Hindsight makes so many things clear. One of the best things about hindsight is that it clearly spells out what you ‘should’ have done differently. And one of the worst things about hindsight is that it clearly spells out what you ‘should’ have done differently. This fact is especially painful when you are still suffering the consequences of what you did and didn’t do in the past.
When I chose this path for my life, things were very simple. I wanted to help people with what I see and what I know. I wanted to use my ‘medicine’ (as the indigenous people would say) to make this world a better place for all life forms to live in. This is still what I want. But things are much less simple now. When this is the original intention that you have, you imagine that everyone is going to see your value and want what you have to offer. You don’t imagine the things you have not experienced yet. And so, to be completely honest, it came as a shock when the first personal conflict I had with someone in my life after getting famous, led to them turning against me and trying to turn the media and public against me too. This has become a repetitive pattern (as it so often does in the lives of people who are famous). But it was even more of a shock, when they actually found success with it. I came into this life path ready to debate and find alignment with others regarding the actual concepts that I teach and actual content that I put out there. I did not come into this life path ready to debate about my ‘goodness’ or ‘badness’ as a person. And I did not come into this life path ready to debate false accusations.
For years, I have been trying to figure out the exact right approach to this. Which is exceedingly difficult when everyone you consult on the matter seems to hold a different and opposing opinion. This person says “you must address these claims and immediately give your side of the story to the public”. That person says “don’t engage at their level, you only draw attention to them. Just keep doing you.” The other person says, “don’t drag the public into this drama and instead hire a lawyer to deal with it.”
For years, people in the public have been urging me to come out of my non-response mode regarding my critics and haters and directly, point by point, refute or confirm each thing they say. Or at the very least, present my side of the story. And with the exception of clarifying my stance on my teachings, I have not done this. Nor has anyone on my team. Recently however, I have had to accept that the result of this is that all people have in front of them to see is 1. The content that I, myself produce and 2. The anti-Teal content splashed everywhere by individuals who are vehemently opposed to me as a person and who dedicate all their time and energy to spreading their misinformation and personal opinions about me. For the most part, people don’t have two sides of the argument to look at so that they can clearly see all the information on both sides and make up their own minds.
I have also had to accept that silence on my side, has not been interpreted as social maturity. It has been interpreted as an assumed confirmation that what they say about me is true. I have not shared with you all the horror stories about what has happened to me and to my loved ones and even to many of my fans as a result of it. I have tried not to involve you. I can see that this approach did not work the way that I hoped it would. I can see that some of you were hurt as a result of this lack of response. And I can clearly see that I owe you an explanation (my side of the story) regarding why I have been largely non-responsive so far regarding what my critics and haters say about me. Let me offer that explanation to you today.
1. I did not come here to this life to spend my time embroiled in a publicly displayed, Maury show style conflict over my ‘goodness’ or ‘badness’ as a person. In fact, this is no kind of life to live. Unless your personal joy is the fight itself, it sucks joy and purpose out of the life you are living. I came here to share the information that I have with you. Spending all of my time fighting for my reputation and disputing claims means that I no longer have that time to dedicate to what I actually came here to do. My actual purpose. Every hour I have to spend fighting my critics and haters over what kind of person I am, is an hour I can’t spend with someone who is hurting and who genuinely wants my help. Every hour I spend fighting them is an hour I can’t spend creating more content. And this conflict takes all of the attention off of my content, which is where people’s attention should be. It becomes all about that instead of about what my career is really about. In the same way that if a professional basketball player enters into a public conflict, all the attention is on that conflict and not on their basketball game anymore. It is a sad statement about humanity that so many people would rather watch a public conflict spectacle for the sake of personal entertainment, as opposed to focusing on things that offer real value regarding making their actual life richer and improved.
2. I have spent the last several years doing everything in my power behind the scenes to leave the public out of this fight. And everything in my power to instead try to deal with these conflicts directly with the individuals creating the conflict so that everyone doesn’t get pulled into the fight. When this has not been successful, dealing with them directly has involved, legal action taken. Our goal so far has been to get the false information taken down from the internet so that no one has to be sucked into the conflict. In fact, on December 15th 2021, a judge approved a settlement in a court case Against the Daily Mail in the UK for defamation and they had to agree to take down the article they printed about me. However, because this information has been spread so widely, and is so difficult to take down in the information age, where the internet is a legal grey zone, the damage regarding how the public sees me has already been done. And so, even if it is false information and even if because of that, we are able to make it disappear, it is still in people’s minds. And it is still polluting their opinion of me as well as anyone associated with me.
3. When my critics and haters have the power to take my attention off of my work, so that it is entirely dedicated to them, it feeds their need for significance as well as the incredibly manipulative and damaging way that they are going about getting that significance (by being against someone who is significant to the public). Consider whether any one of my critics or haters would have any views or traction on their videos or articles if my name wasn’t attached to it. When their strategy for getting this need met in this way works, they have no reason to stop. Instead, they will continue it
4. If I directly refute the claims made by specific critics and haters, I will only increase the attention on them. People who have not become aware of them yet, will then become aware of them once I speak about them directly. This also makes it so that they are in a sense ‘immortalized’. Because any attempt to solve the conflict directly with them, so that their false claims have to be taken down and thus disappear from public view as if they never existed, is then impossible.
