEAL's humiliation of the aforementioned Fallon and also of a gal named Cameron, whose major crime appears to have been that Blake was attracted to her. The fourth wall was torn down completely as viewers made the whole thing interactive. The audience participation portion involved TEAL fans taking to chat, Facebook, and Teal Tribe to verbally assault these people for their grievous mistreatment of TEAL. Anyone who questioned TEAL's treatment of them was likewise set upon by the group.
Anyone who has ever witnessed the vitriol that TEAL inspires in her fans when they seek to defend her would have to wonder just what is meant by "high vibrational."
As I said in that first post, the Fallon episode suggested the confessional element of cult behavior referenced by Robert J. Lifton, as Fallon opened himself to group abasement for his "sociopathic" behavior. As I've learned more about these Shadow House livestreams from those who've viewed them, I've realized that it fits that criterion even more directly than I'd first thought. In Shadow House events, TEAL puts her "family" members in the hot seat and scrutinizes their shadows. Any viewer of these broadcasts would become privy to very personal, private information about her inner circle. According to many accounts, Cameron was compelled to participate over her objections. It ended badly and ultimately caused her to quit the area. This description of the confession element of cult indoctrination is adapted from Lifton.
Sins, as defined by the group, are to be confessed either to a personal monitor or publicly to the group. There is no confidentiality: members' sins, attitudes, and faults are discussed and exploited by the leaders.
Closely related to the demand for absolute purity is an obsession with personal confession. Confession is carried beyond its ordinary religious, legal, and therapeutic expressions to the point of becoming a cult in itself. (Page 425.)
Public confessional periods are used to get members to verbalize and discuss their innermost fears and anxieties as well as past imperfections.
The environment demands that personal boundaries are destroyed and that every thought, feeling, or action that does not conform with the group's rules be confessed.
Members have little or no privacy, physically or mentally.
In assessing the shadows of her housemates, TEAL relies heavily on Byron Katie's "The Work" for methodology. Katie is, herself, on the radar of cult watchers and accounts of her antics certainly do raise an eyebrow. For instance, she also does a homeless exercise very like, if not identical to, the one practiced by James Arthur Ray that resulted in the mysterious death of Colleen Conaway.
I would encourage those familiar with TEAL's organization to look over some of the cult literature linked herein. These two pages include characteristics identified by a number of cult researchers: Intro to Cults 101 and Cult Characteristics. I'm not as acquainted with the inner workings of TEAL world as many readers are but even I can see that these pages point to any number of red flags.
For instance Rick Ross claims, "Anything the group/leader does can be justified no matter how harsh or harmful." TEAL's vicious attacks on Fallon and Cameron as well as other thoroughly embarrassing Shadow House outbursts are not only justified but extolled as a virtue. TEAL is courageously showing the world her shadow side instead of hiding it like typical gurus, it is claimed.
Cults are typically formed around charismatic leadership. Lifton observed, "The guru is worshipped, rather than the principles or doctrines (on which the sect is supposed to be based)." As stated, for many of TEAL's followers, the days and nights of Teal Bosworth Scott Swan have upstaged her spiritual teachings. She has made her personal life a major focus of her work, with her Shadow House livestream events and her confessional style blogging.
The American Family Foundation says, "The group is focused on a living leader to whom members seem to display excessively zealous, unquestioning commitment." As discussed, her defenders are passionate, indeed, as I and other critics have learned the hard way.
Carol Giambavo puts it like this: "Charismatic or messianic leader who is self-appointed and has a special mission in life." To say that TEAL is self-appointed and has announced a "special mission" would be to understate her accounting. As discussed, she has described herself as a Eucharist projected here by an Arcturian panel and genetically engineered to be white and beautiful enough to be heard on "every single continent."
This, again, is the interview in which she explains in painful detail why it was so critical that she have universally appealing features. But not only is she more attractive than those poor, ugly African women, she's not like the rest of us mere mortals at all. She's not even really human.
(9:30) So I am a soul fork. What that means is from nonphysical energy -- so most people in the planet, they're non-physical energy that is projected forth into a physical human body. I am non-physical energy that is perfect-projected forth into an Arcturian body -- an extraterrestrial body. Now that extraterrestrial being has chosen to then project forth as a human body twelve times. This is the twelfth incarnation. And it's quite, it's quite funny, ironically, because before I even came down, um, there was an entire panel of beings, Arcturian beings, sixth dimensional beings, who even chose the way I would look in this life....
