Teal Swan is a highly controversial New Age guru with millions of online followers. Teal specifically markets her services to vulnerable, often suicidal individuals, and advances highly controversial and/or damaging beliefs and techniques including:

  • Encouraging graphic suicidal ideation.
  • Nurturing false memories and false accusations of ritual abuse by family members through thoroughly debunked recovered memory techniques.
  • Waterboarding as a trauma treatment.
  • Downplaying the severity of death by suicide by likening it to “hitting the reset button” into a future reincarnated life.

Teal’s practices are covered more thoroughly in the recently released Hulu series entitled “The Deep End.” Several deaths by suicide have been attributed to Teal’s practices.

In today’s episode we interview Diana Hansen Ribera, who was one of Teal’s closest childhood and adolescent friends. In her interview, Diana provides thorough detail to challenge Teal’s false claims of being a victim of satanic ritual abuse and sex trafficking as a child, and explains how Teal developed her coercion skills and harmful techniques with Diana — that Teal would eventually employ on a broader scale.

Warning: This interview contains graphic and disturbing content. Viewer and listener discretion is advised.

Show Notes:

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  1. Laurel June 8, 2022 at 11:57 am - Reply

    I’ve listened to several podcast episodes about Teal Swan and this is by far the most important and valuable that I’ve come across. It’s incredible to have an inside view to her upbringing and how she formulated most of her manipulative and attention-seeking strategies at a young age. It’s also amazing to see that there is a recurring pattern of cult leaders displaying narcissistic tendencies at a young age, regardless of the type of cult. This is an excellent interview that provides a lot of clarity!

  2. Susan Croft Bernstein June 8, 2022 at 2:35 pm - Reply

    Dianna says she doesn’t have the words, but in fact she has been most eloquent. Her puppeteer analysis was stunning as she depicts Teal’s voyeuristic desire to lead and watch people at the precipice.

  3. Emma June 14, 2022 at 9:32 am - Reply

    This is how teal attracts people
    She’s interested and will listen to the worst things— the most disturbing things— in a persons life The things that have broken them and the things that are breaking their hearts

    It isn’t easy to find a group of people who are interested in sharing these deeper disturbing emotional issues

    But then she takes advantage of their vulnerability

    It’s a false sense of love and caring that she portrays and that she uses to obtain trust. And what does she do with that trust. She does not try to prevent suicide
    Or give hope and safety. She does not help them see the good in life and the reasons for finding joy in living — she does not give them skills for coping

    It is hard to find individuals and groups who are willing and interested in hearing our deepest troubles and challenges — people we can trust to share those things with and people that will share those with us

    People who are suicidal have hit bottom

    that’s why there’s therapy groups and support groups

    We all want to be heard and seen. it’s probably really hard especially in the Utah culture where people are constantly hiding who they are and trying to appear perfect . so Utah is a place where people are desperate to be seen and heard and to share the things they can’t share in the Mormon culture

    There are so many broken hearts and lonely people who have no where to go to be authentic snd share those disturbing things

    She finds the vulnerable and then uses them for her own goals like any cult. That’s why it is so dangerous and deceitful

    It’s scary

    Thanks for sharing

    One of the things that’s been most powerful about Mormon stories is people share the deepest disturbing heartbreaking experiences about leaving tscc —that we as exmos connect with. And many of us have no group to share that with. Sadly it is the heartbreaking pain of the cult that creates such a deep understanding and compassionate bond that we all share . We have all been deeply hurt by tscc

    This is the difference between Teal snd John. Johns compassion helps lift and heal and give hope. She does the opposite She takes people to darkness snd leaves them there

  4. Emma June 14, 2022 at 9:49 am - Reply


    I’ve mentioned before but Samantha is the best female cohost you have had on your podcast

    There are so many things to consider in choosing a cohost

    Just her voice alone is really nice. She can has a calm lower pitched voice that is easy to listen too. She’s level headed snd very insightful
    She’s a good listener
    She is also very knowledgeable and smart and her comments are right on. I love her sense of humor. I think her age contributes to her charm

    She’s actually allot like Gerardo

    They both have those qualities that make them easy and enjoyable to listen too
    Perhaps part of their appeal is that they were both raised in foreign countries and have a broader perspective.

