Desperately Seeking Soulmate: Escaping Twin Flames Universe (2023) Docuseries Review

Season 1



Episode Guide

Welcome to the Party
Two Halves of the Same Soul

Desperately Seeking Soulmate – Review

Before this three-part docuseries, Desperately Seeking Soulmate: Escaping Twin Flames Universe, I’d never heard of the concept of twin flames, a term to describe someone who essentially completes your soul. To my surprise, it’s a fairly common way of describing that intense romantic and spiritual connection. Apparently, Megan Fox called Machine Gun Kelly her twin flame; Ryan Gosling had to file a restraining order against a stalker convinced she was his twin flame; search engines are riddled with self-help articles detailing signs you may have met your twin flame. It’s a very new age-y concept, appealing especially to young women seeking spiritual connections and destined romances. Those are, in fact, some of the subjects that Desperately Seeking Soulmate examines. Thousands of people, around 80 percent of whom are women, trusted Jeff and Shaleia Ayan to guide them on their path to their true twin flames… but many of them only got burned.

Directed and produced by Marina Zenovich and based on the journalism of Alice Hines, Desperately Seeking Soulmate sets out to uncover what goes on behind the scenes of Jeff and Shaleia’s alleged cult. As the docuseries’ narrator, Hines guides us through the origins of the Ayans’ relationship, and how it sprouted a Facebook page and Youtube channel that eventually made way for their wildly profitable Twin Flames Ascension School.

The Ayans’ school is made up of hundreds of hours of video content from Jeff and Shaleia, as well as opportunities to video chat with the couple themselves. It’s like a therapy session, with no certified therapists present. But then, as Hines points out, “spirituality’s a great business because you don’t need any credentials.”

I would have been interested to see the docuseries further examine how these credential-less founders of Twin Flames Universe pulled off what appears to be an elaborate scam. Shaleia is often quieter, taking the back seat to her husband’s more forward approach. But, however others describe him throughout the show, the Jeff Ayan of this series doesn’t come across as particularly charismatic. He’s abrasive and immature, and it seems to be his loud mouth more so than any logical reason that’s able to drown out doubts over his questionable advice–from pushing clients to stalk their supposed twin flames, to coercing others to change to their “true, divine gender.”

A deeper analysis of the Ayans’ tactics could have probed into their “spiritual” focus, and how much of that focus might have to do with most of their clients being women. It’s interesting, at least, to see Hines touch on the conservative and heteronormative ideals at the base of the Ayans’ practices. And Desperately Seeking Soulmate also looks into the Twin Flames leaders’ potential motivations to reveal some sinister information. Do the Ayans truly know they’re exploiting their clients’ desires? A watch through of Zenovich’s series sheds true light on this.

All in all, I expected maybe a bit more investigative prowess for what this docuseries claims to be. Still, Desperately Seeking Soulmate is certainly worth watching for a rare inside look at the lifestyles of cult leaders and for its first-hand interviews with their victims. Twin Flames Universe is still out there and thriving. But maybe we’re getting to witness the beginnings of a takedown.

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  • Verdict - 7/10

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