5. In the beginning of my career, I (as well as my team) agreed to take the ‘turn the other cheek’ and ‘don’t sink down to that level’ approach. We thought the more "mature" and “be the better person” approach was to not engage in it. We thought it best to ignore what was being said and simply pour all of our focus, time, energy and action into what we really wanted to create. We approached this with the thinking that the strength and purity of focusing on what we wanted to create (instead of on fighting against what we did not want) would pay off in the end and the fight against me would eventually fizzle out. We were wrong. Instead, it made people confuse non response with confirmation. Instead of nipping it in the bud early, this approach allowed the opposition to grow into a formidable bramble of a problem that is now extremely overwhelming to sort out, sort of like cleaning up a mess that has been accumulating for ten years.
6. In the beginning, when people say terrible things about you in the public, you imagine that to be able to continue instead of to lose confidence and quit, you need to learn to stop fixating on what other people say about you and stop taking things so personally. How many times have you heard people say: Stop caring what other people think about you? So, you try to accept that having people say terrible things about you is just part of the game that you have to get used to and let roll off your back. After all, it’s just your ego that is wounded. The problem is, people who say this are wrong. They are missing a crucial truth. When people see you a certain way and hold a specific opinion about you, they will not just speak badly about you. They will take direct action against you. If you don’t believe me, ask all the people who were burnt or drowned as witches in the 1400s to 1700s. The things they said about me had very serious tangible consequences, which is what they wanted. Had all of us been in reality about what these actual, tangible consequences would be, we would definitely not have turned the other cheek thinking that all it would amount to was gossip and verbal slander.
7. I struggle with this entire public debate over false information and freedom of speech. Anyone who does not comprehend the complexity of this issue, is not looking into it deep enough. There is no easy answer. On the one hand, who is to decide what is false info vs. real info? If the entire Covid pandemic experience has showed us the danger of anything, it should have showed us the danger of this. A person who has the power over a public discourse forum might have a personal motive for saying that something is ‘false information’ when it isn’t, and then be able to completely control the narrative regardless of whether it is true of not. And then we will find ourselves in a truly totalitarian world. There is VERY good reason for freedom of speech. I would fight for it myself even for my critics and haters. On the other hand, false information can be very dangerous. It has serious consequences and it can ruin lives. As people, aside from trying to create better, less corrupt, methods for proving information to be true or false, while at the same time creating public discourse arenas where people can see both sides of an argument and side by side, we have no perfect answer for this philosophical and social conundrum. And I recognize it as a conundrum. It keeps me up at night.
8. People expect two opposing things from me. I am in fact in a damned if I do, damned if I don’t situation. If I don’t publicly respond, people assume that what is said about me must be true, especially if the same lies are repeated by several individuals (and picked up by the mainstream media) and it becomes a consensus statement. Many people are hurt by this, not just myself. But as a spiritual leader, if I do respond, people will discredit me. People expect a spiritual teacher to remain non-reactive and ‘above it all’. If I engage with my haters and critics, I will be told I am succumbing to my human ego and be accused of getting drawn into an ego game. I will lose credit in my position. I will be accused of being ‘in resistance’. And many people will think I have been derailed off of the things that really matter. People are very firm in their pre-conceived ideas of what a spiritual leader should and shouldn’t do. And the reality is that defending yourself and participating in a publicized conflict or scandal is not one of those things that is seen as acceptable for a spiritual leader to do.
9. My decision to not publicly directly engage with specific individuals who have publicly made it known that they are against me was not only done to stay in alignment with my conscience by being the better person. It was also done because I mean what I teach. If I directly call them out by name and reveal my facts and also my side of the story regarding them to the public, there will be severe consequences for them. And I have wanted to keep them from these consequences because no one knows what those consequences are better than me. And I would not wish these consequences on anyone. The reality is that I understand people. Several of the people who have come out publicly against me are not well mentally or emotionally. If they were, they would be taking a different approach than the one they are taking. They are highly traumatized people. They are flailing around trying to find a way to feel better by doing what they are doing (even if it is against me). That is not to say that they should simply be allowed to do it. They shouldn’t. But I know what it is to be highly traumatized too. I know what heals this trauma and I know what compounds it. I have no desire to compound their trauma. I genuinely believe that they cannot handle a “dose of their own medicine” so to speak. I want to be careful to set the record straight without making the very problems I came here to this world to solve worse in certain people.
I don’t have a perfect answer yet about what truly is the right way to respond to it yet. But I want you to know that I have not been ignoring it and doing nothing. In fact, it has absolutely consumed the last few years of my life and has prevented a great deal of movement forward. I have hesitated to admit that publicly, because it is exactly what my haters want and they will be celebrating to see it written here. I am ever in the process of making conscious and rational decisions about exactly what to do about each element of it. Rest assured that I have involved some heavy weight professionals that are sorting out the situation. But I am also always interested in your perspectives or unique ideas that I may not have thought about regarding the situation. Today, I offer you an apology for not giving you an explanation for my public non-response until now. And I ask for your forgiveness for any pain this lack of explanation may have caused you.