Escaping Twin Flames: Most shocking moments in Netflix documentary

Daisy Phillipson
Poster for Escaping Twin Flames on NetflixNetflix

Here are the most shocking moments in Escaping Twin Flames, the new Netflix documentary series about the Twin Flames Universe and its leaders, Jeff and Shaleia Divine.

Is it a cult? Are its leaders culpable? And are its followers being exploited over their search for romantic fulfillment? These are the questions Netflix’s Escaping Twin Flames seeks to answer by speaking with defected members of the so-called spiritual community, the loved ones of those still involved, and examining the controversial practices of a group that promises subscribers to help them find their soulmate – aka, their twin flame. 

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Twin Flames Universe was started by founders and married couple Jeff and Shaleia Divine, who claim to have spiritual powers that enable them the power to detect a person’s twin flame. But their services don’t come cheap, with the still-active group charging $8,888 for its “Everything Package” of online classes, guided meditations, and videos. 

The opening scene sees Jeff showing off his $100,000 Porsche, claiming that his income is a result of he and his wife “teaching others how to have beautiful, healthy, loving relationships.” But as the series unfolds, viewers quickly learn that the methods and teachings of the Twin Flames Universe promote dangerous behavior, resulting in relationships that are anything but loving and healthy. Warning: Some may find this content distressing.

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Escaping Twin Flames: Most shocking moments in Netflix documentary

Below, we’ve broken down the most shocking moments in Escaping Twin Flames, which Netflix describes as “a three-part documentary series that pulls back the veil on Twin Flames Universe, a controversial online community that former members accuse of preying on people looking for love.”

Twin Flames Universe promoted dangerous behavior

One of the most shocking revelations are the collection of testimonials from former Twin Flames Universe members who describe how they were manipulated or convinced into crossing boundaries with the people Jeff had selected as their twin flames, leading one woman to be slapped with a restraining order and a night in jail. 

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The Netflix documentary examines how Jeff and Shaleia would often select the supposed twin flames for their members, even when the other person had made it clear they were not interested. Instead of encouraging them to find someone suitable, they were urged to be forceful in their quest to gain the object of their affection. 

Music producer and former scientist Elle explains that her partner broke up with her following a car accident. She felt so impacted by the loss of connection to her ex that she turned to spirituality for help, and that’s when she joined Twin Flames Universe. 

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Jeff convinced Elle that her ex-boyfriend was her soulmate, which left her feeling unsure as “there had been issues in the relationship.” She describes how one night, after calling her ex out on his behavior, he filed a temporary restraining order. Rather than convincing Elle to stay away, she states: “I was bought into a session and told by a coach that the restraining order wasn’t real and that it didn’t exist.”

Elle in Escaping Twin Flames on NetflixNetflix
Elle was told to pursue her ex

This thought process was applied to all aspects of their relationship, with Elle adding: “Even if he had put up a boundary, the boundary wasn’t real. That’s what we were told we needed to work on.” Eventually, Elle was put in prison after her ex found out that she had been at a nightclub he was attending. 

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Another former member named Shanise was told by Jeff that her ex-husband was her twin flame, and she had to pursue him – despite the fact that he was having a baby with someone else in a different state at that time.

The documentary cuts to a teaching of Jeff’s, in which he says: “None of it f*cking matters because you’re his twin flame, and this is your union. This is what we’ve been telling everyone since day one. All the bullsh*t, all the nonsense, all the f*ckery, all the personal protection orders, all the ex-girlfriends, wives, husbands, marriage, kids, all those things are trumped by this one simple thing: your twin flame union.”

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Angie – a former member and TFU salesperson – went through a similar process with a coworker and friend. She was told that he was her twin flame, but when she pursued him, he explained that he didn’t feel a connection and it’s later revealed that he’s in a relationship with another man. Although he put in numerous boundaries, she continued to cross them under the instruction of Jeff and Shaleia.

