‘Escaping Twin Flames’: How to Break Up With an Online Dating Cult

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EVERY NOW AND then a subject comes along that seemed compelling enough to the right decision-makers to somehow become the focus of multiple projects. Seeing the competition on the horizon, producers and distributors press their pedal to the metal instead of ceding ground. This is how we end up with two documentaries about the infamous Fyre music festival (Netflix’s Fyreand Hulu’s Fyre Fraud). It’s why the market tries to bear two limited series about Texas ax slayer Candy Montgomery (HBO’s Love and Death and Hulu’s Candy). And now, within a month of each other, the streaming gods have bequeathed us a pair of docuseries about the same online dating cult, Amazon’s Desperately Seeking Soulmate: Twin Flames Universe and Netflix’s new three-part Escaping Twin Flames.

It’s a tasty irony, a pair of raging narcissists getting the star treatment in dueling series, both fueled by the work of investigative journalists (Vanity Fair’s Alice Hines in Soulmate, Vice’s Sarah Berman in Escaping), both built around interviews with survivors, both laying the groundwork for reckoning and consequences that haven’t yet arrived. The narcissists are Jeff and Shaleia Divine, online spiritual hucksters who have made a fortune off their Twin Flames Universe Universe empire. Guaranteeing that members will find their Twin Flames (or true loves), and charging thousands of dollars to devotees to become coaches, Jeff and Shaleia have been accused by escapees of heinousness general (emotional abuse and manipulation) and specific (demanding specific gender identification of their clients, pushing them to stalk their objects of unrequited love, basically insisting that sexual consent is for wimps).

Content retrieved from: https://www.rollingstone.com/tv-movies/tv-movie-reviews/escaping-twin-flames-netflix-twin-flames-universe-dating-cult-jeff-divine-1234872365/.

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