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
    • 4.7 • 869 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

4.7 out of 5
869 Ratings

869 Ratings

smld67 ,

I want more

I discovered this a bit late, but I listened to all of the episodes in two days. I am captivated and I wish there was more of the story.

spcbsd ,

Good Up Until Episode 5

Very informative in terms of getting Teal and her followers to talk about their beliefs. Soon you will realize this “interviewer” is coming to Teal with pre-existing bias and accusing her what what he thinks of her. Putting words in her mouth is not going to help audience understand anything further than you proposed bias. Uneducated interviewer arguing with an uneducated spiritual leader. Disappointing.

aley burd ,

Yikes!

This was a fascinating podcast and also infuriating to hear this woman talk (she thinks covid is a conspiracy theory, so…). However I wish there was a lot more debunking of how harmful the things she says and practices really are.

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