In one clip of a Zoom session, Shaleia tells Angie: “He’s avoiding the truth of who he is. Like, his sexuality, he’s not gay. He’s not even meant to be with another man. You know, you’re his twin flame.” As Angie breaks down crying, Shaleia tells her: “He’s supposed to be with a woman, a feminine woman.”

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Essentially, Jeff and Shaleia taught members to pursue their so-called twin flames at all costs, and those who were in their union already were told to put up with or even blamed for their partner’s controlling or unhealthy behavior. All of these teachings were carried out with no professional credentials, to the detriment of the group’s wellbeing.

Jeff and Shaleia’s unprofessional methods turn deadly

The teachings of Twin Flames Universe allegedly turned deadly, as one former member died by suicide after opening up about her struggles with depression. Rather than urging her to seek professional help, she was told by TFU coaches that she has “a choice,” and to carry out the practices, including what’s known as the mirror exercise. 

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As per the Twin Flames Universe website: “This exercise is covered in depth in the book Twin Flames: Finding your Ultimate Lover written by Jeff and Shaleia. And it is also taught throughout their entire body of work. The Mirror Exercise is the most powerful spiritual tool for self-transformation. It is the only tool you’ll ever need, and it works every time.”

The mirror exercise is said to be “based on the principle that your entire external reality is a reflection of your inner world. This means that your thoughts and beliefs shape how you experience life. Therefore, you are only ever experiencing whatever is within you.”

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Members were taught that if they were feeling upset about something, they should look in the mirror and turn the projections towards themselves. So if their chosen twin flame had rejected them, they would stand in front of the mirror and say, “I’m upset that I am rejecting myself.” They should then connect with this feeling and practice loving themselves. 

Still of Facebook post in Escaping Twin FlamesNetflix

While this sort of reflection can be powerful in certain situations, when it comes to medically recognized mental health disorders, it can have the opposite effect. Investigative journalist Sarah Berman, who published reports on the Twin Flames Universe for Vice, appears in the docu-series to explain: “Jeff and Shaleia are making claims that medical and psychological ailments can be completely 100% resolved using exercises. It’s claiming to be scientific and it’s just not.”

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This caused damage to numerous members, but for one woman in particular, it proved fatal. She took to the TFU Facebook group explaining that she was suffering from depression. When asking for mental health help, she was urged to do a MAP session. This is a program developed by the leaders which targets a person’s most traumatic experiences, with the site stating: “Your MAP practitioner will expertly access your trauma like a world class computer programmer rooting out a bug in the system.”

The woman was also told to carry out the mirror exercise. Former MAP director of statistics, Lenae, states: “She was being led by Jeff directly to do MAP, and she ended up killing herself before she could get there.” Victoria, who was once TFU’s chief security officer, claims that the suicide was “spun in a way that she had chosen to stop doing the work, and while there was compassion, it was a choice she made.”

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Jeff and Shaleia accused of coercing members to transition

While Twin Flames Universe claims it is accepting of LGBTQ+ members, one of the most shocking allegations made in the documentary is that Jeff and Shaleia coerced and pressured certain individuals into changing their gender identities, all of them being women who were told they must transition to men.  

This started in 2019, when the TFU leaders claimed they had “channeled” approximately 20 twin flame pairings between its members, including heterosexual women who were instructed to be together. But since their teachings suggest there must be a “divine masculine” and “divine feminine” in a union, one half of the partnership must be the male energy. 

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For those like Angie, who is bisexual, she was told: “A feminine can never be attracted to a feminine, or a masculine to another masculine, so really bisexual doesn’t exist.” Although they are a lesbian couple, twin flames Anne and Catrina were informed that Anne “is the masculine,” with Jeff allegedly forcing her to adopt the name Dan despite her protests. In one disturbing clip, Jeff questions how they can be satisfied with their sex life “without a penis.” 

Catrina and Anne in Escaping Twin Flames on NetflixNetflix
Anne (right) was told to change her name to Dan

They continued to push this ethos to extremes, reaching new heights with the “channeled” pairings of their members, most of which were said to be same sex couples – and half of which had been assigned as the divine masculine.

