My name is Justin, and I moved from Houston, Texas to Park City, Utah to pursue a more spiritually-inspired life: my plans were skeletal, but they involved associating with the spiritual teacher Teal Scott (Teal Swan). I lived with Teal from [mid June…searching for exact date] until July 1st 2013 and since that time we have been friends. During that particular time period, I experienced many interpersonal conflicts and turmoil. But, I also witnessed or experienced many amazing triumphs of spirit, love and self-actualization. I am here now to give my perspective about that time because much has been said that is neither a true nor a fair presentation of Teal Swan.
It is my desire to comment on the context in which I write this piece. It has come to my attention that a former roommate of mine, Cameron Clark, has publically denounced Teal, stating a multitude of libelous or otherwise untrue things. For what it is worth, I will say that she has said much that is untrue about me. However, the aim of this piece is to give a clearer depiction of Teal, the nature of the interactions between Cameron Clark and Teal, as I witnessed them.
I met Teal in person in Houston in February of 2013 during a workshop that she held there. It was not until June of 2013 in Santa Fe, New Mexico that I interacted with Teal in person since meeting her. It was there that I met Cameron Clark for the first time during another of Teal’s workshops. Our conversation was friendly, albeit brief, and concerned many exciting metaphysical ideas, with emphasis on how those ideas intersected the evolution of our own lives. It was not until after I arrived in Utah that I spoke with her again.
The first conversation I had with Cameron since meeting in Santa Fe occurred when I picked her up from a car rental company in Salt Lake City, Utah. She had just arrived from New Mexico with Teal and Teal’s romantic partner Jared Dobson (Fallon Dobson). At that time, it was understood that we would all be living together and that, as a group, we shared great purpose and intention for doing so; it was not, however, at all clear what our various purposes and intentions were in coming together as we did. In this lay the seeds of tragedy.
During that conversation, Cameron relayed to me what were, basically, grievances and misgivings about Teal. I was open, receptive and even sometimes quite sympathetic to what she had to say—I had just arrived and had little idea of what to expect—and wanted to provide an empathetic ear to someone who it would seem natural to me at the time to befriend. This conversation basically set up the dynamic between us for that period of time when we lived together. She would present to me problems she had with Teal or with the others and a lengthy conversation would ensue; typically, I would try to get her to adopt a more self-empowered or solution-oriented perspective. No matter how many times we spoke, no matter which issue, she seemed to never ultimately ‘get’ the things I was attempting to relay to her.
I spoke to her often of the principles or teachings of Abraham Hicks, which had become a very solid foundation of my spiritual perspective about life. I tried to get her to see that, no matter what she had experienced, she could adopt a more empowered perspective and, in brief summary, follow her emotions to a significantly improved state of affairs—no matter what. (It is still to this day my sincerest hope she adopts this perspective.)
Even when she seemed to feel better or accept the things I would say to her, a seemingly new problem or issue would arise—one where she did not, at all, seem to remember anything that I (or the others) had tried to get her to see in previous conversations. And this did not just include abstract spiritual principles about following emotions, it also included basic details of disputed events, he said/she said type scenarios, or even what factually occurred which everyone (including herself) witnessed—she would forget or conflate numerous things whether they were brought up in conversation, or when one of us were fighting about something, or when she would relay an event to another.
I will say here that this pattern of hers shows up in her tell-all interview; again, she continues to misremember (lie about?) so many events it’s dizzying. Having lived with her myself, I don’t know what to make of it. Either she is lying, or the same pattern of eerie memory failure has, in any case, lead her to produce an extremely inaccurate and downright untrue narrative about so many events; this is really fucked up because the way she tells things makes me, Teal, Graciela and others look really bad (to put it simply). While there are indeed true things that she states, what is true is woven in with what is not true. For instance, while it is true that I began to process traumatic events from my past during this time period, these traumatic events were not revealed to me by Teal…they were rather revealed to me by Cameron. In fact, Cameron was furious (and I mean livid beyond anything else I have ever seen from her) with Teal for not telling me about these events, so it’s extremely disturbing to hear Cameron attribute to Teal what Cameron herself did.
I want to move on now from discussing Cameron (specifically) and say a little bit more about why I think such an emotionally toxic situation existed in the first place. Graciela Hernandez, Flavia Paiva, Mark Scott, and Blake Dyer were also a part of this household at the time. The main individual who brought all of us together into this particular household arrangement was Fallon (Jared) Dobson, Teal’s boyfriend at the time. He brought us all together in an extremely haphazard way. When I showed up at the Santa Fe workshop, he simply said to me ‘We have a room for you at our house, you’re going to live with us’.
I think it’s important to say at least a few more words about why I came. To this day, I’m not entirely sure why, if I am honest. What I will say is that, truly, it was the most inspired thing I have ever done in my entire life. The moment I knew I needed to, basically, pack up and leave felt to me as if the universe ripped open and poured through my head chakras and pulsated throughout my entire body in an extremely powerful sensation. I did not know what exactly was to unfold, only that I was to just show up in Santa Fe—knowing that things would ultimately work out in my favor. Lo and behold, they did. But though Jared (Fallon) was the one to give me the invitation, his intentions were, shall we say, less than inspired. Call it a bit of comical divine orchestration that things worked out as they did.
