Followers display cult behavior, branding themselves after Teal Swan

Teal has a prominent tattoo of an alchemical symbol on her upper left arm. It has been observed that a number of Teal’s followers have exactly the same tattoo. The followers who bear the copycat tattoo, tend to be those who are the most devoted to Teal and her “tribe”. They include members of her “intentional community”, her workshop volunteers and practitioners of her Completion Process.

All photos and screenshots used in this blog were taken from the social media accounts of Teal and her followers, her closed Facebook group, “Teal Tribe”, and her website. The photos below show just some of the many followers who have an identical tattoo to Teal:

Faces and other identifying information has been obscured to protect identities.

 

Teal’s tattoo

Teal’s tattoo in itself, is not particularly significant. It is a fairly common tattoo design. It could be seen as just another part of the clichéd “spiritual leader” image that Teal has constructed for herself. What is significant, is what it reveals about the cult of personality surrounding Teal and the level of “commitment” she demands from her followers. Teal, however, does believe that her tattoo has a special significance. She has described herself as a “teacher of alchemy”, without any supporting evidence. Unless that is, she believes that having an alchemical symbol tattoo is enough of an alchemical qualification. In her blog, “Heavy with Blossoms”, she describes a visit to St.Vitus Cathedral in Prague:

And there I stood, a teacher of alchemy on the world stage, with the seal of alchemy etched into my left arm. I have arrived at court finally.

Teal has written further about the meaning of her tattoo. The screenshot below is taken from her old website (no longer available online):

16329B81-FA6E-4E22-A717-E6D66D49970E
Screenshot obtained from Internet Archives.

Whatever meaning Teal ascribes to her tattoo, the symbol has become highly recognisable to her followers. The tattoo is visible in a large percentage of her photographs and videos. The majority of the publicity photos on her website’s ‘Press Gallery’ for example, are photos of her with the tattoo prominently in frame. In a recent video on Instagram, Teal complained that she was feeling cold, yet chose to wear short-sleeved clothing that ensured her tattoo was visible. Teal often chooses to be filmed or photographed with her left side facing the camera. The photos below are a fraction of the images Teal has published that appear to highlight her tattoo:

 

The Teal Tribe brand

Teal has co-opted the original meaning of the symbol and repurposed it to symbolise herself and Teal Tribe. In fact, her most well-known tattoo has become the emblem of Teal Tribe. Or as a Facebook admin of Teal Tribe put it- “it has become known as the “Teal Tribe Symbol”. The group itself, of course, is named after Teal. Many of her followers refer to themselves as “Tealers” or “Tribers”.

Teal Tribe Symbol

For many followers, the symbol is synonymous with Teal, not only because it is frequently visible in her photos, but because she uses it as part of her product branding. Her tattoo symbol is featured on several of her products. She sells a “Teal Tribe” T-shirt on her website. Her tattoo symbol is featured in the centre, set against a teal-coloured background with the words “Teal Tribe” beneath it in teal-coloured lettering. The symbol is also on the reverse side of her frequency tarot cards.

 

 

“When you are a teacher or a leader, or a politician or an artist, the brand you are marketing is YOU. This means that your most valuable asset is your image.”

From Teal’s blog “Ego and Humility”

 

86FB4A90-1FCA-49CB-BF6F-172760572F9D
Followers hold up a banner of the symbol at a Teal Tribe gathering.

Influence

It is significant to note that Teal actively encourages her followers to copy her tattoo. The screenshot below is an example of how Teal “suggests” to her followers, via comments on social media, that they should get the same tattoo. Teal sells the idea to her followers that the tattoo is a symbol of belonging and inclusion in her “soul family”. In the Facebook post below, Teal posted a photo of herself with her tattoo showing. A commenter duly compliments Teal on the tattoo, to which Teal responds:

I think it would be awesome if a whole bunch of us had this tattoo. It could be a symbol of the bond that unites us.

 

B673B019-87CF-4C43-A339-0E22E4137393

When a follower obliges and gets a copy of Teal’s tattoo, Teal will often give them a favourable response. By publicly ‘rewarding’ followers who comply, Teal provides further incentive for other followers to get the tattoo themselves. Given the cult dynamics at play within Teal Tribe, it seems very likely that followers will want to gain the attention and approval of their leader. A response from Teal is especially coveted amongst followers, because getting a response from Teal is rare. She never responds to her follower’s comments and questions on Instagram. More importantly, she doesn’t take the time to respond to her suicidal followers, yet is able to find the time to congratulate the followers who copy her tattoo. In the screenshots below, Teal gives her seal of approval to followers who have posted photos of their tattoos on Facebook:

 

The fact that so many followers have decided to get a copy of Teal’s tattoo, seems to suggest that many of her followers idealise and idolise her. This is something that Teal openly encourages. An example of this idolisation can be seen in comments made by a volunteer at one of Teal’s workshops. The volunteer describes being “reeled in” by Teal, being starstruck when meeting her, and not long afterwards, deciding to have the tattoo done. The volunteer writes:

I was deeply fascinated by her, not only by her beauty but her charisma . . . her energy reeled me in like a cowboy with his lasso . . . from watching her weekly “Ask Teal” videos, I felt as though she was in my head . . . Meeting Teal was the most uplifting thing ever. It was like meeting a celebrity but actually having a form of connection to the person, especially on a spiritual level . . . The tattoo on her arm, when I first learned about it, is an Alchemy sign . . . I was intrigued and wanted to get this tattooed for myself . . . At first I wanted the tattoo on my left shoulder . . . However, the Korean tattooist pulled it down to the exact place Teal has hers because the print out I had, was too big. I tried to get the guy to make it fit but it looked too weird. I didn’t want to appear as a “copy-cat” to Teal or a plain weirdo, but when he placed it on my arm, it simply looked good. *source redacted for author’s privacy

Teal tribute tattoos

The alchemical tattoos are not the only tattoos that directly reference Teal in some way. Teal’s close confidant and ‘intentional community’ member, Graciela, not only has the alchemical tattoo (shown in the first set of photos above), she also has a tattoo of one of Teal’s quotes. Her tattoo (pictured below) unfortunately contains Teal’s original spelling mistake. It reads: “you were not born to use this life to refine or improve yourself. you were born to use this life as a canvass [sic] to paint yourself across”.

Teal was seemingly delighted when Graciela got this tattoo. She posted a photo of it on Instagram with the caption, “Graciela got a new tattoo of my quote in my handwriting . . . Made my day”. Another follower of Teal’s posted on Facebook a photo of a Teal-inspired tattoo. The tattoo depicts Teal’s black swan logo and beneath it are a list of names. “Teal Swan” is at the top, followed by the name of Teal’s husband, “Ale Gicqueau”.

 

 

Teal’s husband, Ale, seems to be one of the few people in Teal’s inner circle who hasn’t got a tattoo that relates to her in some way. This could be explained by comments Ale made in his blog, “Inducing Altered States Of Consciousness To Speed Up Evolution”:

“. . . all my life, I have been uncomfortable with anything that alters the original nature of the body. Teal has felt hurt by me in the past when I expressed my dislike of tattoos. . .”

However, Teal posted a photograph of Ale “trying out” one of her frequency designs on his back for a possible future tattoo. It remains to be seen if he will go ahead with it.

16EF5549-8A14-4C7C-A3B0-9D6FA3C9E6DD

While Ale might not have yet succumbed to a permanent Teal-inspired tattoo, Teal has previously convinced him to have his body permanently marked. Teal coerced Ale to partake in a Kambo ritual which she knew would very likely involve Ale being left with permanent burn marks. Ale described the incident in his blog. He writes:

. . . the last thing I wanted to do in the world was to have burn marks on my forehead. I started to complain, revolt and state clearly that I did not want to do it. Teal started to experience genuine sadness and she shed a couple of tears . . . I accepted reluctantly to have Kambo administered to my forehead as I reminded myself that my relationship with her is so much more important than looking good.

Spiritual leader or cult leader?

Why would a “spiritual leader” encourage their followers to copy their tattoo? It suggests an extreme egotism that is not befitting of a genuine spiritual leader. Teal tells her followers that the identical tattoos are a “symbol of the bond that unites [Teal Tribe]”. If the bond between Teal and Teal Tribe is genuine, then why is there a need for followers to “prove it” by getting a permanent physical marking? Are the tattoos really a symbol of belonging, or are they a symbol of ownership? Is Teal covertly trying to “brand” her followers?

The symbol was not a mutually agreed upon image that Teal Tribe picked to represent their group and to have as their tattoos design. The emblem of their group, and their tattoos are a replica of their leader’s tattoo – the same symbol that Teal uses to brand her products. It’s all centered around Teal as a person, not her teachings. This is yet another cult warning sign. Teal covertly encourages idolatry from her followers. Teal could just be feeding her ego, at the expense of her followers, some of whom,  will no doubt come to regret getting their “Teal Tribe symbol” tattoo.

