What Happened to Teal Swan As A Child?

Teal Swan, who calls herself a “personal transformation revolutionary” and “spiritual catalyst”, is a self-declared spiritual teacher who revealed her back story in an interview with Idaho News’ Chris Oswalt in 2014.

In the interview, she gave details of what she claims happened to her while growing up in Utah and Idaho. The interview and what she said in it, was discussed in a recent episode of Mormon Stories Podcast. 

The Teal Swan interview which lasted for almost two and a half hours was filled with details of Swan’s account of what happened to her as a child but it’s impossible to give all the details of her alleged abuse history due to the length of the interview. But we will be covering a few of the main points in this article.

She began by stating that she started exhibiting some special abilities when she was really young. She said “I would put my hands on people and they would experience healings, or I would talk to them from the standpoint of their dead relatives,” 

Then she mentioned how she was forced into numerous sadomasochistic, pornographic and satanic rituals as a minor. She described it as feeling  “majorly ostracised” by her family and being “kept” by an abuser who would take her in the middle of the night to take part in “cult rituals”. She said, “From six years old on is where it really got intense.”

Diana Hansen Ribera who claims to have been a childhood friend of Teal Swan challenges some of what Teal Swan says happened to her during her childhood.

Diana Hansen Ribera casts doubt on some of Teal Swan’s claims in a three-and-a-half-hour conversation with Mormon Stories Podcast hosted by Dr John Dehlin and Samantha Shalley.

According to Ribera, they became friends when Ribera was nine years old and Teal was 11 or 12 and she never saw signs of physical abuse in Teal Swan. She said “I was with her fairly intimately pretty early on in our childhood, and I never saw any physical signs. I even met the alleged abuser when I was younger,” 

“She was a very confident, outgoing child. There was nothing that would’ve stood out to me as something that had happened. She did have bizarre behaviours, but nothing that I think would point to abuse, to the level she claims.”

More recently, however, Salon published an article on Teal in which it describes her as “the controversial spiritualist or scammer”. The article recalls the 2017 documentary Open Shadow: The Story Of Teal Swan, the blurb of which says it documents Teal’s “transformation from a victim of ritual abuse into an international spiritual luminary”.

However, the Salon article argues that Teal Swan “makes a living off of scamming” individuals.

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