Here is my perspective: I think Fallon (Jared) wanted to bring together a group of people he could manipulate and control. This obviously blew up in his face, but his behavior towards everyone (including Cameron) was extremely unjust, cruel, manipulative and downright creepy. I had deep misgivings about him from moment I met him, but at that time, things continued to unfold for me with such power that I viewed him as being more of an extreme annoyance than a nefarious overlord. As things progressed, however, I began to basically hate him—for his behavior was obviously cruel, uncalled for, and constantly causing emotional instability in the people around him, especially for Teal. Since he and Teal were an item, it was hard to emotionally or conceptually separate them at the time, especially because he spoke for her so often (even when she had no desire to be spoken for, as I would later find out).
It’s my view that Fallon’s behavior was the cause, or at least the root cause, of all the interpersonal strife and emotional toxicity that overtook the household (an arrangement of his creation). I sympathized a lot with Cameron (for a time), because many grievances she had ultimately concerned Fallon’s behavior, and given that Fallon and Teal were a couple, it was easy to speak of them in the same breath and assume they were acting in concert. I have had many conversations with Teal since about this dynamic, about her relationship with Fallon, and about why he acted the way he did. (She has obviously openly said much since her relationship with him as well.) It can be difficult to understand why someone in her position would attract someone like Fallon, and the resultant situation, into her life.
But then, that’s just it: humans, despite their best efforts, tend to attract crap into their lives. Call it the shadow nature of humanity, if you will. Teal’s emphasis in her own body of spiritual work concerns how we may go about dealing with shadows and transmute them into something more conscious, aware, even joyful. I can testify to the fact that Teal went full strength into the practice of her own teachings when she was met with her own shadows, especially as they stood before her in the form of her own boyfriend. Did I, at the time, necessarily agree with how she handled this or that situation? No, absolutely not. In fact, we argued quite a bit.
A lot of the conflict between us could be seen on a little internet show we did called Shadow House. The general concept behind the show, at the time, was brilliant: it served as a way to deal with the emotional negativity of the situation, allowing all parties to openly work through grievances we had with each other, and follow processes to get at the deeper emotional, psychological roots behind those grievances. We sat around the table, on camera, following processes (some of which Teal had developed, some of which came from other spiritual or self-help authors/teachers) streaming to thousands of people all around the world. Sometimes I followed my own emotions and did not participate in this or that episode of Shadow House, knowing it was not right for me at the time. Nevertheless, the Shadow House idea, at it’s most basic, was something that I supported, and still think of as a brilliant way for new communities to navigate the negative emotional issues that inevitably arise when living together.
Shadow House was an attempt to create resolution through openness and dialogue. In the light of openness, even toxic emotional situations begin to lose their charge, and instead of hiding, suppressing, or covering up the issues (which only cause the issues to fester and become all the more toxic) exposing negative interpersonal situations and dealing with them directly creates a pathway to healing and solutions. At very least, Shadow House demonstrated one possible way people can broadcast learning or experimental social experiences in a way that stimulates new thought or new ideas about how to relate to one another, especially when people find themselves in new or as-of-yet untraveled paths.
When people openly broadcast their experiences, they share not only their mistakes, but also their pain, their solutions, their emotions, their ways of being with one another in a way that stimulates massive dialogue, a dialogue focused on the healing of individuals and communities. It’s my opinion that Teal spearheading this sort of experimental initiative shows her to be quite committed to the spiritual principles of openness and the healing power of exposing even one’s own messy shadows for the sake of individual and collective healing. It catapulted the entire situation into a space of solution-finding, integration, and healing at many levels for both participants and viewers alike.
It is true that living with Teal during this time period was difficult, given the emotional tumult that consumed all of us. Despite this, it was a time of deep self-discovery—one that has since produced quite a bit of shame and change in myself. Shame because the shit storm of negative publicity (created by Cameron et al.) has frankly not been flattering. Change, because it was the beginning to my life. It was a leap into following what was right for me, for following my own inner voice no matter what anyone had to say about it. Living with Teal, a master healer and teacher, was itself the very circumstance I called into my life to change into the person that I am today—a person infinitely more aware and liberated than the person I was prior to living my own life according to my own intuitions.
Teal is patient, kind, and willing to take the long route when it comes to an individual’s healing. I have witnessed this first hand, even in the midst of shadows Teal does not waver on trying to follow the best possible path from where she is at, and this resolve comes from her spiritual awareness of how it is people come to manifest painful or difficult situations in their lives. I have been greatly appreciative for the healing work that I have received from Teal, whether that was being walked on camera through the murky terrain of my subconscious, or the many patient explanations she has given me to get me to a place of greater spiritual or self awareness.
I have seen Teal in the midst of deep, painful and dark shadows—I have seen the way she handles these situations—what I have come to know about her better than anything else is her resolve, commitment and zeal for following the path she teaches to others. It’s how she saved herself, it models for others how to overcome great pain in life, it teaches by example. Teaching by example is perhaps the greatest indicator for purity of intent in a person who presents himself as a spiritual teacher to the world. If I have come to know anything since this time, it’s that I have never before seen purity of intention like I have seen it in Teal (… ever).
It has been my intention in the above to briefly convey my perspective that (a) Cameron’s latest tell-all interview is fraught with error and full of falsehoods (b) Jared (Fallon) Dobson had extremely nefarious intentions in bringing all of us together into one household, and that this created an emotionally toxic situation for all involved, including Cameron (c) Teal’s character is sound and her intentions for her pursuing the path of a spiritual teacher are pure, very pure.