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Conspirituality Profile

Conspirituality

English, Spirituality, 1 season, 313 episodes, 6 days, 6 hours, 10 minutes
About
A weekly study of converging right-wing conspiracy theories and faux-progressive wellness utopianism. At best, the conspirituality movement attacks public health efforts in times of crisis. At worst, it fronts and recruits for the fever-dream of QAnon. As the alt-right and New Age horseshoe toward each other in a blur of disinformation, clear discourse and good intentions get smothered. Charismatic influencers exploit their followers by co-opting conspiracy theories on a spectrum of intensity ranging from vaccines to child trafficking. In the process, spiritual beliefs that have nurtured creativity and meaning are transforming into memes of a quickly-globalizing paranoia. Conspirituality Podcast attempts to bring understanding to this landscape. A journalist, a cult researcher, and a philosophical skeptic discuss the stories, cognitive dissonances, and cultic dynamics tearing through the yoga, wellness, and new spirituality worlds. Mainstream outlets have noticed the problem. We crowd-source, research, analyze, and dream answers to it.
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Bonus Sample: Chris Rufo’s Fascist Long-Game

Florida governor Ron DeSantis appointed right-wing propagandist, Christopher Rufo, along with other conservative Christian education-activists, to the board of the tiny, progressive New College in Sarasota, FL this past January. They fired the president, installed prayer at the board meetings, forbade personal pronouns in faculty email signatures, and claimed DeSantis’s electoral victory gave them a constitutional mandate to make whatever changes they want. The invaders frame this hostile take-over as a test-case model to “recapture” universities across the state and the country. But who is Rufo really? He’s the guy behind the manufactured moral panic over Critical Race Theory that set conservative media, school boards and city council meetings ablaze with fear-mongering over “woke Marxism” in 2021. New College is the latest conquest in his explicit long-game to remake the fabric of America, one sadistic lie at a time. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/8/20236 minutes, 47 seconds
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Brief: Marianne Williamson’s Spiritual Therapy Schtick

Marianne Williamson? Inexperienced? Not at all. In fact, she does have a ton of experience… in New Age, on-stage pseudotherapy, where she solves the problems of the troubled with memorized lines from A Course in Miracles. She’s been doing these sessions at workshops and retreats for decades, and the schtick is always the same: if only the person would change their minds about their problem, the world would be healed.  While this may fly on the workshop circuit, if you listen carefully you’ll hear that she gives the same answer on the stump. It comes through most clearly when she’s pressed on questions of strategy. She will instantly pivot to talking about the spirit and the soul. The effect is a disarming oscillation between the political and the personal. Are we talking about defeating fascists? No, no, that’s too worldly! We’re talking about opening our hearts. And if that feels good during a politically tense exchange, it’s because she changed the subject. To see how this sleight-of-hand works, Matthew examines two classic Williamson encounters to show that the answers she gives on the stump aren’t much different from the answers she gives on her New Age retreats.  Show Notes That Time Byron Katie Gaslit a Follower about Trump | by Matthew Remski  I'm Afraid of Trump—The Work of Byron Katie Being Rejected for Your Spiritual Beliefs | Q&A With Marianne Williamson  Mindfulness can make you selfish: A pioneering new study examines the social effects of mindfulness  Marianne Williamson with TYT's John Iadarola & Francesca Fiorentini Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/6/202352 minutes, 33 seconds
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152: Tulsi Gabbard’s Krishna Consciousness (w/Nitai Joseph)

What does it mean for a prominent American politician to come into power as the sleeper cell of an eccentric Hindu-American cult? Does she act independently, or has her God-man got her on speed-dial? Can she bridge the divide between left and right with the radiant glow of Krishna consciousness? Joining us today to help answer these questions is Nitai Joseph. He shares some heritage with Gabbard, because he also grew up in a Hare Krishna sect. He holds an MSc. in the Psychology of Coercive Control and has worked across a range of issues connected to ideology and manipulation, including cultic awareness, child sexual abuse prevention, adverse meditation experiences, and organizational ethics and accountability.  Show Notes Gopala Govinda Rama Chant by Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa Chris Butler QAnon Anonymous Episode 211: Tulsi Gabbard P1 (The Cult) feat Mike Prysner QAnon Anonymous Episode 212: Tulsi Gabbard P2 (The Fascist Turn) feat Mike Prysner  Tulsi Gabbard Had a Very Strange Childhood What Does Tulsi Gabbard Believe? | The New Yorker Chris Butler Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa: on “freedom” An Insiders Perspective on Tulsi Gabbard and her Guru | by Lalita | Medium  Tulsi Gabbard 2016 Janmashtami Message  ISKCON Abuse Timeline Definition of Betrayal Trauma Theory Archived ex-Hare Krishna message board Nitai can be reached via LinkedIn Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/4/20231 hour, 32 minutes, 41 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Reimagining the Apocalypse

Apocalyptic language is everywhere: in the marketing copy of wellness influencers and pseudo-documentary makers selling spike protein detoxes and vaccine fear-mongering videos, and in the fervent anti-trans panic stoked by right-wing Substackers.  How we use language — and we use that how language to inspire actions — is everything.  Derek imagines a better use of language, and of understanding, through the lens modern secular Buddhism.  Show Notes The World-Ending Fire — Wendell Berry A Paradise Built in Hell — Rebecca Solnit After Buddhism — Stephen Batchelor Confessions of a Buddhist Atheist — Stephen Batchelor Buddhism — Alan Watts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/1/202310 minutes, 53 seconds
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151: Satan Wants You Watch Party (Spoilers)

How, in the name of the Holy Virgin Mary, did Michelle Remembers—the book that started the Satanic Panic—come to be written? Who was Lawrence Pazder really? Did he encourage and exaggerate Michelle Smith’s recovered memories of ritual abuse? Did Smith tell him what he wanted to hear? Or was it a little of both?  Canadian filmmakers Sean Horlor and Steve Adams have a new documentary out called “Satan Wants You,” and it fills in a lot of the blanks in our prior “Swan Song Series” reporting with incredible archival footage and brave interviews from friends and family members.  Today it opens at Toronto’s Hot Docs Festival, which means the reviews embargo is lifted… and our review is: “Incredible work. Must see.” PS! If you haven't pre-ordered our fabulously interesting book, Barnes and Noble are running a 25% off pre-order promo. You can use "PREORDER25" as the discount code at checkout. Good from now till Friday! Show Notes Satan Wants You Conspirituality: UNLOCKED: Swan Song Series 4 | Michelle Remembers: Context & History Conspirituality: UNLOCKED: Swan Song Series 5 | Michelle Remembers: Themes & Framing  Conspirituality - UNLOCKED: Michelle Remembers: Literal Symbols Conspirituality - UNLOCKED: The Courage to Heal Pt. 1 on Stitcher  Conspirituality - UNLOCKED: The Courage to Heal Pt. 2 on Stitcher   The Smoke of Satan on the Silver Screen: The Catholic Horror Film, Vatican II, and the Revival of Demonology | Journal for the Academic Study of Religion Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/27/20231 hour, 37 minutes, 22 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Framing George Soros

FOX News says he wants to destroy America. Candace Owens is scared to speak his name out loud. Mikki Willis is making a film about his assault on the American family. Dr. Christiane Northrup claims he caused the pandemic. Trump called DA Alvin Bragg a "Soros-funded animal."  Who is this billionaire Jewish banker, a man so diabolical he can simultaneously be the greatest capitalist of all time and a communist chaos agent, so deceptive that he founded philanthropic organizations in 120 countries while supposedly being the "most evil man in the world?" And how does his financial influence in American politics actually stack up against the machinations of disciplined religious right-wing powerbrokers, supercharged by dark money? Show Notes The right’s obsession with Soros  Soros on right-wing conspiracies against him GOP dark money  Democrat dark money An overview of dark money  2022 biggest disclosed donor list  Barre Seid donates $1.6B  Harlan Crow and Justice Thomas  Sheldon Whitehouse on dark money and SCOTUS  Leonard Leo and SCOTUS Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/24/202312 minutes, 40 seconds
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Brief: Unmasking Liana Shanti (w/Jennings Brown)

Jennings Brown is becoming the Dr. Who of cult journalism. Every few years he pops up on a very different planet in the cultiverse, and tries to repair the timeline.  These days he’s deep into the story of a cult leader who seems to have no “presence” at all. Liana Shanti has managed to recruit about 180 women into her lucrative fever dream of Satanic Panic, recovered memories, starvation diets, and family destruction—all from behind a keyboard and a podcast microphone.  Who is Liana Shanti, and why isn’t she Liane Wilson any more?  Show Notes Inside Liana Shanti’s Lemurian Mystery School — Jennings Brown Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/22/202342 minutes, 55 seconds
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150: Spiritual Influencer Theory

Julian and Matthew go big-picture in this tour through all the elements that construct and drive spiritual Influencers. At the center of the parasocial storm is charisma, which covers over the intellectual and moral  bankruptcy of wellness content. Charisma is the only real currency in unregulated spaces. It’s compensatory, and very anxious. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/20/20231 hour, 14 minutes, 48 seconds
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Bonus Sample: From Rabbit Hole to Research (w/Jaigris Hodson)

Our Listener Story this week comes from Dr. Jaigris Hodson, Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair for Digital Communication for the Public Interest at Royal Roads University in Victoria, British Columbia.  Dr. Hodson shares her pandemic journey with inflammatory breast cancer, and how, even as a misinformation researcher, she was vulnerable to the hope sold by alt-health grifters. After completing treatment, she turned her research attention to cancer misinformation, and is now innovating research methods for analyzing how emotion drives misinformation consumption and virality.  Show Notes Jaigris Hodson | Royal Roads University The Podcast: Digital Public Interest Collective  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/17/202328 minutes, 32 seconds
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Brief: The Promises & (Mostly) Perils of Ketamine Therapy

Though not specifically a psychedelic — ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic — ketamine therapy is being touted as a depression treatment and, for some, a new form of spiritual healing. And indeed, some of the results are promising. But with Ketamine Wellness Centers and Field Trip Health both shutting down ketamine clinics across the country, leaving clients scrambling to find relief. Are these psychedelic entrepreneurs placing too much emphasis on scaling and shareholders and not enough on healing, even though their marketing efforts claim the opposite? Derek looks into the sordid developments of ketamine therapy, including the botched trials that ultimately received FDA approval. Show Notes Ketamine infusion: The new therapy for depression, explained New analysis claims the FDA rushed ketamine’s approval for depression treatment Excessive drinking costs $249 billion. Can one dose of ketamine curb alcoholism? ‘I’m terrified’: Patients scramble for treatment after 13 ketamine clinics shut down How ketamine-fueled dreams can promote a spiritual approach to mental health and therapy Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/15/202332 minutes, 49 seconds
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149: Spiritual Heartbreak

“I would pursue transcendence and live with its inevitable close cousins, disappointment and heartbreak, for most of my life.” So writes “Steven” (not his real name) in the first of our six spiritual heartbreak stories from our Patreon supporters.  “The spiritual by-passing of folks like Marianne Williamson and Eckhart Tolle kept me spinning in a cycle of abuse and unable to see clearly enough to end an abusive marriage with a Unitarian minister.” That’s from Katherine—story number three. And in our final story, Lynn writes: “I will say even though I've been through a really awful trauma and still have to deal with that residue, I am now happier than I've ever been in my life. I enjoy just being a simple person now, without the ever exhausting pressure of having to perform my religion, to awaken my consciousness.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/13/20231 hour, 23 minutes, 13 seconds
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Bonus Sample: JP Sears’s Woke CBD Grift