(16:15) I'm now three points of perspective. Most people are two. Most people are the higher self and their human perspective, two points of perspective. I'm three, human, extraterrestrial, and nonphysical.
Special. She's very, very special. She also has no idea what irony means, because there is nothing in that story that is remotely ironic.
By virtue of her specialness, her followers are also special. As stated, they are "high vibrational."
As per the American Family Foundation, "The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s), and members (for example: the leader is considered the Messiah or an avatar; the group and/or the leader has a special mission to save humanity)."
You mean like a "supportive web of awakening" or a "little legion of enlightened spirits" who are devoted to an Arcturian projecting into human flesh to act as a Eucharist?
"Tealers" and "Teal Tribe Dating" members are told they've found their "place to belong" and their "true friends and soul family." It sounds an awful lot like the "love bombing" described by the Cult Information Centre: "Creating a sense of family and belonging through hugging, kissing, touching and flattery."
According to the American Family Foundation, "Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished." Or as Steven Hassan puts it, "No critical questions about leader, doctrine, or policy seen as legitimate."
Many people report having had their comments deleted from TEAL's blog, when they raised uncomfortable questions or pointed out discrepancies. References to these deletions -- or having such comments held up in moderation -- are peppered throughout the comments on the two previous posts. Notably, a frequent commenter on TEAL's blog named Lena had her account deleted with her entire comment history. When this deletion was called out in the comments on my blog and then by regulars on TEAL's blog, Blake finally responded. He claimed that it was an error on the part of an overzealous admin who did so out of love for TEAL. I asked Blake to explain how it was that his claimed no-censorship policy was never adequately communicated to the admin and why it was that so many reported having been censored. That was weeks ago. He has never responded to my query. That exchange, such as it was, can be found here.
More to the point, consider how TEAL has responded to the questions I have raised in my two posts. She has called me a "hater" who "crawled out of the woodwork" to try to co-opt her growing fame. She has accused me of causing her great emotional pain. Her posts in response to my questions serve to polarize her most devoted followers against the very act of raising questions or having doubts. It solidifies an "us vs. them" attitude towards anyone who would dare question, which Hassan identifies as one of the methods of "thought control."
"Whenever the group/leader is criticized or questioned it is characterized as 'persecution'," says Rick Ross. In TEAL's case, it's morphing into paranoia. In a recent post, she cites her critics as justification for ramping up the already very noticeable security.
I’m sure some people are wondering why I bother having security personnel at my workshops if I teach (and believe) the concept of “I create my own reality”. So I wanted to explain it to you.
. . .
Part of the contrast involved with fame is the contrast of having “haters” and “antagonists”. We chose the potential of this contrast before even coming into this life. We chose it for the sake of our own expansion. The experience of these types of interactions and people, leads to the desire and therefore creation of staying true to ourself regardless of opposition, benevolence, unity, appreciative focus and love within our own lives and within the universe. This is part of why we chose the “fame path” to begin with over other paths we could have chosen.
Another cult indicator is a lack of fiscal transparency. As Rick Ross puts it, there is "No meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget, expenses such as an independently audited financial statement." The billboard campaign is illustrative. After a number of people mentioned in comments on my blog that they wondered what had happened to all the donations to this project, the issue magically appeared in a new blog post. (That there is a call and response thing going on between my blog and her posts has been noted repeatedly.) But this explanation was at least a day late and a buck or two short.
As per usual, there is an enormous learning curve with any new endeavor. The first crowd funding campaign we did accomplished almost nothing. The perks we offered turned out to be almost as expensive to create and provide as the money people were donating. On top of that, one of the people helping with the campaign, offered a perk that wasn’t his to offer due to a copyright someone else had on his work, so we ended up being forced to pay a bunch of money to a third party person for a perk that had already been delivered. In the end, we made too little money in profits to accomplish many of our goals. But having learned our lesson the hard way, we are planning in the near future to start another campaign with the very same aim.
So, it would appear that TEAL's idea of financial disclosure goes something like this: All that money you all donated? It's pretty much gone with nothing to show for it. Can we have some more?
