‘Escaping Twin Flames’: Why People are Falling for the Love Cult

Author:

Lindsey Mendenwaldt

Article ID:

JAR0124LM

Updated: 

Jan 31, 2024

Published:

Jan 24, 2024

This is an online  article from the Christian Research Journal.

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While I was browsing through my newsfeed on social media a few months ago, I stumbled upon a post from a friend that said something along the lines of, “Have you seen that crazy documentary on Netflix about the love cult? #fascinating.” As someone interested in cults and “culty” television, I headed over to Netflix to see what the fuss was about. That’s when I found Escaping Twin Flames,1 a docuseries about the Twin Flames Universe, a love cult that has about 52,000 members in its closed Facebook group2 and roughly 30,000 subscribers on YouTube.3 Don’t assume that because it has small numbers that it’s not making an impact, though. I’ve seen messages about “twin flames” appear in my newsfeed from friends who didn’t know anything about the Twin Flames Universe. Anyone can fall for it if we’re not on guard.

I binge-watched all three episodes of Escaping Twin Flames and discovered that my friend wasn’t wrong about it because it was fascinating. And incredibly disturbing. And frankly quite sad. I later found out that more than 4.8 million hours of the Netflix docuseries were streamed in its first week.4 In other words, people were interested, and honestly, for good reason. The show is based on a 2020 article in VICE,5 which was written by investigative reporter Sarah Berman, who researched the Twin Flames Universe for three years. The series expands on what Berman discussed in her written piece, presenting recorded interviews with people she first introduced her readers to in her article.

Escaping Twin Flames (Netflix 2023) shows the dark side of the love cult early on, and it raises allegations of abuse and indoctrination against the group and its leaders, Jeff and Shaleia Divine. Like many documentaries, it’s one-sided, and the producers note that they reached out to the Divines, but they declined to comment. They did, however, respond on social media and denied the claims against them.6 Escaping Twin Flames succeeds in drawing the viewer in, but what is it about the Twin Flames Universe that it merits its own docuseries? This article will dive into various topics presented in the series and help the reader navigate “culty” television, understanding that our response should be one of compassion — seeing members as God’s image bearers, ones He calls to enter into a right relationship with Himself. We shouldn’t watch shows like Escaping Twin Flames merely to be entertained. Instead, we should watch to learn so that we can be equipped to help someone who might be caught up in the lies.

DIVINE LEADERSHIP

To understand the Twin Flames Universe (TFU) well, one must understand the founders, Jeff and Shaleia (pronounced Shah-lee-uh) Divine. 7 Jeff, whose last name was Ayan and who has also been known as Ender Ayanethos, was born and raised in Michigan. He has a bachelor’s degree in business and a hankering for adventure and wealth. Shaleia was born in Canada, but before meeting Jeff she was living in Arizona. She was a photography student but also claims to be a clairvoyant, reiki master, and a divine channel. They were both raised Catholic but have split from the Roman Catholic Church. Both are deeply invested in New Age spirituality, and that’s what helped draw them together when they met online in 2012. They met in person two years later, and in 2016, they got married. They now live in Michigan together with their daughter, and they manage the Twin Flames Universe from there.

The duo started creating online content very early on in their relationship, and they started a blog called “Awakened Intimacy.” They established the Twin Flames Universe in 2017, and a year later, they turned their blog into a book called Twin Flames: Finding Your Ultimate Lover. Their claim? Shaleia describes their goal best on their website:

I offer you the keys to liberation in love and life, the kind of love that I have. The perfect love. The love where you truly feel complete in your heart of hearts every day. This is for you too. Let me show you that you can trust in the repeatable science of Harmonious Twin Flame Union. What I offer works every single time for every single person. That’s because what I offer is real.8 (Emphasis in original.)

A “Harmonious Twin Flame Union” is promised to anyone who is willing to put in the work and pony up the money for Twin Flames Ascension School. But what’s a twin flame, and why would anyone want one?