JP Sears is selling CBD. His new company, Awaken, recently sent out a marketing email extolling the benefits of CBD. Derek looks at the science behind the claims. Show Notes CBD is everywhere. But is it a scam? Inverted U-Shaped Dose-Response Curve of the Anxiolytic Effect of Cannabidiol during Public Speaking in Real Life Pioneering UAMS Study Warns of CBD Supplements’ Harm to Gut Health Can Cannabis Help Your Gut? The Impact of Cannabidiol on Human Brain Function: A Systematic Review Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Sleep: a Review of the Literature Does CBD Help With Insomnia? Cannabidiol (CBD): What we know and what we don't Antioxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol Cannabidiol (CBD): a killer for inflammatory rheumatoid arthritis synovial fibroblasts A single dose of cannabidiol reduces blood pressure in healthy volunteers in a randomized crossover study Immune Responses Regulated by Cannabidiol Can CBD Benefit Your Immune System? CBD and Heart Health Efficacy and Safety of Cannabidiol and Tetrahydrocannabivarin on Glycemic and Lipid Parameters in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Parallel Group Pilot Study Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/10/20236 minutes, 28 seconds
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Brief: The Spirituality of Vaccine & Mask Panics

Why do so many inflammatory culture war issues crystallize around vaccines and masks? What is so compelling about these forms of public health and mutual aid, that they become central to the right-wing imagination?  For some, straight-up libertarianism might be a sufficient answer: the knee-jerk allergy to being asked to do anything as a social player. And beneath that might lie conspiratorial notions of Fauci being a Red, Bill Gates monetizing polio, or George Soros controlling Congress.  Matthew argues that even those are surface stories, covering over a trembling anxiety about the status of the body in relation to the State, and God.  Show Notes Rudolf Steiner on Traditional Childhood Illnesses and Vaccines Biss, Eula. On Immunity: An Inoculation. Minneapolis: Graywolf, 2015 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/8/202329 minutes, 23 seconds
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148: Marianne Williamson and Asshole Jesus

Is Marianne Williamson’s promotion of A Course in Miracles any more relevant to her political persona than Biden’s Catholicism? If it demonstrably informs her every instinct and communication (as we expect it would given she sermonizes out of it every day), then yes, it is. If it leads her to suggest that meditation can help contain nuclear waste, divert hurricanes, heal the “scam” of clinical depression, or “boost the immune system” against COVID19, then yes, it is.  Is it sexist to highlight Williamson’s reported history of interpersonal abusiveness, when male politicians get away with far worse? There is definitely a double standard to resist. But when a candidate builds a political persona on being a love-and-light wayshower, it’s important to evaluate what that actually looks like ground-level. It’s also important to consider whether immature behavior might be a plausible outcome of following the Jesus of A Course in Miracles, who is a huge asshole.  Finally: if Williamson is the only candidate out there talking about reparations and M4A, is it reactionary to dismiss her on religious or behavioral grounds? Not if you’re actually interested in a functional progressive politics, free from magical thinking and charismatic bafflement.  Show Notes Williamson’s COVID meditation, Facebook Live Read: Pope Francis’ May prayer to Mary for the end of the pandemic | America Magazine Marianne Williamson’s ‘abusive’ treatment of 2020 campaign staff, revealed - POLITICO  Marianne Williamson is a controversial AIDS-crisis figure for gay men. MARIANNE'S FAITHFUL | Vanity Fair | June 1991 Project Angel Food Rocked by Feuds The Divine Miss W — People The Power, the Glory, the Glitz - Los Angeles Times  Marianne Williamson Bows Out as Pastor - Beliefnet  Marianne Williamson's Democratic debate performance raised eyebrows. But she's no friend of the left. Marianne Williamson responds to Politico article alleging abuse toward staff - BBC News  Here Are The Presidential Candidates Women Have Been Donating To  Marianne Williamson on Her Insurgent Campaign Against Joe Biden ❧ Current Affairs Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/6/20231 hour, 20 minutes, 14 seconds
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Bonus Sample: The Final Battle

Why did Trump kick-off his 2024 presidential campaign in Waco, Texas? Who were the Branch Davidians, anyway? Julian unpacks the incendiary streams of far-right anti-government militia history and religious apocalypticism that our former president is tapping into as he faces legal jeopardy. It all goes back almost 300 years to the original Great Awakening that QAnon and New Age channelers tried to remix in 2020. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/3/20236 minutes, 9 seconds
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147: The Censorship Megaphone

Listen… Can you hear it? All across the propagandist right and the free speech center, there's a new rallying cry: it's time to fight the “censorship industrial complex!” Researching and documenting digital disinformation—and coordinating to combat its malevolent agendas—is now all being described as a pseudo-academic scam, a hoax covering up an authoritarian liberal campaign of vile and secretive censorship. Now, as it turns out, this gnashing of teeth and shedding of tears at the cruel injustice of social media censorship, and the swift, brutal cancellation of anyone daring to go against the mainstream narrative is actually not new. We’ll look at the broader topic today, as well as some specific variations on the victim of censorship gambit, which uncannily often precedes being handed an even bigger megaphone. Show Notes Conspirituality + Glassbox Media Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/30/202359 minutes, 6 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Losing My Charisma

Recording the audiobook at a swanky Toronto studio sends Matthew down a memory hole to wonder about performance, self-awareness, and anxiety, and their relation to charisma. “Whatever charisma I have or project into the world has always been both prompted and tempered by the belief that becoming larger, that reaching out and creating an impression would soothe a confused or immature sense of self. That if I could be seen, I would be loved, and if loved, I would be real. “If there is an anxiety at the core of the influencers we study, it might be related to this. This week I had the opportunity to meditate on it, to remember how charisma formed around and within me, first through an arts education, and then as a yoga and wellness entrepreneur. It’s made me wonder whether and how I’ve been that much different than Zach Bush, or Mikki Willis, or Katie Griggs. I know how to project that voice, I know how to put on my resting guru face.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/27/20236 minutes, 50 seconds
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146: The Reality of Online Child Abuse (w/Håkon Høydal)

Conspiritualists are not wrong that Jeffery Epstein’s downline has so far evaded justice. Or that the highest levels of the Catholic Church aided and abetted child sexual abuse for generations. They are not wrong about the existence of child sexual abuse materials circulating online, and that children are coerced, abducted, and sometimes killed in order to make them.  But their narratives are contorted by panic, mythology, stereotypes, paranoid and grandiose assumptions, and the antisemitic conspiracy theorizing of QAnon, which spread like wildfire through yoga and wellness social media during the pandemic and has now normalized as the “groomer” meme. They say that child sexual abuse is a planned, nefarious, top-down attack on innocents. They say that its purpose is to turn the world away from God, to starve humanity of hope. Matthew sits down with Håkon Høydal, an investigative journalist in Norway who has spent years researching and exposing the most abject behaviors on the dark web. His work reveals a very different landscape. It’s a banal world, close to home, hiding in plain sight, presided over by young men who are making reckless choices after having decided that their pathological and criminally harmful impulses will never be understood, much less treated.  Show Notes Hunting Warhead | CBC News  VG exposed the largest child sexual abuse forum. It was run by the police.  Porn site founder accused of sex trafficking arrested in Spain - The Globe and Mail Sex offender treatment scheme led to increase in reoffending | UK news | The Guardian -- -- -- Support us on Patreon Pre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | Julian Original music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/23/20231 hour, 3 minutes, 49 seconds
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Special Interview: Nostalgia for the Superego (w/Sam Binkley)

Matthew sits down with Sam Binkley, Professor of Sociology at Emerson College in Boston to discuss his 2007 book Getting Loose: Lifestyle Consumption in the 1970s. We cited this very helpful work as we dug into the sociology of conspirituality for our own upcoming book. Here’s a thumbnail of Binkley’s argument: The 1970s ushered in a period of “getting loose” in relation to the body, work expectations, family relations, and political allegiances. This happened as the great moral and political questions of the 1960s deflated without resolution, even as they enshrined looser social mores around sex and finding meaningful work. The cultural yearning for structural change found its home in the project of the self, facilitated by an accelerated consumerism that expanded the conflation of agency with consumption. Getting Loose characterizes this inward turn as a retreat from the terrors of revolutionary freedom. Show Notes Getting Loose — Binkley -- -- -- Support us on Patreon Pre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | Julian Original music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/21/20231 hour, 10 minutes, 23 seconds
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Bonus Sample: The Privilege of Wellness

There are a number of philosophies presented in yoga spaces as "universal truths" that turn out to be little more than directives in an echo chamber. And there are protocols presented as therapeutic in wellness spaces that blur the line between spiritual rhetoric and pseudoscience — and some are quite dangerous. Derek looks at his experiences as a student at Jivamukti Yoga as well as the recent "ozone enema" podcast between Gwyneth Paltrow and Will Cole to discuss spiritual rhetoric and pseudoscience. He opens with his experiences as an international music journalist to provide a framework for thinking outside of your box, be it a local yoga studio or the websites you treat as gospel. Show Notes Gwyneth Paltrow Admits to Getting Ozone in Her Rectum -- -- -- Support us on Patreon Pre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | Julian Original music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/20/20239 minutes, 39 seconds
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145: Fever Dream Goes Mainstream in Florida

When Disneyworld becomes DeSantisland, Eric Weinstein will be in charge of the Epcot Planetarium, JP Sears will headline the Family Values comedy stage, Jordan Peterson and Jonathan Pageau will build an Orthodox cathedral for male transformation rituals. And Cinderella Castle will be remodeled into a Potemkin Capitol where Mikki Willis will choreograph and film daily insurrections. The groundwork is being laid now, as we explore the institutionalization of QAnon. Moms for Liberty, egged on by Mike Flynn, is taking over school boards throughout the Sunshine State. Chris Rufo is now a college trustee, and Bret Weinstein is holding court in state medical committees. All while our conspirituality influencers, from Sears to Northrup to Avocado Wolfe, cheer on the dissolution of every social contract, every veneer of democracy.  The propaganda and sadism is so despairing that Derek might need religion, and Matthew might lose himself in retro fantasies of Disneyworld. Luckily, Julian talks with Sarasota anti-DeSantis activist Terra Kater about fighting the good fight under the hot sun. Show Notes CBD is everywhere. But is it a scam? Dear Conservatives, I Apologize The Paranoid Style in American Politics -- -- -- Support us on Patreon Pre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | Julian Original music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/16/20231 hour, 11 minutes, 34 seconds
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Brief: Roku-Q, The Sequel (w/Alex Kaplan)

QAnon ain't over—it's on your television. It's been mainstreamed, networked, and remixed. Senior online extremism and disinformation researcher, Alex Kaplan of Media Matters joins Julian to share his reporting on the latest developments. 2024 is fast approaching. Under the looming shadows of legal calamity, Trump is rallying the Anons on Truth Social while Mike Flynn and his grifter-entourage roadshow preaches hellfire and ivermectin anti-vax election denial at an evangelical church near you. Can't make it? Sit back and grab the remote.  Show Notes Alex Kaplan's Media Matters archive -- -- -- Support us on Patreon Pre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | Julian Original music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/14/202331 minutes, 3 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Hydroxychloroquine Emergency

In this listener story, Julian talks to disabled rights activist and journalist Abby Mahler about how the fake COVID-cure grift endangers people who really need hydroxychloroquine to survive. -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/13/20238 minutes, 8 seconds
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144: The Magic Spells of Wellness (w/Colleen Derkatch)

"Cleansing is no longer an option, it's a necessity.” From wellness influencers obsessed about the meat-body, to Christofascists obsessed about the body politic, rhetoric bombards us from all sides. Professor of Rhetoric Colleen Derkatch joins Julian to discuss the techniques of the meaning miasma. Her focus is on wellness rhetoric specifically, and how it points to incipient illness, encourages recreational diagnostics, and describes daily routines as liturgies that grant membership in divine communities. Also we can't avoid talking about Russell Brand on Bill Maher. Sorry.  Show Notes Meet Colleen Derkatch Gish Gallop: When People Try to Win Debates by Using Overwhelming Nonsense Pharma Wants In - Rina Raphael -- -- -- Support us on Patreon Pre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | Julian Original music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/9/20231 hour, 34 minutes, 17 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Marianne Williamson for Prez. New Age Jesus for VP.

