Spiritual Guru or Dangerous Cult Leader? - 2017-11-19
I listen, trying to reconcile the conflicting opinions of Swan that surfaced during my research. "I am a better person because of Teal," Margie Rasmussen, a self-described Teal Triber, told me. "She quite literally held my hand as she took me through my very first completion process session ever. Because of Teal I have integrated my deepest core wound of never feeling safe." Others are downright vitriolic, labeling her a toxic cult leader. One blogger, LaVaughn of CelestialHealing.com, warns that Swan will sic her followers on anyone who dares to speak out against her. "Much like Scientology," she says, "it's politics of personal destruction" directed at any and all critics.
To ask Rick Ross, executive director of the Cult Education Institute, is to learn that Swan has a familiar M.O. "In my opinion, Teal Swan fits the pattern of a [cult leader]," he tells me. "She has apparently become an object of worship, and it seems that her charisma and supernatural claims are the driving force of her school of healing and workshops."
Criticism, then, is par for the course, but Swan comes in for an extra helping because of her stance on suicide, which she has referred to as "the best option" for some people, saying it's like hitting the "reset button" on life. I take this to Ross, who calls Swan's comments about suicide "deeply disturbing" and adds that "this is the difference between receiving counseling from a licensed professional and a self-help guru without meaningful credentials."