FINDING YOUR PERFECT LOVER

The idea of a twin flame is not unique to the Twin Flames Universe, nor was it created by Jeff and Shaleia. The origin of the term is debated. Perhaps it came from Plato more than 2,000 years ago, or maybe it was borne out of a novel by Marie Corelli called A Romance of Two Worlds (1886). Twin flames are formed between two people who, when they are together, form the perfect connection, the perfect match. A twin flame is not a soul mate — it’s deeper and more meaningful than that. Jeff and Shaleia explain that “Twin Flames are manifested from the very same soul essence, or more accurately, the same soul blueprint….[They are] created by God at the exact same moment; and they’re designed as your soul’s highest and most perfect eternal complement.”9

Although twin flames are not a unique idea from Jeff and Shaleia, they have expanded on the concept and coined the phrase “Harmonious Twin Flame Union.” For them, twin flames are romantic partners, and together, they can ascend10 — that is, those in perfect union “have dissolved all illusions of separation from [their] Creator and [they] are One.”11 If this sounds like New Age spirituality to you, you’re not wrong. Jeff tries to convince his readers that they aren’t trying to convince anyone to believe their spiritual perspectives, that they aren’t pulling “a ‘bait and switch’”; rather, Jeff and Shaleia are presenting “the facts as they are. No more, and no less.”12 However, the more you dive into the TFU, the more you realize that it doesn’t exist without Jeff and Shaleia’s beliefs, and they expect their members to fall into line despite what they may claim in their book. After all, the whole point of finding your twin flame is to achieve ascension by raising your vibrational energies together. In other words, New Age spirituality and matchmaking are intertwined in the TFU. One doesn’t exist without the other.

THE TWIN FLAMES UNIVERSE

Most of the Twin Flames Universe is virtual. Aside from a few in-person gatherings, interactions between members happen online.13 As noted, their closed Facebook group has about 52,000 members, though I’m positive that most of them are not paying for any courses. I joined the closed group temporarily while researching for this article, and the posts in the group feature Tarot card readings, numerology, meditations, and posts from Ascension coaches who promise that Harmonious Twin Flame Union is available to anyone. I also watched several videos from their various YouTube channels and social media pages in the midst of my research. The Twin Flames Universe YouTube channel offers videos about various TFU teachings, as well as testimonials and advice for people who claim they are in Harmonious Twin Flame Union because of Jeff and Shaleia’s teachings. Jeff and Shaleia have a separate YouTube channel and social media pages where they discuss their personal lives and Twin Flame journey.14

But not everything offered in the TFU is free.15 Followers on social media and YouTube are encouraged to join the Twin Flames Ascension School so that they can learn how to find their twin flame personally from Jeff and Shaleia, who are ultimately the only ones who can declare that a couple is a Harmonious Twin Flame Union, according to the Netflix docuseries. Classes start at $333/month for access to 100+ 90-minute online classes about twin flames. For $444/month, members can get access to 300+ 90-minute online classes. The school’s website says that members will “Heal separation permanently and achieve Harmonious Union with [their] Twin Flame.”16

In addition to the classes offered through the Twin Flames Ascension School, members are encouraged to participate in Ascension Coaching to unlock the “full potential” of the TFU’s teachings. The cost of sessions ranges from $75 to $200. Coaches are certified through training offered by the TFU. Several were featured on the Netflix series and appear still to be active participants in the TFU.

TFU members are also told that nurturing their physical self is just as important as nurturing their spiritual self, so Jeff and Shaleia created a menu-planning service called Divine Dish to help achieve “God-Consciousness.”17 For $129, subscribers get access to menus for a month; this does not include the food, only the menus.

Everything offered by the Twin Flames Universe is said to lead to a Harmonious Twin Flames Union, and to achieve it quickly, members are encouraged to do the program completely. If a member takes the ascension courses, receives ascension coaching once a month, and orders the Divine Dish menus for a year, the cost is between about $6,000 and $9,000. This doesn’t include other services offered like the Mind Ascension Process (detailed below) or additional courses like the Life Purpose Class, which is $3,333 a year.18 As you can see, finding your Twin Flame and achieving a Harmonious Twin Flame Union certainly isn’t cheap, but is it worth it?

WHAT EXACTLY ARE TWIN FLAME STUDENTS LEARNING?

The Twin Flames Universe is all about finding your one true love, but how do Jeff and Shaleia help someone do that? Most of their lessons are spiritual, despite any claims otherwise. Their book is rife with New Age material, and they profess that they are channeling the information directly from God to help humanity heal from physical and emotional issues. Shaleia explains her beliefs this way:

I am a Divine Channel, and I’m a reasonably logical and grounded individual. I need a LOT of proof to be able to believe that something is real….Well, channeling has passed all the tests for me. After using it to help heal people of their physical ailments and dis-eases, profoundly resolve the childhood traumas of myself and others, and powerfully impact the lives of those who received my divinely channeled messages, I have carefully been led into a world where Spirit and I have conversations.19