Use of "deception" in recruiting and fundraising is cited by Hasssan, Giambalvo, and the U of C, but it also kind of goes without saying, doesn't it? Aside from the murkiness about people's donations, there's a lot about TEAL's claims that raises questions. Of course, whether or not she was specially designed by an Arcturian panel is a little hard to validate one way or the other. Such "revealed knowledge" is integral to many a religious experience but the difficulty in fact-checking means we accept it on faith or we don't.
But there is also a lack of empirical proof to things like her very central claim of Satanic ritual abuse. Many such claims were made in the 80s and 90s. But TEAL herself admits that there's no evidence other than the say-so of victims like herself and claims that most of those are too terrified to come forward.
As I wrote before, to TEAL's great consternation, the FBI investigated claims of Satanic ritual abuse and found there was no real evidence. Psychologists and other experts who testified in court cases against abusers have since been discredited and largely discounted as it's come to light that false memories can be implanted during therapy. That said, a great deal of TEAL's narrative comes apart if that doesn't happen to be true. In fairness, she may believe it whether or not it's true.
When I was looking into Byron Katie for this post, I came across another troubling bit of information. Her story of awakening and TEAL's are strikingly similar. Both involve insects which inspired radical shifts in perspective during very dark passages in their lives.
TEAL's story of the "little ant" that awakened her to the awareness of life teeming merrily all around her even as she was confined to a hole by her Mormon Satanist abuser starts at about the 17:00 minute mark. The inappropriate laughter as she begins to tell it is particularly jarring.
Byron Katie's story of awakening while staring at a cockroach can be found here.
Less than two weeks after I entered the halfway house, my life changed completely. What follows is a very approximate account.
One morning I woke up. I had been sleeping on the floor as usual. Nothing special had happened the night before; I just opened my eyes. But I was seeing without concepts, without thoughts or an internal story. There was no me. It was as if something else had woken up. It opened its eyes. It was looking through Katie's eyes. And it was crisp, it was clear, it was new, it had never been here before. Everything was unrecognizable. And it was so delighted! Laughter welled up from the depths and just poured out. It breathed and was ecstasy. It was intoxicated with joy: totally greedy for everything. There was nothing separate, nothing unacceptable to it. Everything was its very own self. For the first time I — it — experienced the love of its own life. I — it —was amazed
In trying to be as accurate as possible, I am using the word “it” for this delighted, loving awareness, in which there was no me or world, and in which everything was included. There just isn't another way to say how completely new and fresh the awareness was. There was no I observing the “it.” There was nothing but the “it.” And even the realization of an “it” came later.
Let me say this in a different way. A foot appeared; there was a cockroach crawling over it. It opened its eyes, and there was something on the foot; or there was something on the foot, and then it opened its eyes — I don't know the sequence, because there was no time in any of this. So, to put it in slow motion: it opened its eyes, looked down at the foot, a cockroach was crawling across the ankle, and … it was awake! It was born. And from then on, it's been observing. But there wasn't a subject or an object. It was — is — everything it saw. There's no separation in it, anywhere.
In the midst of this experience, the four questions that would go on to define "The Work" were born: Is it true or can I really know that it's true? How do I react when I think that thought? Can I find one peaceful reason to believe that thought? Who would I be without the thought?
So, here we have two women, in the depths of despair, after years of suffering, who both realized they could simply shift their perspective while staring at bugs. It's a little coincidental, doncha think? And Byron Katie is one of the only sources TEAL acknowledges drawing from.
I still have a hard time seeing how either of these teachings differ from telling people they can heal themselves through willful denial, but that's probably a discussion for another day.
|"To us it's all about truth. And we have an addiction to it. We have this absolute addiction. Worldwide addiction to the idea that we have to know what is true, which is just ridiculous. Because most of us are killing ourselves with what we think is true. So the question is why do you want truth to begin with? I want truth 'cause I think I will be happier if I have truth. Okay, well what if the truth is this and that makes you feel like crap. Does that really make you feel better? Why are we going about it the long way? Why not just decide that what matters is that you feel good? It's the only reason you want truth anyway. And most of the time when people realize that, life becomes a bit more soft. You know? It becomes a bit more about does this benefit me, not is it true." ~ TEAL|
It has been suggested by many people, myself included, that TEAL sounds an awful lot like Abraham-Hicks. But TEAL says no. At around minute 20:00 in the Nova Zem interview posted above, she says she'd only learned about Abraham channeler Esther Hicks about a year before because "someone" who was listening to her drew the comparison. She gives Abraham-Hicks a pat on the head for being the "most accurate" of channelers but this comes in the midst of her explaining why what she does is so much better than channeling. She really is a higher consciousness being. She's not just channeling one, which is all we ordinary humans can do.
