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‘Escaping Twin Flames Universe’ shines a darkish gentle on a website for these looking for soulmates | CNN



Is Twin Flames this yr’s Fyre Pageant or NXIVM cult when it comes to media protection and dueling docuseries? It positive feels that approach, with competing (or actually, complementary) streaming initiatives kicking off with Amazon’s “Desperately Looking for Soulmate: Escaping Twin Flames Universe,” to be adopted in November by Netflix’s extra economical “Escaping Twin Flames.”

Every venture options former members discussing their determination to divorce themselves from what they discuss with as a cult, which promised that its on-line periods would allow these looking for love to search out their “twin flame,” solely to take a darker flip over time.

Whether or not these productions gentle viewers’ fireplace stays to be seen, however there was a substantial urge for food for such fare chronicling the social-media-intermediated quest for love and its sometimes-unintended penalties, together with Netflix’s “The Tinder Swindler” and Showtime’s “Love Fraud.” A scripted model of the story is perhaps within the offing as properly, with a restricted collection in improvement at Hulu in keeping with the web site Deadline. (The crew behind the Netflix docuseries produced one of many NXIVM initiatives.)

Jeff and Shaleia Ayan, who function Twin Flames, oversee a program that represents an odd mixture of relationship website, self-help and spiritualism, promising to pair shoppers with a soulmate “created for you by God,” as Jeff places it of their movies, telling these paying for the courses, “We assure harmonious union along with your true twin flame.”

After a gradual begin, “Desperately Looking for Soulmate” will get to the meat of allegations in opposition to the couple, who’re proven throughout Zoom periods prodding these looking for their steering to not take “No” for a solution if their soulmate rejects them, which former members say amounted to encouraging stalking.

“It’s not bizarre. It’s not obsessive,” Jeff is proven saying, including, “You can’t be pleased with out your twin flame.”

Director Marina Zenovich (“Roman Polanski: Needed and Desired”) attracts closely on the work of journalist Alice Hines, who wrote a Vainness Honest expose that included interviewing Jeff and Shaleia of their Michigan dwelling, the place they proudly show luxurious vehicles they personal as a byproduct of their success. (The pair didn’t reply to the producers’ requests for remark however have posted statements denying that Twin Flames is a cult.)

“Escaping Twin Flames Universe” additionally delves into Jeff and Shaleia allegedly pressuring members to change their gender identities, citing their “divine natures” as they urge some to transition, with members saying that those that resisted confronted punitive actions.

“Spirituality’s an amazing enterprise since you don’t want any credentials,” Hines says.

On a broader stage, these assorted documentaries communicate to a way of disconnectedness and eager for solutions pursued through social media and the Web, the irony being that on a regular basis spent holed up in such boards has certainly contributed to the dearth of non-public contact and loneliness folks hope to handle.

Ranges of desperation differ, however “Desperately Looking for Soulmate” makes a compelling case that few impulses are as ripe to be preyed upon because the intoxicating promise of discovering real love – a gross sales pitch that possesses the identical highly effective pull as a moth to the flame.

“Desperately Looking for Soulmate: Escaping Twin Flames Universe” premieres October 6 on Amazon’s Prime Video.

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