Based on the videos I watched featuring Shaleia, I think she believes that what she is teaching is true and that she’s helping people. I think she really thinks she’s speaking to God, and that He’s audibly responding. In a YouTube video posted in 2022, Shaleia said she could talk to her unborn baby and that her unborn baby asked her questions about life.20 Several sections of the Twin Flames book are said to be channeled, meaning that Jeff and Shaleia claim they received the information directly from God.21

The Mirror Exercise

The number one tool that Jeff and Shaleia recommend for people is the Mirror Exercise. Jeff writes, “[The Mirror Exercise] is a specific and scientific process I share that is as dependable and repeatable as the mathematical constant pi.”22 He goes on to say, “If you combine the Mirror Exercise with meditation, yoga, prayer, or any other spiritual practices you have, you will greatly benefit and highly accelerate your spiritual progress.”23 As you can see, New Age spirituality and TFU’s teachings go hand-in-hand.

The Mirror Exercise has four steps, and the goal is to unblock anything that might be keeping someone from raising their vibrational energies and achieving ascension or a Harmonious Twin Flame Union. Step one is stating the upset: “I am mad at John because he hurt my feelings.” Step two is changing the pronouns to make them personal: “I am mad at myself because I hurt my feelings.” Step three is determining if the statement in step two is true — Jeff and Shaleia say in their book that step three is always true. Step four is loving yourself until the upset is gone.24 I watched a video in the Twin Flames Universe Facebook group where a couple illustrated the Mirror Exercise, and they explained that loving yourself is usually just giving yourself a hug for as long as it takes. By doing these steps for every upset, Jeff and Shaleia claim that it “will change the way you experience your reality, and it will empower you to master consciously creating every aspect of your life, which includes you and your Twin Flame in Permanent Harmonious Union.”25

In addition to helping people heal their emotional issues, the Mirror Exercise has been recommended to help people who claim they cannot afford all the Twin Flames Universe has to offer. The TFU website says, “As with the blocks to your Twin Flame Union, blocks to money are healed in the same way. Blocks are just stuck energy. So, if you are feeling a lack of abundance, the Mirror Exercise is the perfect way to begin healing.”26 Unfortunately, the Mirror Exercise is recommended in abusive situations, too — a kind of victim blaming. One young woman featured in the Netflix series was encouraged to stay with an abusive partner and to simply “mirror it.” She was told that it was her block and her problem that he kept doing the things he was doing. Thankfully, she eventually got out of the Twin Flames Universe, but the videos featuring her experience were painful to watch.

Trauma Healing and the Mind Alignment Process

As illustrated above, a large part of a Twin Flame journey involves personal introspection and healing. Heal yourself, love yourself, then someone else will want to love you back. The Mirror Exercise is supposed to help a person overcome blocks, but sometimes it isn’t enough. That’s where the Mind Alignment Process (MAP) comes in. According to the MAP website, “MAP is a safe, simple, scientific, and ultra-effective way to heal and resolve trauma in your mind. It is a logical step-by-step process to fully resolve trauma within the mind completely, quickly and fairly easily.”27 For $1,499, MAP claims a person with trauma can engage in 12-weeks of sessions to help them overcome their emotional pain. There’s a huge problem, though. None of the MAP practitioners seem qualified to help people with trauma, and the website says it in the fine print:

Remember the diagnosis and treatment of PTSD requires trained medical professionals. Mind Alignment Process Inc. (MAP) Practitioners are not trained medical professionals or counselors, nor do we purport to be. MAP should NOT be used as a substitute for seeking professional care for the diagnosis and treatment of any mental/psychiatric disorders. MAP should be used in conjunction with professional care.28

In other words, they shouldn’t be engaging in trauma care. They simply are not qualified or trained to do so. Despite that, they are actively engaged in seeking out people affected by trauma, including members of our nation’s military, to recruit them for the MAP program. The CEO of MAP, Chrissy Emerick, is a former Lieutenant Colonel in the Army. In a video featured in the Netflix series, Jeff and Chrissy discuss how they plan to recruit new MAP subscribers, and Chrissy says she’s doing all she can on her end to make MAP an official military program. As shown in episode 2 of the Netflix docuseries, TFU members were encouraged to find people online who were suffering from grief or trauma who could sign up for MAP. This is one of the most disturbing aspects of the Twin Flames Universe because it clearly illustrates the type of manipulation and lies used to prey on people in need, whether they need healing or love.