Can Marianne Williamson maintain street cred as a progressive while promoting New Age Jesus? Can she hammer out functional policy while preaching out of A Course in Miracles—the most anti-political pseudospiritual text on the planet? Can she advocate for public health despite a history of waffling on vaccine science? Can she make a strong argument for health care reform while giving sermons from a book that says people get sick because they are not spiritual enough? Can she really help fat people with her book that says that fatness is a "repository of twisted thoughts and feelings?" Matthew doubts it, but hey—miracles happen! Show NotesWilliam Thetford's CV (MKUltra reference)Marianne Williamson's Democratic debate performance raised eyebrows. But she's no friend of the left. Marianne Williamson is a controversial AIDS-crisis figure for gay men.Kevin Sessums on MW, FB post: "I am an HIV+ man who lost lots of friends to AIDS and I know the harm she did conning many into believing they deserved their biological condition - and even their deaths- because they weren't spiritually fit enough to visualize the AIDS virus away." Marianne Williamson on Twitter: "Let’s not forget that masks aren’t our only protection against Covid. Strengthening the immune system is also very important: recommendations like vitamins C and D, healthy food and exercise, positive/spiritual consciousness." / Twitter A Course in Weight Loss: 21 Spiritual Lessons for Surrendering Your Weight ForeverMarianne Williamson promoted anti-vaxxer theories on her radio show in 2012 episode | CNN Politics  -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/6/202315 minutes, 52 seconds
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143: Trans Reality, Trans Possibility (w/Beau Brink)

For three years, we’ve covered a forest fire of body fascism, unleashed by the culture wars and the pandemic. With the help of many esteemed guests, we have tracked its hateful and eugenicist impacts on marginalized groups: the disabled, the racialized, the fat, the neurodivergent.  We have taken too long to host a trans person who can give us both a front line personal and analytical report on what it feels like, and what it means, to live under the current regime of moral panic and legislative assault. Today we welcome artist and journalist Beau Brink. Beau is a longtime activist and advocate for LGBTQ+ communities, and a member of the Trans Journalists Association. After hours, he’s an outsider artist who works primarily with cosmetics and crafting materials. Please visit the episode page on our website for all of the citation links we didn't have room for here! Beau Brink has created a resource page for this episode, which includes a statement on the labour that went into this episode. It's here.  -- -- -- Support us on Patreon Pre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | Julian Original music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/2/20231 hour, 47 minutes, 30 seconds
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Brief: Flood the Zone (w/Dr Dan Wilson)

Answering the current wave of confusing vaccine misinformation. Julian is joined by molecular biologist Dr. Dan Wilson. "Died Suddenly," correlation vs. causation, the vaccine court, and the recycled anti-vax tropes gaining fresh traction are all addressed in this succinct PSA. Correction: Julian incorrectly calls Dr. Dan a "microbiologist" at the start of this Brief—but he actually holds a PhD in molecular biology. Show Notes Vaccinated/Unvaccinated Viral Load Study Vaccination Reduces COVID Transmission Standard Child/Adolescent Schedule What is Gene Therapy? Accelerating Vaccine Trials "Died Suddenly" Debunk Vaccine Court and Lawsuit Realities -- -- -- Support us on Patreon Pre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | Julian Original music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/28/202317 minutes, 41 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Romancing the Stoned

So much suffering occurs because we romanticize a past that never actually existed in the belief that it's destined to become the future. In the middle we sit, here, now, with time marching forward. Derek explores how wellness influencers weaponize this psychological phenomenon and describes his personal remedy for such thinking.  -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/27/20236 minutes, 13 seconds
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Brief: Reggae Muzak

Continuing a conversation from EP142, Derek looks at the cultural damage done when musicians co-opt musical styles to promote their own propaganda, which is often at odds with the social struggles of the oppressed class that created the music.  After briefly investigating the history of reggae through the lens of indentured servants from India, he discusses artists using two genres—reggae and hip-hop—in such a way that strips the original intention of the music of all value. -- -- -- Support us on Patreon Pre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | Julian Original music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/25/202327 minutes, 5 seconds
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142: Destination Rabbit Hole (w/Anna Merlan)

Do visiting inter-dimensional spirits and stowaway UFO passengers use the LAX Airport to touch down among us? Well they do if they're in town for the Conscious Life Expo, conveniently located at the LAX Airport Hilton for those who rely on otherwise mundane modes of travel. The Valentine's Day weekend crystals and angel cards fest of disjointed spirituality meets dodgy science just celebrated its 21st year as the premiere gathering point for awakened seekers choosing to come out of sovereign superposition and manifest in space-time reality. But, as visiting Vice News correspondent Anna Merlan tells us, it turns out the organizers have grappled for years with how to reconcile the tensions between obvious charlatans and those who really, truly can talk to the dead, psychics who can diagnose your dog's mystery ailments, and those making artificial claims about all-natural elixirs, prophets of light and love, and QAnon promoting anti-vax conspiritualists. This year's solution? Tuck the most radicalized New Age hate-preachers away in the Rabbit Hole Room, and charge top-dollar for the red-pilled faithful to swoon at their feet. Show Notes Thrive review by Eric Johnson COVID-19 misinformation contributed to 2800 Canadian deaths, report suggests Fault Lines Report: Canadian Council for Academics -- -- -- Support us on Patreon Pre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | Julian Original music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/23/20231 hour, 37 minutes, 36 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Maggie the Good Conspiritualist

How does it feel to grow up in a back-to-the-land house that vibrates with the anxious passion of conspiracy theories? What would happen when the world began to disconfirm the conspiratorial lore? How would you maintain your relationships, nurture the good, and gently let go of everything else?Maggie joins Matthew for this Listener Story to explore these questions in relation to her journey from childhood to today. Note: my question about conspirituality being an ethnicity was inspired by a conversation with listener Lilium Rajan, a writer who I hope to learn more from. -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/20/20236 minutes, 36 seconds
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141: Does Canada Want Suffering Citizens to Die? (w/Taslim Alani-Verjee)

Is Canada trying to euthanize the mentally ill? Self-professed "theocratic fascist" Matt Walsh says so. So does the OG anti-woke agitator, James Lindsay. Both cravenly distort Canada's proposed expansion of its Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) laws to include people suffering from mental illness. But are they entirely wrong? From the left, Jeremy Appel writes in Jacobin: I’ve come to realize that euthanasia in Canada represents the cynical endgame of social provisioning within the brutal logic of late-stage capitalism — we’ll starve you of the funding you need to live a dignified life, demand you pay back pandemic aid you applied for in good faith, and if you don’t like it, well, why don’t you just kill yourself? Psychologist and ethics professor Dr. Taslim Alanii-Verjee joins Matthew to discuss the ethical labyrinth of MAiD expansion, and how the altruistic quest for patient autonomy and dignity can run afoul of the neoliberal state's failure to provide the necessaries. Show Notes Dr. Taslim Alani-Verjee Federal government moves to delay MAID for people suffering solely from mental illness | CBC News The Problems With Canada’s Medical Assistance in Dying Policy Special Joint Committee on MAiD - Dr. Sonu Gaind -- -- -- Support us on Patreon Pre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | Julian Original music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/16/20231 hour, 14 minutes, 21 seconds
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Brief: Bikram Convoy Stopped by His Survivors

Hot yoga tycoon and sex offender Bikram Choudhury was set to teach his sweaty pseudoscience in Vancouver starting on February 20th. But a team of yoga allies, led by a woman who has sued Choudhury for rape, said "Fuck off." So that's that. Or is it? We have many questions. Why was this cursed event planned in the first place? Who on earth is continuing to support this clown, and trying to make money off of him? Who would cover themselves in sweaty shit in order to prop up this Simpsons-level caricature of a yoga megalomaniac? And how did Bikram Yoga become the de facto exercise method and spiritual practice of "Freedom Convoy" supporters? Matthew takes a sweaty tour through a land of pseudoscience and rape culture, hot yogis and truckers, anti-vaxxers and frog-lickers to find out. Big thank you to Colin Hall of Bodhi Tree Yoga for stopping by! Show Notes Canadian yoga competition stretches into Edmonton | CBC News Controversial Bikram yoga founder's planned Vancouver workshops raising flags Jill Lawler's 1st-person account Petition · Stop Predator Bikram Choudhury from hosting Yoga Seminar in Vancouver · Change.org Woman speaking out against Bikram Yoga event gets disturbing pushback from organizer Bikram yoga event no longer planned for Vancouver hotel Bikram Yoga Creator Loses It When Asked About Sexual Assault Allegations | HuffPost Women Sponsor: https://www.gardomlakeyoga.ca/ WATCH: Justin Trudeau cross-examined by Convoy lawyer -- -- -- Support us on Patreon Pre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | Julian Original music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/14/202343 minutes, 6 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Bad News Berenson on Brand

The Twitter Files are the grift that keeps on giving. This week, Derek and Julian look at Alex Berenson's recent appearance on Russell Brand's Rumble channel to talk about the conspiracies that only exists in their heads—and the misinformation they share along the way. Show NotesThe Pandemic’s Wrongest ManRussell Brand: Elites Are Using Liberal Ideas to Justify InequalityHow anti-vaxxers monetize misinformationURGENT: A federal database offers more evidence the mRNA Covid jabs may have serious cardiovascular risksFor red and blue America, a glaring divide in COVID-19 death rates persists 2 years laterScathing evaluation of Sweden's COVID response reveals 'failures' to control the virusLarge, real-world study finds COVID-19 vaccination more effective than natural immunity in protecting against all causes of death, hospitalization and emergency department visits -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/13/202310 minutes, 32 seconds
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140: Surviving Larry (w/Daniel Levin & Zach Heinzerling)

Today, Hulu releases a 3-episode doc series called “Stolen Youth,” directed by Zach Heinzerling. The pole star for this low-dopamine, low-cortisol, non-true-crime, survivor-centred documentary is Daniel Levin’s painful and radiant memoir, Slonim Woods 9. In 2010, Levin was drawn into an extended-family domestic abuse group led by Larry Ray, the father of one of his friends at Sarah Lawrence College. It took him years to leave, years to begin to recover, and years to become the de facto subject coordinator for this film. Matthew talks with Zach and Daniel about what it takes to really listen to survivors of group abuse, and how the arts of memoir and documentary can be doorways to reconnection and integration. In an interview debrief, Julian and Matthew discuss why reviewing Stolen Youth is such a relief in the current Wild West cultsploitation landscape. Well-told stories in this zone—and we need more of them—educate, de-sensationalize, and de-stigmatize. They humanize every step of the journey: from recruitment, to enmeshment, to complicity, to recovery, to creativity. Show Notes Slonim Woods 9 by Daniel Barban Levin Rough Cut: What do filmmakers owe their subjects? w/Souki Medhaoui Larry Ray and the Stolen Kids of Sarah Lawrence How Did Larry Ray Run a Cult at Sarah Lawrence?  -- -- -- Support us on Patreon Pre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | Julian Original music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/9/20231 hour, 27 minutes, 50 seconds
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Bonus Sample: What Are We Doing Here?