Could it be that Teal is encouraging her followers to get the tattoo as a way of keeping them devoted members of Teal Tribe? Permanent marking, permanent member? Is it an attempt to keep her followers “chained” to her? If a follower has gone as far as to get the tattoo, they may feel impelled to stay committed to Teal and the group, even if doubts arise, or they want to move on. It is likely that Teal is well aware of this. If a spiritual leader must go to these manipulative lengths to keep their followers, then it is likely because they know they can’t retain followers on merit. A genuine spiritual teacher, liberates. A cult leader, enslaves.


Works Cited

Swan, Teal. “Heavy With Blossoms.” Teal Swan. Teal Swan. 18 Dec. 2014, Web blog post. 1 Dec. 2017. <https://tealswanblog.files.wordpress.com/2017/12/heavy-with-blossoms-blog-posts-teal-swan.pdf>

Gicqueau, Ale. “Inducing Altered States Of Consciousness To Speed Up Evolution.” Teal Swan. Teal Swan. 26 Mar. 2017, Web blog post. 1 Dec. 2017. <Available behind Teal Swan Premium>

Swan, Teal. “Ego And Humility.” Teal Swan. Teal Swan. 17 Jan. 2014, Web blog post. 1 Dec. 2017. <https://tealswanblog.files.wordpress.com/2017/12/ego-and-humility-blog-posts-teal-swan.pdf>

 

5 thoughts on “Followers display cult behavior, branding themselves after Teal Swan”

  1. Everyone knows that life is all about perception. If you perceive that this a cult, then don’t play. It’s that simple. To call a human being out because she is human, is ignorant. We all have our journeys and some are harder than others, but no one can say wether someone is living truth or not because “truth” is only one persons perspective. If you have issues with ANY PERSON, I urge you to look within as to why you feel a need for an issue. If you do not agree, then move on. Why do people have to down play someone that is clearly trying to help others? Mind your own business if the information does not resonate with you. Stop putting others down because you are unhappy with yourself. Every person you meet is a direct reflection of yourself. So, if you don’t like someone, what is it about you that you don’t like? Wake up people!! Teal is just a catalyst for a world you aren’t ready to understand, so go ahead and go back to hiding in your comfort zone. Where nothing grows. When you realize that you don’t have to write articles such as this or say perceptive comments about someone, then you will truly realize the teaching Teal has provided. If you can’t look at your own shadows, start with picking yourself apart, not someone who is honestly trying to help. Walk away from the info if it doesn’t not serve you. Share love not hate. I dare you to live with as much boldness as Teal, you couldn’t barely handle the surface let alone the ocean. Hopefully soon you will realize the the only problem is your own self and the only solution is also yourself.

    Like

  2. I have spent over $1,500.00 USD on a Completion process “certification ” bought her books and followed her on social media since 2014. I have met her personally and had an at length conversation with Ale , her husband in person about a deep private matter. I’ve also had a very private conversation with her manager. We talked about very personal situations. So I’m not someone who is paroting words from someone else’s mouth or writings of hate . This is from my own personal experience.
    I would describe Teal as being “soul-less”. She is still cutting herself, there’s nothing healed about her . She uses guilt very cleverly . She said this to us at one of her trainings, “ I can’t believe people when they say they love me because I’ve been betrayed so much by people who said they loved me , then they turned around and became haters . “ we all sighed and felt so sorry for her. She refers to anyone who calls her out as a “hater” so if you disagree with her , you’re a “hater” that’s the subversive language she uses to manipulate. I could go on and on . I have the recordings of her saying these things , contract I signed and proof of having had attended her “training”. She definitely has several personalities but mostly she feels like an empty vessel. She has no warmth , I hugged her a few times and I felt nothing , like I was hugging an object. Besides that point. I’ve got a lot to say about her . I could write a book. Her followers are mostly suicidal and/or very narcissistic just like her. I continued to follow because it was like a watching a bad movie that you couldn’t stop watching because you can’t beli how terrible it is. But I stopped following, I just can’t waste any more of my brain cells.

    Like

  3. I used to be a “Tealer” for a few years until I discovered on how much of a HACK and power hungry she is. Especially on how much she spiritually abuses her clients and followers with suicide. It made me angry and sick to my stomach.

    PEOPLE, don’t believe everything she says because her teachings are UNORIGINAL. She copied everything from ancient spiritual Scriptures to self help authors. Which is hypocritical because in one interview with “Positive Head Podcast”, she criticizes the self help industry and believes that she can solve personal problems better than they can. She has never and never will come up with her own material to help others. There is nothing wrong with using another person’s technique to help others, but there is everything wrong with plagiarizing those techniques and capitalizing them as their own. So yeah, my money is going towards the original problem solvers and not her.

    Thank you for exposing Marshall Applewhite 2.0

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s