Escaping Twin Flames Review – When the online promise of true love turns into coercive control

By Lori Meek
Published: November 8, 2023 (Last updated: November 13, 2023)
View all
Escaping Twin Flames Review
Escaping Twin Flames | Image via Netflix


An important docuseries shedding light on an online group that’s a scam, at best, or a dangerous cult, at worst.

The internet is home to many weird and wonderful things, from videos of cats to mental health support communities to matchmaking cults brainwashing people into transitioning against their will. Netflix’s three-part docuseries by Cecilia Peck, Escaping Twin Flames, is about the latter.

For the past couple of years, the New Age-y community Twin Flames Universe has been the subject of several articles, most notably pieces in Vice News and Vanity Fair, and Netflix is not the first streamer to release a series that tries to shed light on the cult’s bizarre Internet-based mind-control. 

Similar to Prime Video’s Desperately Seeking Soulmate: Escaping Twin Flames Universe, in the three-part series, we hear from former members of the group led by married couple Jeff and Shaleia Divine. Their stories range from disturbing to downright dangerous. 

Escaping Twin Flames review and plot summary

The series opens with a video by Twin Flames Universe founder and spiritual guru Jeff showing off his expensive car and claiming he earned his wealth by helping couples have “beautiful, healthy, loving, romantic relationships.” Yet if the people interviewed in the series are to be believed, Jeff and his wife Sheila’s group does anything but. 

Escaping Twin Flames intertwines interviews with footage from Jeff and Sheila’s expensive classes and coaching sessions. The couple promises lonely individuals they’ll help them find their “twin flame,” as in the one love they’re meant to be with for the rest of their lives. Jeff also believes himself the second coming of Jesus Christ and at one point promised he could cure cancer. 

The tactics Jeff uses to keep his members in check are typical of any self-respecting cult leader. He starts by love-bombing and promising the world, gives dangerous advice, and convinces people to cut off friends and family not associated with the group before starting to control all aspects of the follower’s life. 

Throughout the three episodes, we hear from confused and hurt family members who lost contact with their loved ones and from former followers who followed the advice Jeff and Sheila gave. 

Their stories are heartbreaking and disturbing. While Twin Flame Universe promises people will find their one true love, in reality, they offer nothing but peer pressure and coercive control. 

From pressuring a 19-year-old to move to Utah to be with a much older and mentally unwell man, to encouraging members to stalk exes to the point of police intervention, to telling members they must transition and get gender reassignment surgery because Jeff said so, this controversial group has all the markings of a cult. 

Why Escaping Twin flames is essential viewing

From the outside, it’s easy to stream this docuseries and fail to understand how people keep falling for it. But in the age where everything is online, many people do find community and support in online groups. Jeff and Sheila promise love and spiritual fulfillment, something most of us seek. 

Escaping Twin Flames is not light entertainment. But it’s as important for groups such as this one to be held accountable for their actions as it is for the victims to have their stories heard. 

What did you think of Escaping Twin Flames? Comment below.


Netflix, Streaming Service, TV, TV Reviews
View all