That interview took place in March of 2013. But Blake Dyer, who is pretty much her right hand, knew about the Abraham teachings at least as far back as March of 2011, two years, not one year before. Now is it possible that there's some confusion about the dates? Sure. Is it possible that she and Blake didn't confer? Maybe. Is it possible that it's entirely coincidental that TEAL's teachings are "effectively identical" to those of Abraham-Hicks, as a commenter noted in response to Blake? I guess it's possible. What is stranger is just how it is that we know Blake was familiar with Abraham-Hicks in March of 2011. It's because we know to a near certainty that Blake was at that time doing a lot of his TEAL promotion under the name of Jason Freedman, who wrote this comment on an Abraham-Hicks discussion forum.
I am a free lance journalist who is a long time devotee of a teacher called Teal Scott (The spiritual catalyst)
When I was discussing Teal's teachings to a friend a while back, they said wow... That sounds just like what Abraham is saying. So, I decided to check it out.
I love the messages of both these Teachers (which are so very similar) I can't tell you the good it has brought to my life. I believe we are presented teachers just when we need them most.
How do we know that this Jason Freedman was actually Blake? Therein hangs a tale.
Soon after I did my first post on the woman then known as Teal Scott, a gentleman commenting under the moniker Mykeyta offered some background. He had once considered her ex-husband Mark Scott a good friend. Blake Dyer had also been a friend. The friendships were strained by his growing discomfort with TEAL's many claims and their absorption in her ambition. When an opinion piece was published in the local paper, discussing TEAL's claims of Satanic ritual abuse, he was troubled by the swarm attack on the editor who wrote it and any other commenter who didn't accept her story at face value. More than one of them were evocative of his friend Blake so he came to the conclusion that TEAL's "army" was largely made up of sock puppets. In particular there are several comments in that thread by Jason Freedman. Mykeyta found that Mr. Freedman had written the "puff piece" I mentioned in that post. He also noted that the picture of Mr. Freedman looked an awful lot like Blake Dyer. He called the number listed for Mr. Freedman and found that he also sounded a lot like Blake Dyer.
I don't know Mykeyta any better than I know TEAL or Blake Dyer or anyone else in their sphere, but to me his story had the ring of truth. More than TEAL's stories do at any rate. A photo taken from a distance in front of the Great Wall of China -- a place he knew Blake had been -- and his account of vocal recognition make for an intriguing story, but they're not evidence.
Flash forward to a couple of days ago when, on my second blog post on the subject, Mykeyta recounted the story to someone who very understandably hadn't read the 1000+ comments on these two posts. Another person called Ima Guest had been having trouble posting some comments due to computer issues but emailed me something more like documentary proof that Blake Dyer and Jason Freedman are one and the same. And it all comes down to that phone number.
Here's the number for Jason Freedman:
Here's the number for TEAL's Frequency Jewelry:
Here's the number for Blake Dyer:
Here's what happens when you put the phone number in Google:
I think it's pretty safe to say at this point that Jason Freedman is Blake Dyer.
This would mean that Blake Dyer, under a pseudonym, wrote up an interview with a former girlfriend to promote a business, Teal Eye LLC, of which he is the Director. He did not disclose his close association with TEAL or her business. Instead he posed as a fictional reporter "who writes for periodicals both nationally and internationally," but whose byline, strangely, only seems to bring up that one story in searches.
Worse, he used this fake persona, once again, to comment on the Herald Journal piece where he argued from authority as a reporter with a twenty year career. These comments appear alongside other comments from sundyer, Blake's official moniker, and who knows how many other socks.
Mr. Freedman wrote three comments in response to that column. They are the only comments he has posted to date to the Herald Journal.