Divine Masculine + Divine Feminine = Twin Flame Union

One aspect of the TFU that the Netflix series spent a lot of time highlighting is the gender issue. Almost an entire episode is dedicated to the topic. Throughout episode 3, claims are made that Jeff and Shaleia are encouraging members to change their genders to be in a Harmonious Twin Flame Union. Jeff and Shaleia deny allegations that they “wield inappropriate control over [their] community members,”29 but it’s not difficult to find examples online of Jeff and Shaleia advising members to identify as a particular gender. Current ascension coaches have talked about gender transitions30 they’ve had, and some of those videos were featured on Escaping Twin Flames.

The reason gender is an issue is because Jeff and Shaleia teach that a Harmonious Twin Flame Union comprises a Divine Masculine and a Divine Feminine. This is another concept that is not unique to TFU, but Jeff and Shaleia take it to the extreme. They claim that people are either 100 percent feminine or 100 percent masculine, and that there are no exceptions to the rule.31 They write, “The masculine energy is the giving, entering energy….The feminine energy is a receiving, abundantly overflowing energy….These two energies together are incredibly juicy and extremely powerful.”32

With that in mind, the pairing of twin flames requires a Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine. Jeff and Shaleia assign Twin Flame Unions in their courses, and at one point, as the Netflix series points out, there was a lack of men. To solve the issue, Jeff and Shaleia channeled twenty new Twin Flame Unions, and many of them were between two women, even though most of the women had previously claimed to be heterosexual. Then, Jeff and Shaleia took it a step further and told one woman in each pair of two women that they were Divine Masculine, not Divine Feminine. Jeff began encouraging the Divine Masculine women to change their appearance and names to reflect their masculine identity. That has led to gender transitions. Some have accepted Jeff and Shaleia’s advice, and others have left. Former members and outsiders of the TFU33 have spoken out against Jeff and Shaleia, saying that members are being coerced to make changes under the guise of finding their twin flame. At the end of Escaping Twin Flames, the producers recommend resources for anyone needing transgender support, and the series features trans advocates who say that forcing people to change their gender or their identity is wrong. In the end, it’s unclear exactly what Jeff and Shaleia tell their members behind closed doors, but it’s safe to say that members have transitioned after being told they were a different gender while a part of TFU.

CHURCH OF UNION

One area the docuseries didn’t spend much time on was the religious aspect of the Twin Flames Universe. As noted above, spirituality is a big deal to Jeff and Shaleia, and it is deeply enmeshed in the concept of Harmonious Twin Flame Unions. In 2019, Jeff and Shaleia founded the Church of Union to “create Heaven on Earth, or the optimal reality, through each our own personal connection to God and knowing His finest creation, you.”34 Escaping Twin Flames, though, suggests that perhaps the Church of Union was borne out of Jeff’s desire to avoid taxes and not pay his employees. Religion was the solution.

The Church of Union is led by its “gurus,” Jeff and Shaleia, whose “authority comes from the results of their work which completely transforms the lives of all those who sincerely engage with it.”35 No Scripture is listed, but if one watches enough Jeff and Shaleia videos, one can surmise that, at least based on the books featured on the shelves behind them, they adhere to Eastern and New Age practices. Although the Bible isn’t featured prominently in the Church of Union, God, Jesus, and Spirit are frequently used terms. In fact, Jeff has claimed to be the second coming of Christ, and Shaleia has bragged about having intimate relations with the Christ.36 Despite their use of divine names, the Church of Union is not a Christian church. The online services feature Tarot readings and meditations including words like “namaste.” It might feel like Christianity, but it isn’t.

THE GREAT ESCAPE

The title of the Netflix series may prompt you to ask, “Why are people escaping the Twin Flames Universe?” Are they being held captive? Yes, and I think the series does a decent job of bringing some of the key issues to light. But members don’t seem held captive in the physical sense. I am not sure the series did a great job of explaining that very well because on the surface, it seems that people aren’t desperately trying to get out. It’s not like other popular cults I’ve studied where members have to literally run for their lives or where members are chased down by cult leaders and forced to stay. In fact, it seems like members of the TFU can leave whenever they want. They’ll suffer shunning from other members, which means they’ll be effectively cut off from the group, but they will be allowed to leave.

However, as with most things, it’s probably not that simple. In his book, Kingdom of the Cults, Walter Martin explains the impact of isolationism on cult members: “It is a very real mental and emotional chain that has a stronghold on the cultist’s ability to discern truth from error, light from darkness.”37 Members of the TFU are isolated. Many are encouraged to leave their families in the dust. Escaping Twin Flames features several family members, especially mothers, who are desperate to get their children back from the cult, but they’ve mostly been cut off, told by their children that they were unnecessary in their lives. They have been isolated, and the TFU becomes their source of companionship.

