Twin Flames Universe founders Jeff and Shaleia have been accused of running a controversial community through the ruse of helping people find their twin flame
While the concept of a person looking for their other half, one true love or soulmate has always existed, the idea of finding a “twin flame” seems to have overtaken them all in recent years. But what if someone takes it too far?
Escaping Twin Flames, a new Netflix documentary series, follows what happened when two people purporting to be in a twin flame union turned the concept into a business. The three-episode series dives into the story of Jeff and Shaleia Divine’s Twin Flames Universe, an organization that claims to help people find their twin flame through a series of courses, coaching and exercises.
What seems simple enough — helping people find love — is unraveled in the documentary as former members reveal the darker underbelly of a high-control group and the damaging practices members are allegedly coerced into doing.
"They are very good at identifying people who may be at a moment of transition or vulnerability, luring them in, and then slowly indoctrinating them," filmmakers Cecilia Peck and Inbal B. Lessner — the Emmy-nominated filmmaking team behind Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult — told PEOPLE.
By making Escaping Twin Flames, the filmmakers hope the series will “help prevent more people from joining this and other high control groups” and “see the former members of Twin Flames Universe as having survived intensive, systematic coercive control.”
“The main motivation we all shared was to bring the ongoing abuse to a stop and to help the current members leave and recover,” they added.
Read ahead to learn more about Jeff and Shaleia Divine, and where they are today.
What is the Twin Flames Universe?
The Twin Flames Universe is an online community and organization first created by Jeff and Shaleia in 2017 that claims to help people find their twin flame union through a series of coaching and exercises that will draw this person to them. They run the business from their house in Michigan, where they moved a few years after they started dating in 2012.
Entry into the Twin Flames Universe comes from the “Twin Flame Ascension Course” Jeff and Shaleia run, including regular online classes full of other members where twin flame unions are dissected.
Throughout the Escaping Twin Flames, these regular classes were shown as one of the main ways Jeff and Shaleia pushed people to do their bidding and kept control over them. Jeff was shown often becoming more demanding and even aggressive towards members when they didn’t immediately follow his advice. These classes cost thousands of dollars to attend, with “The Everything Package” costing $8,888, per the Twin Flames Universe website.
Jeff and Shaleia have since expanded the Twin Flames Universe to include ways for members to become coaches in the Twin Flames Ascension School; a cookbook that alleges to be the perfect diet to live in a twin flame union; the Mind Alignment Process that they allege helps fix trauma; and even a new religion called the Church of Union.
Who Is Jeff Divine?
Jeff Divine, whose last name was previously Ayan and also went by Ender Ayanethos for a time, is a Michigan native and a business school graduate from Western Michigan University. He first became interested in personal growth, spirituality and New Age concepts in college.
On the Church of Union's website, Jeff claims he first began having a “transcendental, mystical and spiritual” experience after being awakened by yoga and meditation, skills he learned from his first spiritual teacher. He later moved to Hawaii where he first started styling himself as a lifestyle guru under the name Ender Ayanethos.
Before founding the Twin Flames Universe, Jeff also tried his hand at a few different personal growth and healing businesses, including one where he purported to be a healer who cure cancer for free, as shown on Escaping Twin Flames.
Jeff delved deeper into personal growth practices before meeting Shaleia, who introduced him to a spiritual teacher they both studied under. The two then decided to become gurus together and began offering relationship coaching before starting the Twin Flames Universe.
Who Is Shaleia Divine?
Shaleia Divine, born Megan Plante, was born and raised in Canada. She was living in Sedona, Arizona, and learning from a spiritual mentor after a series of relationships where she didn’t feel true love, per her bio on the Church of Union's website. Around the same time, she connected with Jeff online, and the two officially met in person when Jeff traveled to see her in Sedona.
There, Shaleia introduced Jeff to many spiritual concepts, including tarot cards and intuitive readings. They married and went into business together just a few years later, and Shaleia became Jeff’s main supporter. Together, they claimed to offer proof that twin flame unions really exist.
What is a twin flame union?
Finding a twin flame union is the ultimate goal of people joining Jeff and Shaleia’s organization. The term applies to a relationship where a deep connection is shared, beyond just normal attraction.
On the Twin Flames Universe website, Jeff and Shaleia take it a step further and describe the union as “a spiritual state wherein both Twin Flames are awakened to their Twin Flame connection and have mutually agreed to be exclusively committed to each other.”
The documentary shows how the concept developed from the two simply giving advice to people looking to either attract or repair things with their supposed twin flame, to Jeff and Shaleia executing full control over who members’ supposed twin flame is.
“Because we’ve been in Harmonious Union for years, we very much have achieved that miracle of being able to see and confirm someone’s Twin Flame,” Shaleia says in a video shown in the series.
This allowed Jeff and Shaleia to exercise more control over the members, and even allegedly force some of them into “twin flame unions” with other members in recent years.
What happened to the members of the Twin Flames Universe?
Many of the people profiled in Escaping Twin Flames have since left the organization, including Keely, a former high-ranking member who is now coming to terms with the harm she caused to the members she was in charge of coaching. Keely is now no longer with Colby, her ex-husband with whom she was in the organization’s first successful “twin flame union,” and said in the doc that she has plans to go to law school.
Angie, one of the members most followed in the series, is healing from her time in the Twin Flames Universe, and now understands how wrong it was for Jeff and Shaleia to reel in vulnerable people through the promise of true love.
“What Jeff and Shaleia do has nothing to do with love. It’s control,” she says in the series. “When someone tries to control you, it’s not love. When someone abuses you, when someone calls you names, it’s not love."
Sadly, not all the people featured have left the organization, including Paula’s twin sister Stephanie. She’s still featured as a prominent twin flame union on the website along with her “twin flame” Kiran, whom she was seen marrying in the documentary.
She still lives in Switzerland with Kiran, and told Vice in 2020 that Twin Flames Universe had taught her “how to have happy, healthy relationships” and that she now felt “the full spectrum of [her] emotions for the first time in [her] entire life.”
Other members like Marlee (Keely’s sister), Arcelia, Sara, Victoria, Elle and Jessi all left the Twin Flames Universe between 2019 and 2021 – around the time when allegations against the organization started becoming widespread.
Where are Jeff and Shaleia now, and how did they respond to the claims?
Jeff and Shaleia continue to run the Twin Flames Universe and Church of Union from their Michigan home and are still accepting new members. They don’t seem to have slowed down at all, and as of November 2023, their Facebook group has over 67,000 members. They still post about twin flames often on their social media pages, and continue to advertise their services.
The two welcomed their first child, daughter Grace, in April 2023, and both often post about their family. In Jeff’s first pinned post on Instagram, he shared a video montage of the family and a caption about their twin flame union.
“Family is everything to us. A loving world is built on loving nations of people made of loving families. Loving families are built on Harmonious Twin Flame Union. Be the change you desire to see in the world,” he wrote.
In response to the allegations against them, Jeff and Shaleia posted a lengthy statement on their website where they offered a blanket denial of all claims.
“The allegations levied against Twin Flames Universe not only distort our true aims, methods, and curriculums but also misrepresent the autonomy of our community members, who are free to engage with our resources as they see fit. We are committed to confronting these allegations in an open and accountable manner,” the statement reads, in part.
For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!
Read the original article on People.