His first comment, posted at 10:25 am on Mon, Mar 28, 2011:
I'm totally appalled by the mocking and disbelieving tone of this article. "Just another reader" and "Bluto" and "DL in Den"... you are full of crap. I have worked for 20 years in investigative journalism,. I have seen reports like this one float across the desks of reporters only to be ignored because no one likes to touch these stories. Not because they are not true but because society is not ready to face the bitter reality that it does happen and did happen this time. Society's blind ignorance to this happening is why it continues to happen. I'm totally Ashamed that any of you would think this woman would have anything to gain from telling her story. Instead, she risks everything. She risks her own safety, credibility and connection by admitting these things. Women like her are the rare, brave, exception to the rule of silent victims. Anyone who does not stand beside her participates in silencing victims and therefore siding with perpetrators everywhere. Perpetrators BANK on victims being discredited as some of you have done.
SHAME ON YOU FOR YOUR IGNORANCE AND THE HARM IT CAUSES.
the only reason the columnist mentioned her book (which aside from the foreword has nothing to do with abuse) is because he saw an interview with her in it talking about the book on Park City TV. The book is the reason he even heard this story.
He admitted this himself.
I thought this editor did an injustice to victims everywhere by releasing this column with a "tale tale" tone to it.
That was the only thing "LAME" about this article.
I'm embarrassed to be human today having read some of the un supportive comments that are being written about this.
His second comment, posted at 6:57 pm on Mon, Mar 28, 2011:
I got very upset about that. I did not mean to be insulting. The issue is this... I happen to have done a lot of journalism in jails where I talked to three separate prisoners who confessed to me directly about how they would go about mentally programming children. I have heard it from the horse's mouth. Not the victim's mouths.
Visit this link for a bit...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUfzWTem15E (first of eight videos)
His third comment, posted at 9:02 am on Tue, Mar 29, 2011:
The only reason I can see for people to be so adamant to discredit claims of ritual abuse is if they themselves where practicing participants.
Mr. Freedman also wrote a letter to the editor, making basically the same case.
In response to the article titled “Claims of local torture cult got this editor’s attention,” featured March 27, I am appalled by the disbelieving tone of the article addressing the ritual abuse suffered by the subject of the aforementioned article, “Teal Scott.” I am a freelance journalist who has seen reports of ritual abuse in our state float across the desks of reporters and be ignored for 20 years. This ignorance to the validity of these stories is exactly why they continue to happen in our community. As a result of this article, I have researched Teal Scott myself only to find that she is not to be discredited. It is time that the citizens of Utah came out of ignorance about the ritual abuse (especially satanic ritual abuse) that continues to go on in the state and stood behind those who are brave enough to come out of hiding and say something about it.
If Blake and Freedman are one and the same, as they surely appear to be, that would mean that in order to attack and shame people for questioning the veracity of TEAL's story, he's adopted a fake persona and proffered as evidence prison interviews that never happened during a journalism career history he's made up. Blake Dyer has raised mendacity to an art form.
Pay attention, TEAL. That is irony.
Speaking for myself, a realization of that kind of fraud would cause me to become disillusioned. Disillusionment is painful, but I prefer it to the alternative -- believing in an illusion. I guess I'm one of those people who's addicted to truth.
I have experienced similar disillusionment. I have learned to my great dismay that teachers I have followed were not what they appeared to be and even that they were baldfaced liars. I have discovered that I was being manipulated and mislead. It was painful. It did not "feel good" to learn it. I'm still glad I learned it because it freed me up to seek elsewhere for spiritual education and guidance.
And I have felt very foolish. Like many people, I used to think that I was too smart to fall for con artists and cult leaders. I was wrong. It was humbling. But humility is a great place from which to start over.
|"When I hear someone say that only stupid people fall for fraud, I feel like asking for that person’s phone number. But here’s the thing: I didn’t want to talk to stupid people, because stupid people don’t have $50,000 lying around to give me. You would be amazed at how many doctors, lawyers, engineers, and college professors I have ripped off. The bottom line is, fraud is a crime that can happen to anyone, given the right con artist and a victim with the right set of circumstances." ~ The Anonymous Confessions of a Con Artist|
In the comments, following my last post on TEAL, a woman named Becky asked what I and other commenters recommended for spiritual guidance and inspiration to fill the gap left by TEAL. It was a good conversation that can be read in full starting on the first page of comments on that post. I'd like to address it here because my rather lengthy attempt to address it in the comments was eaten by blogger. But also because I think it's a good jumping off point to a larger conversation about healing after this kind of disillusionment.