Sure, a big question: one Derek explores in the context of this nearly three-year-old Conspirituality project. Criticism and awareness are essential tools in a critical thinking kit, but to what end? As he prepares upcoming presentations on the topic of misinformation in public health, Derek reflects on the value of identifying charlatans and quacks while also speculating about how to move forward.  -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/6/202310 minutes, 16 seconds
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UNLOCKED: Leaving S-Factor (w/Jessica Hopper)

Those who fly high, fall hard. Pole dance company S-Factor crashed and burned in 2021 amidst a stack of complaints. Detractors said the company was conducting unlicensed group therapy, cosplaying enlightenment by co-opting the labour of sex workers, and whitewashing issues of racial equality.Created by former actor Sheila Kelley, S-Factor monetized pole dancing as a path of feminist and spiritual awakening.In this 2-part Listener Story, Matthew speaks to Jessica Hopper about her 13 years learning and teaching in the now-defunct company. Hopper paints a picture of a confusing, high-demand group, and tells us how she made her way out. NOTE: During our discussion, Jessica recounts a tense all-hands S-factor staff meeting to discuss PR strategy at a crucial moment as the company cracked-up over issues of white fragility. I wasn't able to secure a recording of that call before my interview with Jessica, or since. But after we recorded, I did confirm what Jessica reports about it with 3 of the other participants on that call.  MRShow NotesStripped Down: The Undoing of Hollywood's Favorite Pole-Dancing Studio —Hollywood Reporter."Strip Down, Rise Up" | Official Trailer | NetflixFaces of Fierce Femininity—online conference organized by Kelly BroganVisual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema—Laura Mulvey, 1975 -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/4/20232 hours, 55 minutes, 14 seconds
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139: Comedy in the MAGAverse (w/Jordan Klepper)

Can you believe that Nancy Pelosi paid people to attack the Capitol on Jan 6 in order to make Republicans look bad? Actually, I mean, Jan 6 was the most peaceful gathering of a million patriots in history. Wait, hold on: Jan 6 was an antifa operative to act as cover for the fact that the election was, indeed, stolen.  Do any of these stories sound familiar? Now imagine hearing them all, and dozens more like them, all in the same day, and you’ll get a glimpse of what Daily Show correspondent and host of the podcast, Fingers the Conspiracy, Jordan Klepper, endures on a regular basis. Today Jordan joins us to talk about the cursed world of conspiracies that he’s witnessed, up close and in person, with the people who spread them, what it was like to be at the Capitol on Jan 6, and the bewildering intersection of comedy and politics.  -- -- -- Support us on Patreon Pre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | Julian Original music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/2/202356 minutes, 2 seconds
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Brief: Long Live Guru Jagat (w/Emily Guerin)

Katie Griggs. Katie Day. Kundalini Katie. Guru Jagat. We hardly knew you. The late "Queen of Conspiracy Theories" is now memorialized on NPR through Emily Guerin's LAist podcast "Imperfect Paradise." Matthew sits down with Emily to explore how we cover figures like Griggs, what it was like to interview her family, and what we can ultimately say about the compromised feminist empowerment she offered her followers—and whether she could have taken another route. Show Notes She was a popular yoga guru. Then she embraced QAnon conspiracy theories — NPR, LAist 36: Guru Jagat’s Pandemic Brandwash (w/Philip Deslippe & Stacie Stukin) 37: Guru Jagat Cultjacks Kundalini Yoga (w/Philip Deslippe & Stacie Stukin) (PDF) From Maharaj to Mahan Tantric: The Construction of Yogi Bhajan’s Kundalini Yoga — Philip Deslippe Yogi Bhajan Turned an L.A. Yoga Studio into a Juggernaut, and Left Two Generations of Followers Reeling from Alleged Abuse — Stacie Stukin Inside the Dubious World of RA MA Yoga, and Its Girl Boss Guru to the Stars — Cassidy George, VICE Guru Jagat Dies. A Saint Is Born. | by Matthew Remski | Aug, 2021 | Medium Guru Jagat Mourned in Person with Breathing Exercises, No Masks — Matthew Remski -- -- -- Support us on Patreon Pre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | Julian Original music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/31/202338 minutes, 50 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Psychotherapy in the Age of TikTok Conspirituality (w/Alessia Caputo)

What do you do  when your psychotherapy clients suffer from conspiracy theory anxiety? What do you do when the conspirituality-based therapy advice they get from TikTok is compelling, but also misleading? Toronto-based Registered Psychotherapist Alessia Caputo joins Matthew for this Listener Story installment to discuss the changing therapeutic landscape, in the office and online. -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/30/20235 minutes, 56 seconds
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138: The Magical Quantum Healy Machine (feat/Mallory DeMille)

Using a combination of Alexa, Siri, and your extensive search history, we've been able to scan your bio energetic field, and are sending personalized quantum rebalancing and immune-boosting frequencies your way as you listen. Can you feel it?! Can your pet feel it? Because, dear listener, there’s a program for them, too. In fact, there’s a program for everything and everyone because frequencies don’t discriminate—as long as you’re not into Big Pharma, that is. All you need is to invest in this little $1,000 machine—$4,000 if you want the “professional edition”—that clips onto your Lulu gear and injects quantum vibes straight into your soul. That’s right, this week we’re talking about the Healy. Our correspondent, Mallory DeMille, has scanned the ethereal social media frequencies to find a greatest hits collection of influencers attempting to energetically guide you into their downline. Derek offers a bit of Healy history, which is rooted in the anti-EMF movement, while Matthew and I wonder: why is it that the same wellness crew that’s afraid of 5G and vaccine technology is so willing to wear this mysterious device?  Show Notes Healy World Official on YouTube Marcus Schmieke explains the Technology and Science behind Healy @trusting_birth questioning Healy See conspirituality.net/episodes for screenshots mentioned during this episode -- -- -- Support us on Patreon Pre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | Julian Original music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/26/20231 hour, 9 minutes, 24 seconds
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Brief: Tate Crime

Did the Matrix kidnap Top G? Or is Andrew Tate the Matrix himself, now unplugged and shorting out in a Romanian jail? While his self-confessed crimes against women come home to roost, the online spectacle his arrest has generated provides a litmus test for just how fast the cognitive dissonance of culture war chaos can plummet. Welcome to the broader “Tate crime”: a spectacle of acute reality-reversal, fueled by reactionary politics and driven by a cultic network of devotees and SEO managers, where culture war punditry is funded by bogus self-help courses and online pornography. Show Notes The PHD Program (“Pimping Hos Degree) Andrew Tate said he broke a woman's jaw and that his business was a 'scam' ahead of Romanian charges Tate admits to statutory rape Part One: Andrew Tate, and the Mythopoetic Men's Movement - Behind the Bastards | iHeart The Dangerous Rise of Andrew Tate "From Pick-Up Artists to Incels: Con(fidence) Games, Networked Misogyny, and the Failure of Neoliberalism" A Coordinated Group Of 4,500 Bots Tweeted In Support Of Andrew Tate Teachers Warn That Misogynist Andrew Tate Has 'Radicalized' School-Age Boys -- -- -- Support us on Patreon Pre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | Julian Original music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/24/202328 minutes, 5 seconds
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Bonus Sample: RUSSELL BRAND: RUSSIAN PSY-OP OR MISINFORMED RESEARCHER?

Ok, the title is a bit outlandish, but for a reason: many of Russell Brand's Rumble videos feature titles like "HERE WE GO" and "THE FALL OF FAUCI." When everything is at volume 11, nothing seems to make sense—which is a bit how Derek and Julian feel after listening to his recent interview with Bari Weiss. Not that Bari isn't a solid presenter—she is, even if we don't agree with everything she says. We'll pick apart her portion of the Twitter Files, while also continuing our investigation into Russell's always-on and always-loud tactics that disorient as much as obscure.  -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/23/20235 minutes, 46 seconds
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137: Addiction & The Wounded Influencer (w/Chris Boutte)

Perhaps you’ve seen the Rumi quote repeated on social media memes: “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” The wounded healer is a popular archetype in wellness spaces, and indeed, sometimes experience teaches wisdom, enabling the victim to overcome their trauma and help others. But in conspiritualist spaces, the wounded healer can also begin a monetization stream where everything becomes evidence of trauma, only to be healed through this book, or that course, or a brand-new brand of meditation that’s only the marketing scheme of an old form. Speaking of brands, we look at the wounded healer through the lens of Russell Brand, among others. This leads to Derek’s interview with YouTuber and podcaster, Chris Boutte, aka The Rewired Soul, who happens to be in recovery and watched firsthand as Russell went from helpful figure to shadowy archetype. Can an addiction to drugs be healed, only to lead to an addiction to clicks and likes? Stay tuned… -- -- -- Support us on Patreon Pre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | Julian Original music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/19/20231 hour, 16 minutes, 9 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Matt Taibbi's Brand Building

In part two of Derek and Julian's deconstruction of the Russell Brand/Matt Taibbi Twitter Files Rumble Session, Matt and Russell swoon over their interactions with Elon Musk, discuss how the MSM unfairly maligns Vladimir Putin and his invasion of Ukraine, and chat about the old regime at Twitter being in service of the sinister agenda of global institutions like the IMF. Strap in. -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/16/20237 minutes, 10 seconds
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Brief: Teal Swan’s Satanic Panic to Anti-Woke Pipeline

How do the screams of the Satanic Panic echo in anti-woke politics? This past week, New Age Satanic Panic influencer Teal Swan released a new video to 1.5M YouTube subscribers about the dangers of "Wokeism." Yesterday, Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) announced plans to form a Congressional Anti-Woke Caucus. We know by now that conspirituality is a machine charismatics can use to generate mystical solutions to exaggerated or imagined crises. With Swan’s pivot into anti-woke discourse, she is taking the next logical step in broadening and secularizing her message.  What's not entirely clear is the pathway Swan has taken from Satanic Panic influencer to a New Age starseed, to unlicensed trauma recovery expert, to this potential future as a culture warrior. This Brief connects some of the dots, as the entanglement between New Age wellness objectives and reactionary populism tightens. Show Notes "Wokeism" and Today's "Woke" Society 109. Who’s Afraid of Teal Swan? (w/Jon Kasbe) 111: Who's Afraid of Teal Swan (pt 2) (w/Jennings Brown) UNLOCKED: Swan Song Series 1 | Close to Home (please search "Swan Song Series to find all unlocked episodes) From QAnon to Anti-Woke. A New Age guru pivots to a new… | by Matthew Remski Qanon - The Great Awakening: PsyOp or the Real Deal? - Piercing the Veil of Reality Bernhard Guenther The January 6th Capitol Siege has indelibly linked QAnon to domestic terrorism. The deletion of vast networks of QAnon influencers and groups from social channels like FB and Twitter Cullen Hoback’s Q: Into the Storm documentary Rep. Jim Banks announces the Anti-Woke Caucus Fighting the Woke Agenda in Congress - The American Mind  -- -- -- Support us on Patreon Pre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | Julian Original music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/14/202329 minutes, 38 seconds
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136: Virtual Strongmen (w/Ruth Ben-Ghiat)

Where have all the strongmen gone, long time scrolling? Where have all the strongmen gone, long time ago? Where have all the strongmen gone? Gone to posting, everyone. Oh when will they ever turn off their phones? Not anytime soon. Trump on Truth Social, Modi on Instagram, Bolsonaro tweeting from a Kentucky Fried Chicken in Miami. Today we’re looking at the new strongmen at the top of our political circuses. According to our guest, strongman-whisperer historian Ruth Ben-Ghiat, they’re of new breed. They’re not the steampunk fascists of 100 years ago. They’re not Cold War autocrats, installed by the CIA. These guys are posters. They do not need to seize the means of production. Their goal is to disrupt the production of meaning. Julian’s interview with Ben-Ghiat gives us a great opportunity to look at the strongman fetish in conspirituality, and to rate the top male influencers in our book on a scale of 10 Gaddafis. Show Notes Twitter’s moderation system is in tatters Who is the 'Trump of the Tropics?': Brazil's divisive new president, Jair Bolsonaro— in his own words -- -- -- Support us on Patreon Pre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | Julian Original music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/12/20231 hour, 24 minutes, 18 seconds
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Brief: Is Jordan Peterson Really a Licensed Psychologist? (w/Dr. Taslim Alani-Verjee)

In November, the College of Psychologists of Ontario (CPO)—through which Jordan Peterson must be licensed in order to treat private clients—opened an investigation into complaints over his Twitter behavior. A few days ago, he publishing the disciplinary paper trail to Twitter, but failed to properly redact the names of complainants.  Mystery questions:  Can you shitpost at public servants, dox complainants, misgender people, call doctors who provide gender-affirming care “monsters,” cavort with fascists, and fat shame random swimsuit models to millions of people on Twitter and continue to be a licensed psychologist in the province of Ontario?  Dr. Taslim Alani-Verjee joins me to do some 101 work on JP’s commitments to the profession that gives him clout and credibility. She is a clinical psychologist and the Director and Founder of Silm Centre for Mental Health. She teaches psychology and ethics at Adler Graduate Professional School, and is adjunct professor at Lakehead. Some of her concentration areas include intimate partner violence, stigma, social justice, and cultural competence. Show Notes CPOntario vs J B Peterson Howard Levitt: What's happening to Jordan Peterson could happen to anyone now When Your Psychologist Goes Viral: How Jordan Peterson's Fame Affected His Private Practice  -- -- -- Support us on Patreon Pre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | Julian Original music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/10/202331 minutes, 27 seconds
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Bonus Sample: A Little Birdie Told Me