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Speaking in Escaping Twin Flames, Louise – the mother of twins Paula and Stephanie, the latter of whom is still a member of TFU – states that her daughter was told to leave who was previously granted as her twin flame to partner with TFU coach Kiran. “Kiran was assigned as a divine masculine, and was told to transition.” Paula adds that Stephanie and Kiran had only “chatted a few times” and “never met in person” – and yet within a matter of weeks, Stephanie traveled to Switzerland to be with her new twin flame. 

Meanwhile, Angie was paired with Victoria and told: “You are a man… accept it.” She, alongside all of the new pairings who were assigned as the divine masculine, were called into a “healing group” and told to accept “what Jeff and Shaleia claimed” was their true gender and sexuality. “This healing group was about accepting your masculinity, accepting yourself as a dude in a woman’s body,” says former member Jessi. “The healing sessions would not end until everybody had complied.”

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Still from Escaping Twin Flames on NetflixNetflix

Although numerous members left the group in light of these practices, several women started taking hormones, and at least two have had mastectomies, including Isaiah – the child of Maxine, who appears in the Netflix docu-series to share her experiences. Due to the fact that TFU convinces its members to be estranged from their birth family, Maxine was unable to be by her child’s side when going through the surgery. 

“My child had top surgery, which means a double mastectomy,” says Maxine. “I believe my child was the first of the people to go through this surgery in this group. If anything, it’s major surgery. If, God forbid, anything had happened on that operating table, I wasn’t there. To be there, to hold his hand.”

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Jeff and Shaleia say their unborn child will be “celibate” 

Escaping Twin Flames examines a number of shocking videos in which Jeff and Shaleia discuss their, at the time, unborn child. The language they use is shocking, saying how they went through IVF to ensure their third twin flame is in “the right” body for her gender and that she will be “celibate.”

Three years ago, Jeff and Shaleia took to their YouTube channel to announce that they were going through IVF to have a baby. Shanise explains that since the beginning, the couple have actually been a “three twin flame set,” claiming their divine feminine child is the third individual. 

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In one clip, Shaleia says they didn’t go through IVF for infertility reasons, but rather they wanted to ensure their baby “got the right body for her, gender-wise.” Another shows Jeff telling the group: “Our third twin flame is, you know, so-called celibate because she can satisfy herself completely and give herself all the sex she needs.” To which Shaleia replies: “Yeah, I’ve been talking to her about that.” 

As said by former TFU member and coach Keely: “She is supposed to not have any sexual partners outside of God. Yes, she’s allowed to have sex with God.” This allegedly impacted the group too. “Everything was brought back to this baby,” adds Keely. “Anytime you made a mistake, you were ‘killing Shaleia’ or making her sick, and that was hurting baby Grace.”

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Shaleia and Jeff in Escaping Twin Flames on NetflixNetflix
Shaleia and Jeff claim their child is their “third” twin flame

Although the baby didn’t work out, as Shaleia tells the group it’s “not a viable pregnancy,” the couple have since had their daughter Grace, who they post regularly about on their social media channels. 

At the end of every episode of Escaping Twin Flames on Netflix, a statement is shared that reads: “In a general statement addressed to the media on its website, TFU denies allegations that it is a cult, that it improperly profits off students, that it encourages stalking, or that it separates students from their families. 

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“Twin Flames Universe denies that their system for partnering students is false and fraudulent. TFU further denies forcing some students to change their gender identities. TFU maintains that the group is a safe and tolerant place for all members of the LGBTQ+ community.”

Escaping Twin Flames is available to stream on Netflix now. You can read more about where Jeff and Shaleia are now here, and check out our other documentaries coverage below: 

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About The Author

Daisy is a Senior TV and Movies Writer at Dexerto. She's a lover of all things macabre, whether that be horror, crime, psychological thrillers or all of the above. After graduating with a Masters in Magazine Journalism, she's gone on to write for Digital Spy, LADbible and Little White Lies. You can contact her on daisy.phillipson@dexerto.com