I was thinking about how defensive people get on the whole Teal subject, and why that is... It occurs to me that maybe it's because in a way she gives a lot of people hope. People hear her story and feel empowered by it, if she can "beat those odds" maybe they can too.
I think they start to get angry because they might feel betrayed by Teal when the story starts to fall apart, and that hopeless feeling starts to return. That's probably a space a lot of people don't want to go back to, so they live in denial about the story crumbling, but they still have to direct that anger somewhere.
Somehow the phrase "Don't shoot the messenger" comes to mind. A lot of people are taking this stuff very personally and it might be a good idea to ask why that is?
I was just thinking about my thought process through all of this, how my emotions came into play when I was trying to figure out where I stand on all this Teal stuff.
I guess I'm asking, what else has helped you, what gives you hope? What inspires you? What's helped you grow as a person?
I'm curious about what resources you trust that you would direct people to if they wanted better themselves, but didn't necessarily know where to go?
What she is describing in the first part of that comment is cognitive dissonance and it's key to understanding manipulation and indoctrination. Leon Festinger did the seminal research in the 1950s. I touched on this briefly here, as well. Festinger theorized that people are most comfortable when their thoughts, feelings, and actions, are all congruent. Among other things, this means that we are strongly motivated to continue believing falsehoods if no longer believing them comes into conflict with life choices we've made, money we've laid out, and happiness we've attained by believing in them. So very often we will cleave to the falsehood with greater ferocity to protect our own sense of inner harmony.
I am always a little reticent to make general recommendations because there is no one size fits all when it comes to spiritual teaching. In particular, when a person is coming out of a situation where someone has been abusing spiritual authority, as I believe TEAL does, the last thing I want to do is run the risk of further over-running instincts that may be quite damaged.
I will tell readers what I tell my clients. My recommendations are my opinion. If what I say doesn't feel right for you, disregard it.
If you are coming out of any abusive situation, spiritual or otherwise, there is probably soul loss. For that I recommend soul retrieval. I had several soul retrievals with a skilled shaman. They helped me to restore parts lost to abusive teachers and healers. They also helped to restore missing parts that had left me vulnerable to such influences in the first place. They helped, period. My path takes me through shamanism and indigenous teachings so that work is a fit for me. The seminal book on the topic is Soul Retrieval by Sandra Ingerman. For more information, a good resource is Christina Pratt's internet radio show, Why Shamanism Now? The entire catalog can be heard for free on iTunes and other streaming sources. Finding information on some of the relevant broadcasts can be found by searching the word retrieval on my Celestial Reflections blog.
Another great resource for restoring the soul and repairing damaged instincts is Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés. I call it, among other things, therapy in a book. It really walks you through a process. I've written more about that book and the power of story here and here.
Mostly, I recommend following your nose and seeing where it leads you. It's just a good idea to get in touch with your instincts and learn to trust your sense of smell first. Christina Pratt talks about bouncing everything off your "truth cord." It helps if you've located that line that runs right through your core.
In much of the developed world, we've been raised to think of God and the paths to God as outside of ourselves and dependent on spiritual authority. We've been acculturated to seek the teacher who speaks with certitude based on things only he or she could know and, as such, bestow upon us. But I think argument from authority is a logical fallacy and have learned to avoid such teachers like the plague. This, in part, is why the "cosmic answer lady" persona in the Ask Teal videos is something I find so off-putting. I don't trust ex cathedra teachings.
Spiritual guidance should take you inward. It should foster your personal relationship with spirit. It shouldn't be about the teacher. No teacher should be giving you answers. They should only be teaching you how to learn.
I don't recommend authors and teachers who tell you that spiritual development is simple, particularly if they give x number of steps. To quote Joseph Campbell, “If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it's not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That's why it's your path.”
There are any number of authors and thinkers I could point to who delight, inform, and inspire me. Their names are peppered throughout my writings. But when I really think about what inspires me, it's not a person. It's spirit. It's my personal relationship with my guides and the pathway to the numinous that runs right up the center of my being. It's the amusing game of finding Easter eggs hidden in the most unexpected books and movies that my guides point me to. It's those moments of reverie that come simply because I am staring at a piece of art or listening to music. It's the constant reminders from the spirit world that even when I think I'm running my own life, I'm not. I'm being led by the hand by something so much wiser than I am and that it is that inner compass that has told me to pick up a certain book or watch a particular movie or go to a certain place at a certain time. I have incredible gratitude to teachers and healers I've worked with like Virginia Sandlin and Christina Pratt. But in the end what I am grateful for is that they consistently pointed me not towards themselves but towards my own connection with all that is.
