Jul 23, 2019

Is Teal Swan Unravelling? | Teal Swan Cult

Crossposting from Andey Fellowes

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In her recent video “Spirituality in The Information Age”, Teal embarks on a long and veiled rant on how she hates when spiritual seekers “teacher hop” - effectively, pick and choose who’s advice they listen to. She also goes hard on the idea that people listen to spiritual teachers, ingest all the information they can and then go off and teach for themselves. Something which, according to Teal, makes her jealous of what it used to be like a thousand years ago, when students were committed to their one teacher, following their every word – hanging on their every word.

From the outside, this might seem like the innocent frustrations of a spiritual teacher trying to help their followers stick to the right path. But, when you study Teal’s behaviour going back to the beginning of her career and before and when you look into the kinds of things that have been going on around her recently, you start to get a clearer picture.

There’s a lot in this video that I want to unpack but I don’t think it’s necessary to go over every single point to show you what I got from it. But please, take everything I’m saying with a pinch of salt and do your own research – draw your own conclusions. I’ll attach links to useful resources to the blog post associated with this video/podcast.



So, first, some backstory. Many people, including myself, have listened to Teal in the past and then, through an understanding of her philosophy, felt empowered to try and teach for ourselves. Teal’s recent ex, Ale, is one such person. He’s begun to position himself as a spiritual teacher and for a time, reportedly, used Teal’s platform to siphon followers from her.

Alluding to this, Teal does a condescending impersonation of someone who might “teacher hop” because they “just want comfort,” where she says, in a strange and insidious tone, “Make me feel good. If you don’t make me feel good then I’m going to abandon you as a follower. Not only that, I might actually turn against you.” She then winks.

The first half of this video is what it says on the tin. A brief and flippant conversation riddled with inaccurate claims about the so-called “information age”. The second is a long and clearly rattled monologue that, in no small way, highlights Teal’s frustrations that the days of information-control in a behind-closed-doors cult-like situation are long gone. Makes me wonder why she got that retreat centre in Costa Rica.

Several times in this video, she claims that she is an authority. The way she does it, seems insecure to me. It makes me wonder if her confidence is shaking. It makes me wonder if, as she’s saying things she thinks are valid, are true, are necessary, that what she’s really doing is accidentally exposing herself. Accidentally revealing how defensive she’s feeling. Accidentally revealing how afraid she is that what she’s building will crumble before she’s done with it.

She goes on then to accuse the kinds of people that follow her of being lazy. And then says that these people have zero loyalty to a specific practice, spiritual path and zero loyalty to a specific teacher. I hope I’m not straw-manning her when I’m saying these things. It did seem to me like all of this is what she meant in the video. If you’re not sure and want to see it for yourself, she hasn’t used anything intended to hypnotise this time, as far as I know.

She quickly anticipates the kind of response I’m giving now then makes the case for mastery though I’d dispute whether following Teal will lead to mastery of anything. I mean, looking at the track record of Teal Tribe members going back to when I was one, people seem to have either stagnated in their lives or left. And, what is she even saying people will master? Her way of thinking? Their emotions? Their reality? I don’t know, sounds really flimsy to me.

She makes a comment about looking like a narcissist a few seconds later which I’m going to just skip over. I don’t really want to attack her personally or use NPD to slander, despite how it does look like Teal may have Narcissistic Personality Disorder. That said, despite speaking about being a ‘social media star’ as if it’s a burden and a necessary but ultimately undesirable part of what she does, she seems very excited about it all. Again, I don’t want to attack her personally so I’m just going to leave that there and focus more on what she’s actually saying.

Then a weird meta moment happens. Teal calls out her ‘hater’s. She says that, these days, all you have to do to make a name for yourself is to pit yourself against someone who people care about. I mean, to be fair, that’s true. I have uploaded a few videos targetting what she’s saying, targetting what she’s doing. I get that that is a thing people do. The thing is, ultimately, if someone hears what I’m saying from another source – if they hear what I want to put across from somewhere else – fine. I don’t care.

Really, if Teal wasn’t doing half the stuff she’s doing – if she wasn’t causing the harm she’s causing – I wouldn’t be making videos like that. I’d be talking about atheism and sexuality, which I will be doing. It’s just that, at the moment, this topic’s really got me because I’m seeing that there’s people suffering. I’m seeing that there’s people going through awful things. And she’s sitting there reveling in it, in a sense. And it does bother me, so that’s why I want to make videos like this.

It’s not really about making a name for yourself by pitting yourself against someone people care about as much as it is talking about something you care about. Something you see vulnerable people at a loss because of – people suffering because of.

She says that there’s less to do about these slanderous campaigns than people would hope because you can’t believe everything you read on the internet. Well, isn’t that the truth.