Another important aspect of cults is that the leader is a threat in some way to his or her members. Hank Hanegraaff writes that cult “devotees characteristically display displaced loyalty for the guru and the group and are galvanized together through physical and/or psychological intimidation tactics.”38 Maybe, as in the TFU, members are berated in front of their peers. Maybe, as in the TFU, they are told they are liars and worthless. Because members don’t want to be the target, they fall in line and do what they are told. The Netflix docuseries showed footage of a couple of former members reuniting after leaving the TFU, and they asked each other what they were so afraid of and why they stayed for so long. Isolation and fear can keep someone in a stronghold for a long time. The escape is something that the member does in their mind. They must decide to leave. For our part, only compassion and truth can set them free.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CHRISTIANS

Christians shouldn’t necessarily shy away from watching shows like Escaping Twin Flames, but how can we use them for educational purposes rather than mere entertainment? Perhaps it is best if we remember that shows such as this one depict real-life humans who are made in God’s image. He wants to bring them into right relationship with Himself through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. He sent His Son to die for them. We shouldn’t watch merely because we find it fascinating or theatrical. Instead, if we choose to watch, we should do so out of a desire to learn so that we may be equipped to share truth with anyone we meet who might be caught in lies. Recognize that we are all susceptible to deception, and be on guard against false ideologies like the New Age (which is on the rise again thanks to social media sites like TikTok). Recall that Jesus engaged with people with compassion and follow His lead.

Lindsey Medenwaldt is Director of Operations of Mama Bear Apologetics and serves as a consulting editor for the Christian Research Journal. She is the author of the forthcoming book, Bridge-Building Apologetics (Harvest House, 2024).