Addendum: My two previous posts on TEAL are worth reading for additional background and for the phenomenal discussions that have taken place in the comments:
Who and What is Teal Scott
The Artist Formerly Known as Teal Scott
Update: "The Noncasts"
In March of this year, TEAL and her new husband Sarbdeep Swan introduced a new video series called "Tea Time with Teal" -- not Tea Time with The Swans, mind you. TEAL is still the staaahhh! Only her name can appear on the marquee. I think it's in her contract.
These weekly episodes are called "podcasts" but aren't anything of the kind. Whereas podcasts are hosted on a platform, such as iTunes, so that they can be easily downloaded, kept, and enjoyed on other devices, these are just more garden variety YouTube videos. Podcasts are designed to be accessible, easily disseminated, and portable.
Ironically (note the correct use of this word), these not-podcasts are announced only to an email list, are posted on a hidden, unlinked page on her website, and the YouTube videos are set to private. I won't call them podcasts. I have variously referred to them as: stealthcasts, not-podcasts, tea things, narrowcasts, and narrowcasts for tea-sipping pod people.
The icing on the irony cake? The second of these husband and wife discussions was about TEAL's insistence that their private life be open to the public.
These tea things have provided great fodder for discussion in the comment thread for this blog post. The conversations evolved into a regular feature I call the noncasts. These write-ups mirror the subject matter in that they report on discussions of the tea things I've had with my husband. The official title of this series is "How to Drive Your Double PhD Husband Crazy by Making Him Watch TEAL Videos."
As with the tea things, these are not indexed, freestanding posts. If you're interested, you'll have to dig for them. They can only be found in the comment thread for this post. Page searches for the words noncast or tea should get you there.
* Addendum to the Addendum: With the end of teal's marriage to Sarbdeep, comes the definitive end to "Tea Time with Teal," and, therefore, to the noncasts. I will conclude this exercise by adding to this already absurdly long post a complete list of the noncasts. I will include a link to the initial comment of each noncast, for those whose browsers can interpret that, and the page link for the relevant comments.
- The first two teacasts, "Teatime with Teal" and "Privacy vs. Openness" were not the subject of formal noncasts, but were discussed on Page 1 and Page 2 of the comments.
- "Masculinity" begins on Page 3 with this comment. It pertains to teacast #3, "Masculinity."
- "Femininity" begins on Page 3 with this comment. It pertains to teacast #4, "Crisis in Femininity."
- "All About Manifesting" begins on Page 3 and starts with this comment. It pertains to teacast #5 "All About Manifesting."
- "Stewart Pearce" begins on Page 4 with this comment. It pertains to teacast #6 "Special Guest, Stewart Pearce."
- "Personal Boundaries" begins on Page 4 with this comment. It pertains to teacast #7 "Exploring Personal Boundaries."
- "Nature is Good" begins on Page 4 with this comment. It pertains to teacast #8 "Back to Nature."
- "Veganism" begins on Page 5 with this comment. It pertains to teacast #9 "Veganism."
- "Criminal Justice" begins on Page 5 with this comment. It pertains to teacast #10 "Crime and Punishment."
- "Messiah Complex" begins on Page 5 with this comment. It pertains to teacast #11 "Choosing a Spiritual Guide."
- "Power of Beard" begins on Page 6 with this comment. It pertains to teacast #12 "The Lost Self."
- "Sympathy for the Devil" begins on Page 6 with this comment. It pertains to teacast #13 "Santa Barbara Shooting."
- "Inner Children and Candy Bars" begins on Page 7 with this comment. It pertains to teacast #14 "Inner Child Work."
- "Meaning of Life" begins on Page 7 with this comment. It pertains to teacast #15 "Purpose of Life."
- "Death" begins on Page 8 with this comment. It pertains to teacast #16 "Death."
- "Weight Loss" begins on Page 8 with this comment. It pertains to teacast #17 "Obesity."