    I love their accents

    But their personalities are the key—really enjoyable

    I think Samantha should be a regular on your podcast

    Just my 2 cents worth

    Thanks for all you do

  5. Melanie June 18, 2022 at 7:27 am - Reply

    It took a very long time for Keith Raniere to be brought to justice and locked up. Who knows how many vulnerable lives he destroyed? I do hope it will not take as long for Teal Swan to be held accountable for her disgustingly psycopathic behaviour. Things like ‘The Deep End’ and this podcast will help speed up that – I believe – inevitable process. I think too many people make the mistakes of giving these appalling grifters the benefit of the doubt, and also, both-sidesing the stories.

    I just want to add a personal anecdote about suggestability and CSA.
    WHen I found out that my younger sister had experienced abuse by a family friend as a child, it really had a weird and profound effect. It messed with my head, in that i entered a period of ‘OMG did I ever get abused also? Have I blocked it out?’ I felt super disturbed for a while (as well as very sad and angry about my sister’s abuse). I racked my memory for days trying very hard to recall anything that may have happened. In the end I realized there was nothing there- I had never been abused (thank God) but the loop that I was thrown into upon gaining the knowledge of my sister was , as I say, super weird and super disturbing. I definitely questioned my reality for a while there, and there was nobody even suggesting to me that I had been abused.

    Samantha thank you for sharing and I am so sorry for all you have been through, but great to see you doing ok now.

  6. MLGates June 25, 2022 at 9:58 am - Reply

    Popped on to hear the Swan story. Thanks for the straight talk. I do object to the gross generalization that, “mental health providers” were using false memory work. Not true. Kooks were. Not mental health practitioners en mass. Please correct that!

  7. Laura July 1, 2022 at 10:48 am - Reply

    Finding connection and rebuilding authentic community is hard work. That it is not automatic without all the harmful trappings, baffles people. They don’t want to put in the daily, ongoing effort that genuine community takes. It’s not just add water. . .

  8. Valerie Fulford July 26, 2022 at 8:34 am - Reply

    What a believable introduction to Teal Swan. Thank you. I only started hearing about her through Conspirituality where I found your link.

    Fortunately I lost my interest in joining a cult as a teen, I grew up in the era of cults, I came of age in 1972. After all I read and saw of friends and family who became cult members I was duly and rightly scared off.

    As an older person I am faced again with cultish behaviour in my close family on her way to being a guru and internet influencer. She and her sister-in-law have written a book, channeling spirit guides from another universe. They have followers and are becoming more and more grandiose. More confident they have all the answers.

    It amazes me that after so many well documented cult disasters that the culture of conspiracies and the wellness community are still culpable for drawing the vulnerable to them with outlandish claims and charismatic charlatans. It seems to be hardwired in us as human beings to be drawn in to the easy fixes and magical thinking.

    I could have been a perfect prospect for a cult. There but by the grace of goodness… As a childhood victim myself in an age of secrecy, my lips were sealed by fear that I did something wrong and would be punished for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Add to that my perpetrator threatened me within an inch of my life if I ever told on him. As a result I did a deep dive into evangelism after the assault, hoping to find truth. I didn’t find any of the answers I was looking for, like why do bad things happen to good people? Why are people starving in the world of plenty? So by the time the cults rolled into town I was immunized against easy answers.

    Thank you for the interview Diana, Diana, you are so strong and such an intelligent person. You spotted the dangers, the lies and the catastrophic results at an early age in spite of the intense manipulations by the older, charismatic Teal. Even if there was no SRA and “repressed memory syndrome” Teal would be very dangerous. She was a dangerous sick child who robbed you of growing up in a safe place. The things she exposed you too were shocking and thoroughly abusive. Not all victims of sexual violence become violators. I can attest to that.

    There should be special education for teens and young adults in school about the nature of cults. Forewarned is forearmed.

  9. DN April 21, 2023 at 9:45 pm - Reply

    Here are the documents of “Doc” telling the true story about Teal. You might want to keep a PDF copy in case this link every disappears. The guy seems pretty level headed: http://thetruthaboutcameron.blogspot.com/2015/10/the-complete-interview-of-teal-swans.html

  10. DN April 21, 2023 at 9:47 pm - Reply

    Oh some quotes from that link from “Doc”:

    “The neighbor girl had been cutting herself and Teal saw what a psychological impact it had on the parents. Teal was scratching her wrists each time her father started pushing her to get a job and do chores around the house, and it worked. She confided in me that she was a reincarnation of Cleopatra and her parents were supposed to be her servants.”

    “Teal is a master at using sexual inunedo [sic] to manipulate males. It never worked on me because I knew her too well ( from birth on) and that may be why she wants to discredit me now. I do know this, Teal never suffered any kind of physical or sexual abuse as a child. She was not a model, Olympic athlete, or in Playboy magazine.”

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