NOTES

  1. Escaping Twin Flames, directed by Cecilia Peck, aired November 8, 2023, Netflix.
  2. See Twin Flames Universe: Open Forum, Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/groups/TwinFlameAscensionSchoolOpenForum.
  3. See Twin Flames Universe, YouTube, accessed January 24, 2024, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCB7nWJNfafFSxjT1bicjV9w, and TwinFlames Jeff and Shaleia, YouTube, accessed January 24, 2024, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9Rp6IXUugNEgDs0DJLvf_g.
  4. See Global Top 10, Netflix, TV (English), week of November 20–26, 2023, https://www.netflix.com/tudum/top10/tv?week=2023-11-26.
  5. Sarah Berman, “This YouTube School Promised True Love. Students Say They Got Exploited Instead,” VICE, February 5, 2020, https://www.vice.com/en/article/v747x4/this-youtube-school-promised-true-love-students-say-they-got-exploited-instead.
  6. See the Twin Flames Universe Facebook page, November 13, 2023, https://www.facebook.com/Twinflamesuniverse/posts/pfbid033PszkNnDGexE2gXtDaeZuPbXVSVc8Y5DGWyFRwVeYSV3Ckht16G1d7C8hHpBRzF3l.
  7. For the information about the founders and history of TFU given in this article, see Escaping Twin Flames (Netflix), and Berman, “This YouTube School Promised True Love,” https://www.vice.com/en/article/v747x4/this-youtube-school-promised-true-love-students-say-they-got-exploited-instead.
  8. Shaleia Divine, Twin Flames Universe, accessed January 20, 2024, https://twinflamesuniverse.com/.
  9. Jeff and Shaleia Divine, Twin Flames: Finding Your Ultimate Lover (n.p.: Twin Flames Universe, 2022), 27–28.
  10. For more about ascension, see Lindsey Medenwaldt, “Humanity’s Ascension: Assessing the History Channel’s New Age, Time Travel Guru David Wilcock,” Christian Research Journal, updated March 9, 2023, https://www.equip.org/articles/humanitys-ascension-assessing-the-history-channels-new-age-time-travel-guru-david-wilcock/.
  11. Jeff and Shaleia Divine, Twin Flames, 123.
  12. Jeff and Shaleia Divine, Twin Flames, 120.
  13. Occasionally, Jeff and Shaleia will host in-person gatherings to motivate their members. In a January 11, 2024, message, they invited their e-mail subscribers to a 4-day Spiritual Life Summit with promises of Harmonious Twin Flame Unions, all for the early bird price of $555. I received the email because I was subscribed to their free Twin Flames Ascension School course so that I could research the topic first-hand. This cost is, of course, in addition to all the money members pay for courses, Mind Alignment Process sessions, Divine Dish menus, and Ascension counseling.
  14. See TwinFlames Jeff and Shaleia, YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9Rp6IXUugNEgDs0DJLvf_g.
  15. To be clear, I’m not suggesting that the TFU shouldn’t charge money for the resources it offers. Instead, I’m noting that most of the resources are not free, and seeking Harmonious Twin Flame Union doesn’t happen without investment from the members because only Jeff and Shaleia can proclaim a Harmonious Twin Flame Union. They can’t do that if you aren’t in the classes.
  16. Products, Twin Flames Universe, https://twinflamesuniverse.com/products/.
  17. See DivineDish.org for more information.
  18. All prices accessed through the Twin Flames Universe websites and are current as of January 20, 2024.
  19. Shaleia Divine, Twin Flames, 31.
  20. Shaleia Divine, “Miracle Baby SURVIVED MISCARRIAGE,” TwinFlames Jeff and Shaleia, YouTube, 32:02, March 5, 2022, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4nOiUuwvvI.
  21. Jeff and Shaleia Divine, Twin Flames. The sections are identified in the Table of Contents as “(Channeled).” This includes sections from chapters 2, 3, 6, and 8.
  22. Jeff Divine, Twin Flames, 73. Let me be clear that the Mirror Exercise is not scientific, and I could find no evidence in the book, videos, or online content that says otherwise except for Jeff and Shaleia’s own claims.
  23. Jeff Divine, Twin Flames, 74. Chapter 5 is dedicated to the topic.
  24. See Jeff and Shaleia Divine, Twin Flames, 83–107.
  25. Jeff and Shaleia Divine, Twin Flames, 106.
  26. Twin Flame Ascension Coaching, accessed January 20, 2024, https://twinflamesuniverse.com/twinflameascensioncoaching/.
  27. Mind Alignment Process, https://mindalignmentprocess.org/, accessed January 20, 2024. Aside from some data offered by the organization, I couldn’t see where this process was at all scientific or effective. Some of my clinical psychology friends looked at the website and were deeply troubled by what they saw because it doesn’t seem like MAP is reliable as a trauma-healing program.
  28. See the Disclaimer & Terms of Sale at https://mindalignmentprocess.org/. The disclaimer quoted here is highlighted and italicized, however, you must click a button to see it.
  29. See the Twin Flames Universe Facebook page, November 13, 2023, https://www.facebook.com/Twinflamesuniverse/posts/pfbid033PszkNnDGexE2gXtDaeZuPbXVSVc8Y5DGWyFRwVeYSV3Ckht16G1d7C8hHpBRzF3l.
  30. See, e.g., “Coming Home to Ourselves: Isaiah’s Transition Journey,” December 15, 2019, Twin Flames Universe, YouTube, 58:54, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s74u3g90Ip8.
  31. Jeff and Shaleia Divine, Twin Flames, 155.
  32. Jeff and Shaleia Divine, Twin Flames, 155–56.
  33. See, e.g., Mey Rude, “Trans People Aren’t Forcing Anyone Else to Transition — But This Heteronormative Cult Is,” Out Magazine, November 20, 2023, https://www.out.com/film/twin-flames-universe-forced-transition, and Melanie McFarland, “What ‘Escaping Twin Flames’ Teaches Us about the Anti-Trans Nature of a Supposedly Loving Cult,” Salon, November 11, 2023, https://www.salon.com/2023/11/11/twin-flames-universe-anti-transgender-panic/.
  34. See the church’s website, https://unionism.org/.
  35. “Our Gurus,” Unionism, accessed January 20, 2024, https://unionism.org/ourgurus/.
  36.  This video is featured on the Netflix series, Escaping Twin Flames. It was part of a closed live class discussion and is not available in open forums. That said, there is a video featuring Jeff and Shaleia talking about Jeff as the second coming that was a recording from a live class. See “YET ANOTHER CULT LEADER CLAIMING TO BE THE SECOND COMING | Jeff and Shaleieaa | twin flames universe,” dick wolff, October 8, 2023, YouTube, video, 12:57, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6le1O0r3mg.
  37. Walter Martin, The Kingdom of the Cults, 6th ed. (Minneapolis: Bethany House, 2019), 34.
  38. Hank Hanegraaff, “What Are the Characteristics of C-U-L-T-S?” Christian Research Institute, updated September 14, 2023, https://www.equip.org/bible_answers/what-are-the-characteristics-of-c-u-l-t-s/.
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