- "Idiocracy" begins on Page 8 with this comment. It pertains to teacast #18 "Rules."
- "TEAL Wants Money" begins on Page 9 with this comment. It pertains to teacast #19 "Money."
- "Core Something or Other" begins one Page 9 with this comment. It pertains to teacast #20 "Finding Your Negative Imprint."
- "Chasing and Burning" begins on Page 10 with this comment. It pertains to teacast #21 "Please Love Me Dynamic."
- "TEAL's Vision for the Future" begins on Page 10 with this comment. It pertains to teacast #22 "Future of Medicine."
- "What Dreams May Come" begins on Page 10 with this comment. It pertains to teacast #23 "Dreams."
- "The Bottomless Rabbit Hole" begins on Page 11 with this comment. It pertains to teacast #24 "Rites of Passage."
- "What's the Point of 3?" begins on Page 12 with this comment. It pertains to teacast #25 "Spirituality 3.0 in Depth."
- "TEAL Works Blue" begins on Page 12 with this comment. It pertains to teacast #26 "The Feeling Body."
- "Scooby Doo and the Case of TEAL's Missing Citations" begins on Page 12 with this comment. It pertains to teacast #27 "How to Get Out of a Negative Spiral."
- "Drunks, Cult Leaders, and Duping Delight" begins on Page 12 with this comment. It pertains to teacast #28 "Spirit Guides."
- "Brrrrrrrrr...." begins on Page 12 with this comment. It pertains to teacast #29 "How to Know the Cause of Illness."
- "Raw & Fact-Free" begins on Page 13 with this comment. It pertains to teacast #30 "Raw Food with Omar's Rawtopia."
- "Deep Thoughts on the Holidays" begins on Page 13 with this comment. It pertains to teacast #31 "Christmas."
- "Tealology" begins on Page 13 with this comment. It pertains to teacast #32 "Sarbdeep Gets Triggered."
In those teacasts, we all got to know a third member of teal's menagerie: the frog. He emerged as a star in his own right. Calm and stoical as only a butler of such impeccable credentials can be, he kept his head when all about him were losing theirs. The frog recently launched a video channel and has begun producing videos in the odd hours, as his schedule permits. The first includes his thoughts as interpreted by his growing legion of fans. So, teal, Sarbdeep, and frog, thanks for the memories.
Further Update: Regarding Jason Freedman, et al.
This post raises a question about the odd correlation between Blake Dyer's and Jason Freedman's likeness and phone number. It took an incident in the Teal Tribe Facebook group to get Blake to address this question, but he has. It would have been nice if he'd done so directly with me, but I'll take what I can get.
What I could get was some screenshots given to me by Teal Tribe members of Blake's attempts to explain this odd coincidence, and another oddity involving a claimed psychiatrist, William Macey PHD [sic], who also bear's Blake's likeness. I have discussed this matter in the comments, but it occurs to me that it, in fairness to the reader and to Blake Dyer, it should also be placed in the body of this post.
The following screenshots are not in any particular order and vary in format, as they came from various sources in various forms. I don't actually know how the dialog unfolded. I only know that these questions were raised in the Teal Tribe group and Blake attempted to answer at least some of them.
Blake denied both knowing Jason Freedman and knowing how it is that he came to have the same phone number. He did so more than once as follows:
Blake acknowledged that the photos used by both Jason Freedman and William Macey were of him, but denied knowing how they came to be associated with either:
So, my question to Blake, which I posed down in the comments as well, is simply this. How is it that he does not know Jason Freedman? Freedman apparently did a face to face interview with TEAL. Couldn't he just ask her? And if he is in the dark about this interview with the mysterious Mr. Freedman, how is it that he promoted said article on Facebook?
Yet Another Update: Kicking "Tealers" Down the Memory Hole
It brings me no joy that I must, once again, update this excruciatingly long post. But it's recently come to my attention that teal is trying to rewrite history. Above I quoted a passage from her Korean spa post about the world-changing potential of the "Tealers." At some point between the original publication of that post and its move to her new website, the passage I quoted above was changed and the word "Tealers" removed. But the original text is still visible on the cached version in the internet archive, or wayback machine.
Here is what that passage looked like when it was originally published in 2014.
Here is what that passage looks like in the current version on her new website.
Her clean-up was incomplete, however. The word "Tealers" appears further down in the post.
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