While the Twitter Files revealed...not much at all...the right continues to push Elon Musk's "revelations" as hard as Hunter Biden's magical laptop, which seems to absorb every ill in society like Pandora's infamous box. And then there's Russell Brand, who can't turn away from a good conspiracy, or a bad one. He talks about Hunter's laptop and more with Matt Taibbi in a recent hour-long Rumble session.  This week is part one of Derek and Julian's deconstruction of what went down, why it ultimately doesn't matter, and why it matters very much to both Brand's and Taibbi's brand building. Show Notes Will the Real Tesla Founder Please Stand Up?  -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/9/20235 minutes, 48 seconds
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UNLOCKED: The Courage to Heal Pt. 2

Matthew and Julian sit down for the second of a two-part examination of the 1988 bestseller at the heart of the recovered memory movement. This is episode 10 of the Swan Song Series.Show Notes Controversy Behind the False Memory Syndrome Foundation The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual AbuseTruth and reconciliationCases That Have Resulted in ConvictionsWhy The Courage to Heal Isn't on My Recommended Reading ListCreating Hysteria25 Years of Trauma Treatment Networker 2014 -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/7/20231 hour, 47 minutes, 23 seconds
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135: The Persuaders (w/Anand Giridharadas)

Happy New Year, Conspirituality listeners! As with the much anticipated midterm elections, the holiday season is now officially behind us. Which means that in addition to any of the colds, flu, and COVID strains circulating, many of our listeners may still be in recovery mode from family time. We're specifically referring to political tensions over the holiday dinner table. You know, the vegan sister insisting on a land acknowledgment before the QAnon uncle says grace, while the anti-vax aunt rants at her to take off her mask. Can somebody pass the apple pie? Our guest today is journalist, author, and political analyst, Anand Giridharadas. Julian spoke with him about his new book, The Persuaders, in which he profiles people on the ground working to change minds, bridge divisions and fight for democracy. The Persuaders offers inspiration to those who refuse to accept that a rigid polarization in which no one ever changes their mind, is the new normal. Show Notes How to Become a Better Persuader Understanding Your Circle of Influence: Calling In with Loretta Ross -- -- -- Support us on Patreon Pre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | Julian Original music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/5/20231 hour, 45 minutes, 14 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Punching Down & Male Fragility

The Hodgetwins’ brand of comedy relies on punching down, not nuance or storytelling—or being based in reality in any meaningful way. They’ll take a subject, make fun of it, then sometimes moralize about why they’re right on a topic—especially when it comes to their version of masculinity.Derek looks at these twins' vitriolic humor and places it in the context of competition. Whether they're preaching transphobia, fat-shaming, or other forms of bigotry, what they're revealing is really male fragility, not the all-important masculinity they profess.Show NotesThe Racist Roots of Fighting ObesityThe Bizarre and Racist History of the BMIBreaking Down the ‘Wellness-Industrial Complex,’ an Episode at a TimeFrans de Waal: The surprising science of alpha males -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/2/20235 minutes, 40 seconds
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Brief: Libs Of TikTok Cries Cult

Chaya Raichik of Libs of TikTok calls the LGBTQ+ community a cult. Does this mean the term has lost all meaning? Searching for the roots of Raichik's abuse of cult discourse leads Matthew back through a cursed gender critical message board to an ill-conceived Twitter thread by cult expert Steve Hassan. A Conspirituality Brief on what happens when fascists seize control of highly-charged explanatory tools. Show Notes Libs of TikTok has become central to right wing politics - The Washington Post Twitter account Libs of TikTok blamed for harassment of children's hospitals The artificial growth of hate speech The Happy-Go-Lucky Jewish Group That Connects Trump and Putin - POLITICO Magazine Cross-Dressing - Parshat Ki Teitzei - Chabad.org Secret LGBTQ Chabad Group Fills Void - Jewish Telegraphic Agency 'Social contagion' isn’t causing more youths to be transgender, study finds Meet Chris Elston, the BC Man Taking Anti-Trans Hate On Tour Across Canada Chris Elston: Woman followed by man demanding trans health 'education' Study finds 2.5% of transgender kids go through detransition  Detransition Facts and Statistics 2022: Exploding the Myths Around Hassan's main detrans Twitter thread Hassan's other detrans Twitter thread The BITE Model of Authoritarian Control: Undue Influence, Thought Reform, Brainwashing, Mind Control, Trafficking and the Law - ProQuest  -- -- -- Support us on Patreon Pre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | Julian Original music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/30/202237 minutes, 31 seconds
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UNLOCKED: The Courage to Heal Pt. 1

Matthew and Julian sit down for the first of a two-part examination of the 1988 bestseller at the heart of the recovered memory movement—which played a central role in validating Satanic Panic testimonials. This is episode 9 of the Swan Song Series 9.The basic premise of The Courage to Heal, by creative writing instructors Ellen Bass and Laura Davis,  is that memories of childhood abuse, especially child sexual abuse, can be recovered and articulated by survivors who are given the proper space, tools, and validation. The book explores how this be facilitated within the context of journaling, writing poetry, and writing memoir, and what the therapeutic benefits of full confessional articulation can be.While countless people affirm that this book was a lifeline during a time in which recovery resources for child abuse survivors were rare,  there are substantial problems with the book's method, claims about memory, dodgy sources, and endorsement of outright Satanic Panic propaganda. Show NotesControversy Behind the False Memory Syndrome FoundationThe Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual AbuseTruth and reconciliationCases That Have Resulted in ConvictionsWhy The Courage to Heal Isn't on My Recommended Reading ListCreating Hysteria25 Years of Trauma Treatment Networker 2014 -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/29/20221 hour, 26 minutes, 14 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Growing Up in Scientology pt 2 (w/Sarah)

Part 2 of Matthew's conversation with Sarah. Sarah grew up in the Church of Scientology. But she also grew up in a small town. And, in a neurodiverse family. We come from so many places. Exploitative, hierarchical, hypocritical. Generous, tender, and odd. It is an honor to present this installment of Listeners' Stories. We're tickled to learn that Sarah's awakening from Scientology was quickened by that South Park episode. And we're humbled to learn about how her mother, despite being deeply enmeshed in a coercive cult, still managed to kindle both compassion and common sense in her children. -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/26/20228 minutes, 5 seconds
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UNLOCKED: Girl, Interrupted (pt 2)

The second part of Julian and Matthew's long look at the 1999 film Teal Swan was reportedly obsessed with as a teen. Girl, Interrupted is a freewheeling adaptation of a 1993 memoir by Susanna Kaysen about the 18 months she spent undergoing treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder in a Massachusetts psychiatric facility in the late 1960s. This episode 8 of the Swan Song Series.This study is provoked by a memory recounted by Swan's childhood friend, Diana Hansen Ribera, that Swan identified with the character of Lisa Rowe in the film. Angelina Jolie won an Oscar for her searing performance of Rowe, a sociopath. In this second episode, we explore several characters that Swan may have (and may yet) identify with, discuss the awkwardness of portraying mental health narratives on the big screen, and what it would really take for such an intense film to be digestible for typical teenagers. Matthew ends with a meditation on immersive/claustrophobic media—which Swan goes on to master—compared with the relief of developing a meta-view capable of inhabiting many stories, as opposed to imitating one.Show NotesSENECA THE YOUNGER, HERCULES FURENS - Theoi Classical Texts LibraryHercules (Seneca)Girl, Interrupted — Susanna Kaysen1607: Growing up with Teal Swan - Diana Hansen RiberaMad, Bad, and Sad: Women and the Mind Doctors by Lisa AppignanesiBrittany Murphy: Inside Her Sudden Death at 32 That Still Confounds Hollywood -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/24/20221 hour, 34 minutes, 7 seconds
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134: Elon Musk, Buddhabro? (w/Ann Gleig and Brenna Artinger)

Elon, Elon, who are you? Where is your essential self? Where are you as you soar through your space fantasies, as you track and hedge and bet your billions, wondering if all those emeralds gave you an unfair advantage in life? What is the weather like on Mars? Have you found yourself yet, hiding in  millions of lines of self-driving code? Have you found your own face as you surveil your quivering workforce, bunking in the San Francisco headquarters you stopped paying rent on?Is the real you playing endless video games, getting stoned with Joe Rogan, making an eleventh baby with a fourth partner? Do you feel  you’re connected to everything when you post at the speed of light?As Musk teeters on the brink of ego death and financial annihilation, Matthew wonders about his inner life, especially after he dropped a Buddhist-type Easter Egg in a tweeted photo of his bedside table.Is Elon Musk a Buddha-bro?  No surprise if he was.  After all, a big chunk of American  Buddhism lines up perfectly with Musk's reactionary centrism, performative transcendence, bog-standard conspiracism, and culture war shitposting.Here to help us understand this strange world—and what kind of Buddhism could make Elon Musk a better human, if he gave a shit—are Dr. Ann Gleig, Aassociate Professor of religion and cultural studies at University of Central Florida, and independent scholar Brenna Artinger. We’ll be focusing on their awesome paper, “#BuddhistCultureWars: BuddhaBros, Alt-Right Dharma, and Snowflake Sanghas,” Show NotesAdam Jensen | Deus Ex Wiki  THE CALIFORNIAN IDEOLOGY Mindfulness in Silicon Valley | Religion and Public Life at Harvard Divinity School  #BuddhistCultureWars: BuddhaBros, Alt-Right Dharma, and Snowflake Sanghas  Reactionary White Buddhists Have Joined The Fight Against Critical Race Theory  Why Are White Buddhists So Angry?  A Murky Scandal Involving a Powerful Punk Rock Dharma Teacher Is Dividing a Major Buddhist Community Leaked Internal Report: Famous Buddhist Leader Noah Levine Was Accused of Rape and Assault -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/22/20221 hour, 33 minutes, 38 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Growing Up in Scientology (w/Sarah)

Sarah grew up in the Church of Scientology. But she also grew up in a small town. And, in a neurodiverse family. We come from so many places. Exploitative, hierarchical, hypocritical. Generous, tender, and odd. It is an honor to present this installment of Listeners' Stories. We're tickled to learn that Sarah's awakening from Scientology was quickened by that South Park episode. And we're humbled to learn about how her mother, despite being deeply enmeshed in a coercive cult, still managed to kindle both compassion and common sense in her children. -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/19/202227 minutes, 18 seconds
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133: Grifts That Keep on Taking (w/Kevin Klatt)

Remember way back to the beginning of this podcast, shortly after “Plandemic” dropped, when wellness influencers immediately began selling supposed “immune supporting” supplements? That trend has only intensified in recent months, with grifters like Peter McCullough and Mikki Willis getting in on the supplement game. In part three of his trilogy on supplements, Derek talks with dietician Kevin Klatt about what supplements are actually good for—as well as how this unregulated industry is monetizing fears around future viruses. They also discuss the wild west of nootropics, supposed brain-enhancing substances that don’t scare you about pandemics, but instead make you believe that with just a little more optimization you’ll be the most perfect you possible…until another product drop, that is. To discuss the world of lack that other influencers capitalize on, we’ll discuss the annual A Fest, a TED-style wellness gathering for millionaires that banks on you never actually feeling content in your life, but instead chasing a promise of unachievable eternal betterment. Show NotesInside the Wellness Festival for Millionaires Human Rights Watch: Jordan Kevin Klatt on Instagram | Twitter -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/15/20221 hour, 18 minutes, 43 seconds
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Brief: The Right-Wing Machinery of Stochastic Terror

