Amazon Prime Video has greenlit the docuseries the Untitled Twin Flames Universe Project, which will focus on the couple Jeff and Shaleia Ayan (pictured above), who have become self-styled “love gurus” on YouTube — and possible cult leaders. They were the subject of an in-depth Vanity Fair story in December 2020 — “Everywhere I Went, They Went With Me, Because They Were on My Phone”: Inside the Always Online, All-Consuming World of Twin Flames Universe — which inspired the docuseries.
The wild investigation, written by Alice Hines, chronicled the rise of Jeff and Shaleia, as well as the whole idea of twin flames — which is like a soulmate, but you pay a lot of money to try to find them. The couple met in 2012, when he “was running ‘a vegetarian Airbnb’ in Hawaii,” and she was “working in a hair salon and studying with a spiritual teacher in Sedona, Arizona.” Their former names are Ender Ayanethos and Megan Plante, respectively.
It also delved into the claims of embittered ex-members of the couple’s organizations, Twin Flames Universe and the Church of Union, the latter of which they founded in 2019. According to Hines’ story, “Borrowing from Christianity, the occult, Eastern philosophy, and up-by-your-bootstraps capitalism, Twin Flames Universe is a business as much as a belief system.”
Jeff and Shaleia have compared themselves to Christ in Facebook posts, and have been accused of being abusive. Specifically, according to the article, they’ve pressured members to change their gender identities to fit who their twin flame is thought to be. In one instance, according to the Vanity Fair story, Jeff wrote, “You guys look dumb as fuck hiding behind the lie still,” after a female congregant hadn’t adopted a male name. He also wrote, “Take a guy’s name and a guy’s pronoun or I will need to put someone else in charge of sales who does respect my work.”
Given how fraught the current discussion is around transgender issues — even more now than it was when the story was published — with anti-trans conservatives trying to legislate trans people out of existence, the ideas behind some of Jeff and Shaleia’s Twin Flames Universe edicts feel “like bait for the anti-trans lobby,” as Hines wrote.
Here’s Prime Video’s synopsis for the upcoming project, which has begun production, and will likely be released within the year: “If you’re struggling to find ‘the one,’ Jeff and Shaleia — a married pair of online love gurus — claim they will guide you into the arms of your Twin Flame…your ultimate spiritual soulmate. Thousands of lonely people say they’ve found true love and relationship salvation in this ever-expanding community…but others insist that Jeff and Shaleia’s online movement, Twin Flames Universe, is a cult. Followers say they burned thousands of dollars on online coaching, stalked ex-lovers and were even coerced into changing gender — all in the pursuit of eternal love. Inspired by Alice Hines’s in-depth Vanity Fair investigation into Twin Flames Universe, and told with insider testimony from former members, alongside exclusive video interviews with the love gurus Jeff and Shaleia, this is the unbelievable story of a very modern love cult.”
The Untitled Twin Flames Universe Project is produced by Amazon Studios, Dorothy Street Pictures (“Be Water”), MGM Television and Escape Artists (“Dr. Death,” “Servant”) for Prime Video.