7 episodes

The Gateway is a six-part series about Teal Swan, a new brand of spiritual guru, who draws in followers with her hypnotic self-help YouTube videos aimed at people who are struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts. Some followers move to Teal’s healing center, a spiritual startup where they produce content and manage social media accounts. Teal insists her therapy saves lives, but her critics say Teal’s death-focused dogma is dangerous. Gizmodo reporter Jennings Brown traveled to rural Utah and to the forests of Costa Rica, with extensive access to Teal and her inner circle, to understand Teal's teachings and investigate the deaths of some of her followers.

The Gateway: Teal Swan Gizmodo

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.8 • 95 Ratings

The Gateway is a six-part series about Teal Swan, a new brand of spiritual guru, who draws in followers with her hypnotic self-help YouTube videos aimed at people who are struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts. Some followers move to Teal’s healing center, a spiritual startup where they produce content and manage social media accounts. Teal insists her therapy saves lives, but her critics say Teal’s death-focused dogma is dangerous. Gizmodo reporter Jennings Brown traveled to rural Utah and to the forests of Costa Rica, with extensive access to Teal and her inner circle, to understand Teal's teachings and investigate the deaths of some of her followers.

    Part 6: Shadows

    Part 6: Shadows

    After months of reporting, Jennings goes to Utah for one final interview with Teal.
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    • 37 min
    Part 5: Memories

    Part 5: Memories

    A look back at a strange chapter of American history known as the Satanic Panic—and how it connects to Teal. 
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    • 44 min
    Part 4: Tribe

    Part 4: Tribe

    In this exploration of Teal’s online empire, we’ll meet some of the people whose lives have changed because of her teachings.
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    • 50 min
    Part 3: Philia

    Part 3: Philia

    Jennings meets Teal at her retreat center in Costa Rica. He spends a week there, observing her therapy methods and getting to know some of the people who leave their lives behind to live with Teal and run her spiritual startup. It all starts with a death meditation, and it only gets stranger from there.
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    • 42 min
    Part 2: Origins

    Part 2: Origins

    Jennings travels to Utah, where Teal grew up and began her spiritual career. He learns more about the upbringing that shaped her teachings on suicide, and he meets the people who were closest to a Teal follower who took her own life. 
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    • 38 min
    Part 1: Catalyst

    Part 1: Catalyst

    In April 2017 YouTube recommended reporter Jennings Brown watch a self-help video from Teal Swan, a spiritual guru with a global online following. He’d spend the next year trying to understand whether or not she’s dangerous. 
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    • 41 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
95 Ratings

95 Ratings

Yepydo ,

Binge worthy podcast

Don’t start this podcast unless you have time to binge it all. I started it a few hours before I went to bed, and I couldn’t sleep because I needed to know what happened.

Excellent investigative journalism.

Sanjoie ,

True investigative journalism

I’m listening totally open and on the ride of my life - I can see both sides and it’s raising so many important questions and ideas around suicide, what we have in place to address/ prevent suicide and how memory and mismemory can be an opportunity to heal or cause harm - humans are frail, resilient, adaptable and rigid - this just really makes you think about whether those that provide a beacon are manipulators for profit or power or are they truly filling in a gap? Is there something truly wrong with her techniques? Are they wreckless or is she the only tool that works for people in those desperate constant states? Is she manipulator and is it bad? if she manipulated people to belong to something at a time when they don’t belong anywhere and they need that until the dont - is that harmful or helpful???? Who knows but I’m greatly enjoying this deep dive and will keep listening!

Court3455 ,

Excellent

This is investigative journalism at its finest. The perspectives from so many different people who have come into contact with Teal and her teachings show a well rounded view of the effects of her far reach.

I’m here because of Oh No Ross & Carrie. I devoured all 6 episodes in 1 sitting and I am about to listen to Jennings’ interview with them!

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