In this special report, Julian examines how the machinery of right-wing propaganda engineers the necessary conditions for stochastic terror. The recent waves of dehumanizing anti-LGBTQ bigotry heighten the probability of extremist violence. When it happens—as in November's tragic mass-shooting at Club Q, pointing this out leads right-wing media to quickly accuse the left of exploiting tragedy. Worse still, we're supposedly defending "groomers" and "child mutilation." Meanwhile literal swastika flag-waving Nazis, as well as Proud Boys, Patriot Front, and other armed militia-types are increasingly showing up outside LGBTQ venues across the country. Terrorists deliberately sabotaged a North Carolina power grid, in an act many believe was designed to stop a drag show. Forty thousand people were without power for four days in early December as a result. At the epicenter of this latest toxic culture war shock-wave is The Daily Wire. Funded by idiosyncratic religious fundamentalists who believe abortion and homosexuality are not only sins, but should be crimes—their roster of edgy, slickly produced personalities, like Ben Shapiro, Matt Walsh, Candace Owens, and now, Jordan Peterson, all go hard on the ugliest characterizations, both of LGBTQ people, and of the teachers and doctors who care for them. Julian shows how they have picked up on James Lindsay's outrageous conspiracy claim of a "handshake agreement" between communists and pedophiles, and how the "grass roots" moral panic org. with super PAC funding, Moms for Liberty, is hijacking school boards in Red states and Blue. -- -- -- Support us on Patreon Pre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | Julian Original music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/13/202248 minutes, 3 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Leaving S-Factor pt. 2 (w/Jessica Hopper)

Those who fly high, fall hard. Pole dance company S-Factor crashed and burned in 2021 amidst a stack of complaints. Detractors said the company was conducting unlicensed group therapy, cosplaying enlightenment by co-opting the labour of sex workers, and whitewashing issues of racial equality.Created by former actor Sheila Kelley, S-Factor monetized pole dancing as a path of feminist and spiritual awakening.In Part 2 of this Listener Story, Matthew speaks to Jessica Hopper about her 13 years learning and teaching in the now-defunct company. Hopper paints a picture of a confusing, high-demand group, and tells us how she made her way out. NOTE: During our discussion, Jessica recounts a tense all-hands S-factor staff meeting to discuss PR strategy at a crucial moment as the company cracked-up over issues of white fragility. I wasn't able to secure a recording of that call before my interview with Jessica, or since. But after we recorded, I did confirm what Jessica reports about it with 3 of the other participants on that call.  MRShow NotesStripped Down: The Undoing of Hollywood's Favorite Pole-Dancing Studio —Hollywood Reporter."Strip Down, Rise Up" | Official Trailer | NetflixFaces of Fierce Femininity—online conference organized by Kelly BroganVisual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema—Laura Mulvey, 1975 -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/12/20229 minutes, 13 seconds
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UNLOCKED: Girl, Interrupted (pt 1)

Julian and Matthew take a long look at the 1999 film Teal Swan was reportedly obsessed with as a teen. Girl, Interrupted is a bold adaptation of a 1993 memoir by the writer Susanna Kaysen about the 18 months she spent undergoing treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder in a Massachusetts psychiatric facility in the late 1960s. This is episode 7 of the Swan Song Series.This study is provoked by a memory recounted by Swan's childhood friend, Diana Hansen Ribera, that Swan identified with the character of Lisa Rowe in the film. Angelina Jolie won an Oscar for her searing performance of Rowe, a sociopath. Show NotesGirl, Interrupted — Susanna Kaysen1607: Growing up with Teal Swan - Diana Hansen RiberaMad, Bad, and Sad: Women and the Mind Doctors by Lisa Appignanesi | GoodreadsBrittany Murphy: Inside Her Sudden Death at 32 That Still Confounds HollywoodGirl, Interrupted at her Music. Vermeer. 1660.It’s the painting from whose frame a girl looks out, ignoring her beefy music teacher, whose proprietary hand rests on her chair. The light is muted, winter light, but her face is bright. I looked into her brown eyes and I recoiled. She was warning me of something—she had looked up from her work to warn me. Her mouth was slightly open, as if she had just drawn a breath in order to say to me, “Don’t!” I moved backward, trying to get beyond the range of her urgency. But her urgency filled the corridor. “Wait,” she was saying, “wait! Don’t go!” — Susanna Kaysen, Girl, Interrupted -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/10/20221 hour, 30 minutes, 29 seconds
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132: Ye, Balenciaga, & Twilight Zone Propaganda (w/Francesca Tripodi)

We didn't have tracking BDSM Easter eggs in fashion shoots or Ye’s Jew-hating Christofascism on our bingo card. But here we are, covering a cluster of cursed images and hypomanic clips.We’ll stare right at the train wreck this week, but we refuse to feel hopeless. Because we can always learn—in this case about how the psychic and bodily impacts of this churn of bizarre hatred relate to the function of propaganda. And we can always be inspired by people who slow down and do the hard work of understanding the spectacle. From our side of the progressive aisle, it's easy to assume that consumers of Ye and conspiracy theories are gullible cultural dopes. But our guest today, sociologist and media scholar at UNC, Chapel Hill, Francesca Tripodi says "not so fast!" To understand how right-wing propaganda functions, she spent months consuming a conservative digital news-diet and went undercover in hard-right circles. Show NotesKanye "Ye" West—The Emperor w/No Clothes (TimbahOnToast)Balenciaga and the long history of "shockvertising"Jewish Allies  Denounce Trump's Dinner w/AntisemitesMasked Ye West Praises Hitler on Alex Jones' InfoWarsProud Boy Founder Gavin McInnes Hosts Ye WestQAA 210: Balenciaga, Ye, Club Q -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/8/20221 hour, 37 minutes, 45 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Leaving S-Factor pt. 1 (w/Jessica Hopper)

Those who fly high, fall hard. Pole dance company S-Factor crashed and burned in 2021 amidst a stack of complaints. Detractors said the company was conducting unlicensed group therapy, cosplaying enlightenment by co-opting the labour of sex workers, and whitewashing issues of racial equality.Created by former actor Sheila Kelley, S-Factor monetized pole dancing as a path of feminist and spiritual awakening.In this second installment of Listener Stories (part 2 next week), Matthew speaks to Jessica Hopper about her 13 years learning and teaching in the now-defunct company. Hopper paints a picture of a confusing, high-demand group, and tells us how she made her way out.Show NotesStripped Down: The Undoing of Hollywood's Favorite Pole-Dancing Studio —Hollywood Reporter."Strip Down, Rise Up" | Official Trailer | NetflixFaces of Fierce Femininity—online conference organized by Kelly Brogan Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema—Laura Mulvey, 1975 -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/5/202210 minutes, 6 seconds
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Brief: Digging up the Hampstead Hoax (w/Alexi Mostrous)

Matthew checks in with investigative journalist Alexi Mostrous on his fantastic work digging up the Hampstead Hoax. Show Notes Hoaxed — Tortoise Media Re P and Q (Children: Care Proceedings: Fact Finding) Jacqui Farmer's "Hampstead Research" Charlotte Ward’s conspirituality.org About page Hoaxtead Research -- -- -- Support us on Patreon Pre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | Julian Original music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/3/202229 minutes, 28 seconds
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131: Parasite Cleanses are Full of Sh*t (feat Mallory DeMille)

Did you know, right now, as you sit there listening to this, your body is filled with parasites that need to be cleansed? Of course, that’s if you live in America, since every other country on the planet cleanses four times a year. Seriously. We heard it on TikTok.Scrolling through the gutters of TikTok is challenging for us Gen Xers, and so our TikTok correspondent, Mallory DeMille, has done the dirty work for us. After laying out an all-too-common supplement scam, she looks at the shitty world of parasite cleanses where budding influencers snap strange shots of their feces before scaring you into their downline. I’ll also preview a bit of my upcoming conversation with dietician Kevin Klatt, who’s been tracking this TikTok trend with dismay as well. He’ll bring the science while Mallory breaks down the techniques.Show NotesMallory DeMille on TwitterKevin Klatt on InstagramParasite cleanses are ‘modern snake oil.’ Experts explain why.Mason Kuhr on TikTokStampede Network on TikTokKim Rogers on TikTok -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/1/20221 hour, 2 minutes, 54 seconds
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Bonus Sample: The Super Best Most Pure Immune-Boosting Supplement Ever (Until Next Week)

Are you ready for the bestest, purest immunity-boosting supplement in the history of the world? No, not that one. Only I have discovered what really works, and I'll share it with you this week.Ok, not quite, but Derek looks at a recent JAMA study that found many of the top 30 supplements sold on Amazon don't contain what they claim. He opens by looking at Mikki Willis's latest best supplement ever, as well as a naturopath and her binder filled with detoxing supplement protocols. Show NotesWellness influencers don't understand history Does Z-Stack multivitamin work to boost the immune system, and is it safe? Analysis of Select Dietary Supplement Products Marketed to Support or Boost the Immune System  -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/28/20226 minutes, 2 seconds
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130: Can We Stop Abusing Fat People? (w/Aubrey Gordon)

Well jeez. What can we say? We're totally honored to host and learn from Aubrey Gordon, author and co-host of Maintenance Phase. She gives us the rundown on anti-fat bias,  its links to racism, the soft eugenics of the BMI, the insincere "concern" of the slender, and the intellectual and moral dead end of "being fat is a choice." We also get into some psychothinalysis. Oh yes we do.It's super inspiring to interview someone with a deep command of crucial material, plus the ability to pivot in startling directions, plus the skill to listen as fluently as they speak, plus all that warmth and welcome and empathy and accessibility. Thanks Aubrey! Show NotesYour Fat Friend websiteWhat We Don't Talk About When We Talk About Fat“You Just Need to Lose Weight” AND 19 OTHER MYTHS ABOUT FAT PEOPLE—PreorderMaintenance PhaseCorrection section: The NHS was limiting care for fat people and smokers *before* the pandemic (The Guardian), but backed off of that stance *during* the pandemic (NYT) before naming weight loss as one of its primary COVID strategies (Time Magazine). -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/24/20221 hour, 12 minutes, 32 seconds
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Bonus Sample: The Courage to Heal Pt. 2

Matthew and Julian sit down for the second of a two-part examination of the 1988 bestseller at the heart of the recovered memory movement.  This is episode 10 of the Swan Song Series. Show NotesControversy Behind the False Memory Syndrome Foundation The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse Truth and reconciliation Cases That Have Resulted in Convictions Why The Courage to Heal Isn't on My Recommended Reading List Creating Hysteria25 Years of Trauma Treatment Networker 2014 -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/21/20229 minutes, 27 seconds
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UNLOCKED: Michelle Remembers: Literal Symbols

The homestretch of our study of Michelle Remembers zeroes in on the literal symbols—and symbols gone literal—of the Satanic Panic. (This is episode 6 of  the Swan Song Series.)Archetypes, gore, anxieties about sex and babies and filth: Lawrence Pazder mined it all, using modes of abstraction and dehumanization as old as religion itself to weave a story he claimed was all about Michelle—but was really an exercise of his own fetishes.Michelle Smith could have received proper care for her understandable stresses. She could have offered up her feelings and sensations and images from dreams for discussion and contemplation, and an actual therapist would have held that material safely for her to explore. But in Pazder, Smith found someone who wasn’t interested in common human complexity. He was interested in cosmic warfare, and the role he could LARP within it.But Pazder was so blind to his craven narcissism that he couldn’t help but tell on himself. In the final passage we analyze, Pazder records Smith demanding to end therapy. “If I could tear out my tongue,” she says, “I would never have to speak again.” But in the very next paragraph, the man who is forcing her to “remember” symbolically tears out her tongue, rejecting her plea to end the sessions, interpreting her demand as though it were coming from Satan himself.She imagines herself getting in a car and driving and driving, anywhere. Away from this psychiatrist who wanted to be an exorcist, away from his story, perhaps to find her own. Show NotesHIGHEST GAME IN TOWN‘I See His Blood Upon the Rose’How to Lose Weight (Weight Loss and Obesity) - Teal SwanThe Cause of Obesity - Teal Swan Articles -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/19/20221 hour, 47 minutes, 28 seconds
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129: White Christian Nationalism (w/Philip Gorski & Samuel Perry)