Then, when Teal starts referencing hate groups, the video flashes up a picture of a certain racist group dressed head-to-toe in white. I saw that and I was like, “No way is Teal likening herself to innocent African Americans targeted by violent racists.” I don’t even know where to start with this. It’s ridiculous, disrespectful, insensitive.

We’re not talking about an entire portion of a country’s population here. We’re talking about a self-acclaimed “authority” who is happy to make claims she can’t substantiate, belittle and talk down her followers, advocate for suicide and then wash her hands of the people who end up dead because of her terrible advice. Not the same. Unbelievable. And it trivialises the suffering of countless innocent, decent people the world over as well.

But, you know what? Watching this video, I couldn’t help but feel like I was watching a person unravel. I couldn’t help but feel like I was witnessing a person watching people in the thousands turn away. It almost felt like watching Regina George gluing Lindsay Lohan’s picture into her Burn Book.

I don’t know, I feel like we might be watching Teal’s undoing. It seems like she’s trying to face things head on but it’s unintentionally telling, I think. Whether she likes it or not, Teal is showing clears signs of grasping at a need for control, a need to listened to, a need to be followed to the last, a need to be cared about above all others. And videos like this make that fact glaringly obvious.

Thanks for reading.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for posting this, Andey. I think your analysis is spot on and her video is... is... oh my god... comedy gold. This may be one of her most self-revealing diatribes ever. The "downsides" she lists are a blow by blow of her entire "career" as a "spiritual teacher." The irony of her accusing other people of plagiarizing her material and setting themselves up as teachers... um... wow. And, oh, how dare people surf the web and cherry-pick ideas, says the foremost plagiarist of Wikipedia.

    She also makes it sound like we were all living in the dark ages before the web. Like there were no bookstores, no libraries, not any, oh, I don't know, "new age" sections in the Barnes & Noble. There was just no way to learn about any spiritual paths but the ones we learned at church on Sunday.

    News Flash! The phenomenon that is Oprah has nothing whatsoever to do with the digital age! She started out on television and became a megastar in the 80s. She OWNs her own TELEVISION NETWORK.

    The thing about "hate groups" and flashing that pic of the KKK... oh my god. You're damn right it's disrespectful! That she calls her critics "hate groups" is pathetic enough. I've said it before, I'll say it again, white girl, please stop. Until I see anti-teal hate groups listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center, I will continue to call her co-optation of victim status utterly ludicrous. But this video takes her self-pity to a whole 'nother level. Just wow!

    She just sounds so bitter... and looks so bitter. Her face! Even the cover photo on the video, damn does she have her resting bitch-face on or what!

    I also love how she not-so-subtly compares herself to Jesus. "So now Matthew imagines himself to be a Christ and now it's about the Gospel according to St. Matthew." It IS called The Gospel According to St. Matthew. That's the actual name of that book in the Bible. The key difference between Matthew and teal, though, is that Matthew cited his source.

    Crazy thought. Maybe if teal had the good grace to cite her sources, those people she's accusing of stealing her content would cite her, because she would have actually demonstrated that ethic.

    "People used to only accept information when it came in a certain package and from a person who looked a certain way." Yeah, because in the age of social media, we've all become so much less superficial. Yup. The Internet has really taught us all not to be so image conscious... I mean... CAN SHE FUCKING HEAR HERSELF???!!!

    Yeah, it's hard to "spiritual teacher" these days. So competitive. People just don't respect your AUTHORITAY!!! I really miss the good old days when they could just burn the heretics at stake and stuff. Really took care of that whole competition problem.

    "No one is going to go to the top of a hill or a cave in a distant country anymore to find a teacher when they are already swimming in an ocean of teachers. People have become quite lazy in terms of spiritual practice. They have a 'you come to me’ attitude as well as zero loyalty to a certain spiritual path and certain teacher."

    NO LOYALTY I TELLS YA!! No one comes to see ME in Utah... I mean Costa Rica... because I'm DEFINITELY in Costa Rica... AND WHERE ARE YOU, ya bunch ingrates. What are ya... watching Gigi or some shit?!

    Oh my god, this is hilarious.

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  2. I had so much stuff I didn't put in because it would've made the video too long. How she goes off on on group mind at the start made my head hurt. She gives one definition then basically throws it out and starts redefining the term in such an ambiguous way, I couldn't help but frown as I listened. Also, if you watch the video when she says "Speeshees" - I want that on a shirt.

    I also wrote a fair bit about how it's literally not the truth that the whole world has access to information in the way she claims. There's literally whole countries under information-control regimes but nah they're not important countries. Just full of ugly non-Americans who've law of attracted their own misery. -______-

    Then there's the whole thing about how it's "ego" that makes you want to "teacher hop" - and we all now how much of a dirty word *that* is...

    At least Deepak Chopra keeps to his bull though. Teal's full on Watchtowering here. It makes me cringe-sweat to see it.

    The sarcasm is dripping off of your words, LaVaughn, and I'm in stitches here. Thanks again for the comment - and the laugh.

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