American-style white Christian Nationalism tells of a promised land given by God to the Puritan settlers. Their divine mandate for political dominance sanctifies a violent history that stretches from the 1690's all the way through to modern right-wing politics. Our interview today is with sociologists, Philip Gorski and Samuel Perry, authors of The Flag and The Cross. We discuss their study of Christian Nationalism as a white supremacist phenomenon that has always leaned into conspiracism and a primordial obsession with blood purity and blood sacrifice. With the dreaded midterm elections now in our rearview, Derek covers the Muscular Christian masturbation rules of bro-science influencer Ben Greenfield, while we reflect on the prophesied red wave that never crashed. Show NotesThe Flag and the Cross—Gorski and PerryIs Christian nationalism growing or declining? Both.Most Republicans Support Declaring the United States a Christian NationRally Urges US Midterm Voting Connected to ChristianityBen Greefield: How I Practice The Spiritual Disciplines, Practical Ways To Build Your Spiritual Muscles, Listener Q&A On God, Religion, Reincarnation, Masturbation & Much More. -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/17/20221 hour, 42 minutes, 6 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Kanye, Candace & The Christian Billionaires

Antisemitism is in the news again, as Candace Owens defends Kanye West and Kyrie Irving, while her boss, Ben Shapiro shakes his head in dismay. In this Bonus special report, Julian looks into the Assembly of Yahweh family, which funds conservative new media giants, The Daily Wire and PragerU.How do we make sense of the racial and religious tensions created by the strange bedfellow alliances of right-wing propaganda? -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/14/20228 minutes, 29 seconds
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128: The Trauma of Caste (w/Thenmozhi Soundararajan)

An ancient text at the root of the culture that gave birth to the yoga tradition says that if an outcaste person—a Dalit—dares to learn the holy language of Sanskrit, they must be tortured. Molten lead must be poured into their ears. Their tongue must be cut out. In the Ramayana, a Shudra (caste oppressed) who dared to practice yoga was murdered so that the sickly child of a priestly family might regain his health. In the Mahabharata, an Adivasi (South Asian Indigenous) boy is commanded to cut off his own thumb for the sin of being self-taught and skilled above his station. The pious are told that these obscene retributions maintain the divine order.Indian wisdom traditions have globalized to the extent that its evangelists have laundered the spiritualization of caste-based violence, and hidden its history from erstwhile progressives. Many of those evangelists have either been caste privileged, or caste apologists. The yoga they constructed for export has become a form of soft power, serving Hindu nationalist objectives.   The Trauma of Caste: A Dalit Feminist Meditation on Survivorship, Healing, and Abolition by Thenmozhi Soundararajan puts this history under a microscope. It pulls back the curtain on the carceral impacts of terms like dharma and karma, and concepts like purity, pollution, and reincarnation. In terms of our work here at Conspirituality, Soundararajan's text cuts through the romantic Orientalism used by influencers, cult leaders, and nationalists to exploit emotional vulnerabilities. It also points to—and updates—a vision of spiritual practice first articulated by the Dalit leader B. R. Ambedkar, rooted in the ancient Buddhist call to compassion and equality. Show NotesThe Trauma of Caste by Thenmozhi SoundararajanThenmozhi Soundararajan: Transmedia Artist, Theorist & FuturistB. R. Ambedkar -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/10/20221 hour, 22 minutes, 2 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Swan Song Series 9 | Courage to Heal Pt. 1

Matthew and Julian sit down for the first of a two-part examination of the 1988 bestseller at the heart of the recovered memory movement—which played a central role in validating Satanic Panic testimonials.The basic premise of The Courage to Heal, by creative writing instructors Ellen Bass and Linda Davis,  is that memories of childhood abuse, especially child sexual abuse, can be recovered and articulated by survivors who are given the proper space, tools, and validation. The book explores how this be facilitated within the context of journaling, writing poetry, and writing memoir, and what the therapeutic benefits of full confessional articulation can be.While countless people affirm that this book was a lifeline during a time in which recovery resources for child abuse survivors were rare,  there are substantial problems with the book's method, claims about memory, dodgy sources, and endorsement of outright Satanic Panic propaganda. Show NotesControversy Behind the False Memory Syndrome FoundationThe Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual AbuseTruth and reconciliation Cases That Have Resulted in Convictions Why The Courage to Heal Isn't on My Recommended Reading List | HealthyPlaceCreating Hysteria 25 Years of Trauma Treatment Networker 2014 -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/7/202210 minutes, 57 seconds
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UNLOCKED: Swan Song Series 5 | Michelle Remembers: Themes & Framing

In the second of three episodes on Michelle Remembers, we recap its Catholic contexts, and Lawrence Pazder's quest to transcend the limitations of psychiatry through mystical nightmares. We then explore the front matter: how Pazder introduces his project (and himself), and the ambivalent endorsement of Remi de Roo, Archbishop of Victoria. In Pazder's many clerical alliances, a crucial theme is established: the rapprochement between psychiatry and the priesthood, in which the former submits to the latter to restore the reality of the supernatural.We also look at the pre-emptively defensive  intro penned by the publisher, Thomas B. Congdon Jr. He claimed to have verified the substance of the book through interviews, and thought that Pazder and Smith were very earnest and forthcoming people when he hosted them for editorial meetings. Okay sure.Show NotesRemi De RooThomas B. Congdon, Editor of Best Sellers Like 'Jaws,' Dies at 77The Beginning of a Community -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/5/20221 hour, 36 minutes, 15 seconds
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127: Doing Good in Impossibly Bad Times (w/Rebecca Carter-Chand, Mark Roseman & Peter Staudenmaier)

Mark Roseman opens Lives Reclaimed, his compelling history of the “Bund”—a leftist communitarian group that resisted fascism and protected Jews during the Reich—with a quote from Michael Ondaatje’s novel The Cat’s Table: “That was a small lesson I learned on the journey. What is interesting and important happens mostly in secret, in places where there is no power.” Roseman, a professor of Jewish and German Studies at University of Indiana at Bloomington, joins Matthew to paint a picture of methodical, relational, and spiritual resistance to the speed and terror of fascism. At the center of the conversation is the quandary of how the Bund made generative use of many of the same naturalistic and spiritualist ideals and practices that were central to the physical culture of fascism. Joining the panel are Peter Staudenmaier, professor of modern Germany history at Marquette, and Rebecca Carter-Chand, historian at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Peter and Rebecca add their expertise on the tangled ferment of religious and ideological passions in the background of Nazism, and how persistent, even through the worst of times, our flickers of altruism and empathy can be.But before all that: we’ll cover the Q-pilled assassination attempt on Nancy Pelosi that has left Paul Pelosi in urgent care, and far-right media scrambling to overwrite the facts.Show NotesLives Reclaimed — RosemanDr. Rebecca Carter-Chand — United States Holocaust Memorial MuseumDr. Peter Staudenmaier - History  The Futurist Manifesto Filippo Tommaso Marinetti The Awful Truth: Paul Pelosi Was Drunk Again, And In a Dispute With a Male Prostitute Early Friday Morning.Pelosi attack suspect David DePape shared conspiracy theoriesCriminal complaint: David DepapeDepape’s archived sitePelosi attacker was immersed in 2020 election conspiracies -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/3/20222 hours, 3 minutes, 32 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Shurka Tank

Imagine a technology so powerful it's been directly downloaded from spirit during a Scorpio eclipse. This revolutionary tool can cure burn victims, remove cysts from dogs, and endow you with ultimate productivity. Thanks to phase conjugation, this bioenhanced scalar tech will change the way you view medicine and healing forever—provided you don't have any expectations and remain open to source, that is. And whatever any of that means, Derek will try to decipher—and fail, though some other aspects become clearer in the process.  -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/31/20227 minutes, 54 seconds
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126: Light Language TikTok (feat Mallory DeMille)

Listeners: today’s episode marks a turning point for us all here at Conspirituality HQ. Humbled by a recent quantum download, we realize that we have for too long been relying on our critical faculties. For too long we have insisted that words mean things. Our poisoned irony has calcified our throat chakras and burned your ears to the point you may never trust a spiritual influencer again. Today we release our addiction to meaning, our fetish for precision in words. We begin to trust the inner babbler of heart-language. We hearken to the oracles, the speakers in tongues, the oompa loompa doompety doos, the glossalalics who trimper the ainions with seedgly refurns. Our hope is that with their help, we can begin to scrize the colong of wolfile stenoses.But we cannot enter this new world of activated communication alone. Our guide today is correspondent Mallory DeMille, who comes to us from the land of TikTok, where Light Language has gone viral, and is making bank, bank, bankity bing bong bank.Show NotesMallory on Instagram | TwitterKundun - Nechung oracle Blonk performs Ursonate with real-time typographySofia for anxiety: Reply to @jennam1127 anxiety reliefSofia: “Removing Darkness”Sofia helping with everyone’s kidneysSofia’s light language was “opened up” by ayahuascaSofia has her activations turned into tie dye wraps so awesome“Become a Light Language Practitioner” with SofiaSofia provides light language for lonelinessSheryl presents: Light Language LoveSheryl needs you to sit TF downSheryl’s waiverLily on -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/27/20221 hour, 24 minutes, 44 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Luciano's Good Death

A departure today, as Matthew eulogizes his teacher and friend Luciano Iacobelli.From the opening:This story may be a little personal and indulgent, but I’ll take a risk on it because I think it hints at an answer to a question we often get on the podcast about our own beliefs in the existential or spiritual categories. We spend a lot of time eviscerating bog-standard hypocrisy in the economy of spirituality. Listeners resonate with this, but the project is also depressing, and in the parasocial contract they form with us, finding out that we still believe in something, or that something still provides relief—this becomes important. It’s never a comfortable question to answer in the abstract. It's a gift when something  comes along that shows instead of tells.Show NotesConversation with Luciano IacobelliSEED Part One – Michael BarkerIN MEMORIAM: Remembering Luciano Iacobelli – Accenti Magazine -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/24/20225 minutes, 11 seconds
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125: Deliver Us From “Evil” (w/Amy Berg)

What is the state  of the documentary film in the age of manipulative online propaganda? In the hands and eyes of a documentarian like Amy Berg we find a journalistic commitment to the truth combined with the artistry of compelling and intimate story-telling.  Along the way, her projects are guided by an obsession with  justice. In two cases—that of the West Memphis Three, and more recently the murder trial of Adnen Syed— her film-making played a role in changing the real-world narrative; leading to the release of those wrongfully convicted via cultural bias, moral panic, and conspiracy theories. In other instances Amy's work has embodied investigative journalism to show how real conspiracies hide the awful abuse of innocents, while protecting the powerful. We ask her how she measures her instincts against the evidence, how she gains the trust of people who have been ignored for decades, how she managed to log days of interview time with an abusive ex-priest, and how she keeps her mental health intact amidst all the uncertainty. In This Week in Conspirituality, Matthew covers an example of the co-optation of trauma-informed jargon by women in the land of the Three Percenters. Show NotesPro-Trump brand is fined by FTC for incorrect ‘Made in the USA’ labelsThe Lion: Sean Whalen Is Empowering Thousands to Take Accountability for Their LivesAubrey Marcus's "Code of the Sentient Savage" -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/20/20221 hour, 29 minutes, 49 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Swan Song Series 8 | Girl, Interrupted (pt 2)

The second part of Julian and Matthew's long look at the 1999 film Teal Swan was reportedly obsessed with as a teen. Girl, Interrupted is a freewheeling adaptation of a 1993 memoir by Susanna Kaysen about the 18 months she spent undergoing treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder in a Massachusetts psychiatric facility in the late 1960s.This study is provoked by a memory recounted by Swan's childhood friend, Diana Hansen Ribera, that Swan identified with the character of Lisa Rowe in the film. Angelina Jolie won an Oscar for her searing performance of Rowe, a sociopath. In this second episode, we explore several characters that Swan may have (and may yet) identify with, discuss the awkwardness of portraying mental health narratives on the big screen, and what it would really take for such an intense film to be digestible for typical teenagers. Matthew ends with a meditation on immersive/claustrophobic media—which Swan goes on to master—compared with the relief of developing a meta-view capable of inhabiting many stories, as opposed to imitating one.Show NotesSENECA THE YOUNGER, HERCULES FURENS - Theoi Classical Texts Library Hercules (Seneca)Girl, Interrupted — Susanna Kaysen1607: Growing up with Teal Swan - Diana Hansen RiberaMad, Bad, and Sad: Women and the Mind Doctors by Lisa AppignanesiBrittany Murphy: Inside Her Sudden Death at 32 That Still Confounds Hollywood -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/17/20229 minutes, 27 seconds
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124: No Bad Idea Ever Dies (w/Thomas Lecaque)

For the prophet and the revolutionary alike, the time is always now. Gird up your loins brave heroes, and show your true faith! The signs portend that The Last World Emperor is rising to do battle against the AntiChrist. The time is always now, but in that flat circle of iterative history, no bad idea is really new under the Black Sun—it's just been engineered to go more viral. Our guest today is history professor Thomas Lecaque, who writes about how medieval ethnonationalist holy war is woven into hugely popular video games, right-wing political rhetoric, and even how assault weapons are marketed. Julian talks with him about the Hobbit-fetish of new Italian PM and heir to Mussolini, Giorgia Meloni, as well as the American right’s obsession with the Templar Knights, and the troubling midterm election trend of open White Christian Nationalism. For TWIC, Matthew muses on the overlaps between conspirituality and neo-fascism, but first Derek reports on the battle between testicular cuisine and buttery coffee. Show NotesManclan Episode 1: Liver King vs the Soy Boys Cornell Expert Warns Against Megadosing VitaminsDietary Supplements Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/13/20221 hour, 59 minutes, 56 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Methylene Blues

Methylene blue will give you more energy! It’s neuroprotective! Your skin will never look better! Your bunghole will never be bluer!This week, Derek investigates one of biohacking’s hottest trends: a textile dye that does, in fact, have medical applications—just not the ones optimizers are promoting, and optimizing. He’ll look into this organic compound’s history, how it’s being marketed by the butter coffee guy, and finally, reading from Aubrey Marcus’s latest newsletter on blue buttholes.Show NotesSo You Want to Pop Into a Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber to Rid Yourself of Wrinkles?Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy: Get the FactsWhen Medicines Go Rogue, Part 1: Methylene Blue -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/10/20223 minutes, 50 seconds
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UNLOCKED: Swan Song Series 4 | Michelle Remembers: Context & History

There's no Teal Swan without the Satanic Panic. And there's no Satanic Panic without the 1980 publication of Michelle Remembers, by Lawrence Pazder and Michelle Smith.In this first of three segments on this melted book, Matthew and Julian cover its historical, cultural, and mass media context. We start with a review of a 1985 20/20 episode called “The Devil Worshippers” for a taste of how mainstream outlets hosted cranks like Pazder, giving him a hall pass on evidence, and overlooking how his Catholic fetishes and paranoias played a huge role in the fictions he spun. The post Vatican 2 context is crucial, especially as we bear witness to the current political triumphs of Trad-Cath propaganda and politics in our post-Roe, QAnon -fried world. For help, we look to an excellent essay by social historian Bernard Doherty about the genre and elements of the Catholic Horror Film, which begins with Rosemary's Baby in 1968. This reactionary genre attempted to respond to modernizing—or postmodernizing, as Jordan Peterson might say—changes in Church doctrine. Bottom line? The Satanic Panic largely begins in and is sustained by Catholic-flavoured conspirituality anxiety about secularization, sex, babies, and abortion. CORRECTIONS: My dad informs me that I've made some Pope mistakes! Pius X was the last legitimate Pope according to the sedavacantists, and John XXIII, not Paul XXIII, opened the Vatican 2 proceedings. Thx dad. MRShow NotesMichael Hobbes and Sarah Marshall cover Michelle Remembers with great skill. "20/20" the Devil Worshippers - May 16, 1985West of Memphis movie review & film summaryMel Gibson: The man without a popeThe Smoke of Satan on the Silver Screen: The Catholic Horror Film, Vatican II, and the Revival of Demonology | Journal for the Academic Study of Religion -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/8/20221 hour, 46 minutes, 10 seconds
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123: The Red-Pilled "Academic" Who Named Our Podcast

Mystery topic today. Emergency episode. Breaking story. Amazing if true! Totally transformative plot twist. You gotta listen through for the big reveal, and then hit smash for more.Spoiler alert: QAnon was foreshadowed by Pizzagate, but Pizzagate was foreshadowed by a moral panic in London, England that was driven in part by someone the three of us are karmically bound to, for good or ill, forever.But first, Derek’s got a This Week in Conspirituality segment on the boom times for pseudoscience telehealth. Psychic healing for Zoom, as he calls it.Show NotesNetwork of right-wing health care providers is making millions off hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin, hacked data revealsThe Anti-vax founder of America’s Frontline Doctors now has a license to practice in FloridaUS cardiologist makes false claims about Covid-19 vaccinationHoaxed Teal Swan allegations documentsRe P and Q (Children: Care Proceedings: Fact Finding)Jacqui Farmer's "Hampstead Research"Illuminati Party! - Reasons Not to Be Scared of the Illuminati.Charlotte Ward’s conspirituality.org About pageFull article: The Emergence of ConspiritualityHoaxtead ResearchCharlotte writing as Jacqui on conspirituality.orgCharlotte Ward denounces ‘Hampstead psy op’ | HOAXTEAD RESEARCH Charlotte Ward - Academia.eduWard cites Icke -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/6/20221 hour, 23 minutes, 46 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Swan Song Series 7 | Girl, Interrupted (pt 1)

Julian and Matthew take a long look at the 1999 film Teal Swan was reportedly obsessed with as a teen. Girl, Interrupted is a bold adaptation of a 1993 memoir by the writer Susanna Kaysen about the 18 months she spent undergoing treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder in a Massachusetts psychiatric facility in the late 1960s.This study is provoked by a memory recounted by Swan's childhood friend, Diana Hansen Ribera, that Swan identified with the character of Lisa Rowe in the film. Angelina Jolie won an Oscar for her searing performance of Rowe, a sociopath. Show NotesGirl, Interrupted — Susanna Kaysen1607: Growing up with Teal Swan - Diana Hansen RiberaMad, Bad, and Sad: Women and the Mind Doctors by Lisa AppignanesiBrittany Murphy: Inside Her Sudden Death at 32 That Still Confounds Hollywood -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/3/20229 minutes, 24 seconds
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122: Timeline Retox: Biohacking and Fascism and Stuff

The book is filed. Our mental health is in check. And, as it turns out, Matthew found a new guru. We return to trio work by investigating his fellow Canadian's cure for, uh, anything, or maybe something, as well diving into two biohacking conferences and the conspiritualist's new favorite fascist on the block. Show NotesTip of the iceberg: erectile dysfunction and COVID-19 | International Journal of Impotence Research Will in the News, TV & Internet Culture Umberto Eco Makes a List of the 14 Common Features of Fascism | Open Culture The Cruelty Is the Point Alessio Di Giulio's Racist Selfie With Roma Woman Enrages Italy Meloni holding melons CPAC: The Whole World is Watching - Giorgia Meloni Dal rugby allo yoga, tutto lo sport di Giorgia Meloni Pierre Poilievre rubs his old wood  -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/29/20221 hour, 23 minutes, 48 seconds
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Bonus Sample: A Course in Monstrosities

If you tune into your favorite Instagram wellness influencer or financial life coach, you’ll learn that money is really a state of mind—right? Thinking the right thoughts is the truest judge of character, and therefore indicative of your bottom line. This week Derek looks at research from behavioral economics, which found the perceived relationship between wealth and morality dates back to post-WWII America—and has damaged the poorest among us for generations. He weighs evidence from this field, which looks at the real societal and political causes of wealth disparity, against the metaphysical bullshit that proponents of the “mindset creates wealth” uber-text, A Course in Miracles, try to sell you.Show NotesWhy we shouldn’t push a positive mindset on those in povertyThe Causal Effects of Place on Health and Longevity -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/26/20226 minutes, 49 seconds
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UNLOCKED: Swan Song Series 3 | Listening to Teal Swan’s Mom and Dad

Some of the most valuable material that come to us from Paula Marino's Open Shadow film of 2017 is an extended interview with Swan's parent's, the Bosworths. They speak about Swan's sensory sensitivity as a young child, and how that morphed into a staunchly independent but sometimes isolated social life. They describe Swan's secret runic writing, their belief in her capacities as a medical intuitive, and discuss the gaps in psychiatric care that failed them all when her mental health needed help. This episode examines this interview, and then cross-checks some aspects against the account of Swan's childhood friend, Diana Hansen Ribera.Here we have the unique insight into parents speaking vulnerably and transparently about their baffling child—which means we can really lean into the primal material that pre-exists the charged questions about whether Teal Swan is  running a cult or encouraging suicide. What we find, between the accounts of the Bosworths and Ribera, is a collection of commonplace phenomena: high sensitivity, parents learning as they go, the intrusion of internet pornography, and a likely abusive figure who was too close to the family.In this episode, Matthew and Julian discuss the mystery of familial memory, idealizing vs. pathologizing children, the appeals of fantasy as a mode of relief, whether the Satanic Panic was a collective cry for help to resolve commonplace domestic and community abuse, and the possibility that cult formation is a social form of post traumatic play. Show NotesOpen Shadow — Paula MarinoDo You Cry Easily? You May Be a 'Highly Sensitive Person'The science behind why some of us are shyStudy: Pornography does not cause violent sex crimesWhen Children Act Out Sexually: A Guide for Parents and Teachers1607: Growing up with Teal Swan - Diana Hansen Ribera“Forbidden Games”: Post-Traumatic Child's Play — Lenore TerrValerie L. Dripchak (2007). Posttraumatic Play: Towards Acceptance and Resolution. , 35(2), 125–134. doi:10.1007/s10615-006-0068-y -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/24/20221 hour, 15 minutes, 12 seconds
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121: The Gospel of Wellness (w/Rina Raphael)

Are you ready to biohack your brain with buttered coffee? How about going “within” at the Drybar of acupuncture? What if we told you that cannabis will catapult your chakras into higher consciousness—all it costs is a $5,000 retreat entry fee, not including airfare and hotel? In the $4.4 trillion wellness industry, is any cost really too expensive to achieve true self-care—even if it never really seems like you arrive anywhere at all?Rina Raphael was getting burnt out as a millennial digital news producer at NBC News. And so she did what anyone would do: she moved to Los Angeles in search of that self-care. Yet she could never shake her journalistic chops, and so she ended up writing about the wellness industry for the NY Times, the LA Times, Fast Company, and other publications. Her skeptical eye and earnest curiosity lead her to write her brand new book, The Gospel of Wellness: Gyms, Gurus, Goop, and the False Promise of Self-Care. And she’s here this week to talk to us this week about her adventures in modern spirituality—its teachings as well as its traps. Show NotesThe Gospel of WellnessWell To Do — Rina Raphael -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/22/20221 hour, 3 minutes, 29 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Listener Stories: Christina (part 2)

Christina Flinders returns for the second of a two-part tour through her experience with cultic dynamics, conspirituality, and the long road towards finding her place in the world. Picking up where she left off, Flinders discusses breaking free of the sexually abusive cult of Eknath Easwaren, finding ambivalent agency as a stripper, and then graduating to yoga teaching—where she then had to dodge being redpilled.Thanks again to Christina for her generosity and lucidity, and her family for their support.If you'd like to share your story with us and our Patreon community of listeners, please get in touch. -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/19/20224 minutes, 33 seconds
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120: Overripe Avocado (w/Jill Ettinger)

Did you know that Joe Biden is a Satanic alien Nazi pedophile intent on bringing about the New World Order? Or that Donald Trump is the only thing that will save us from complete tyranny? How about the fact that COVID vaccines are bioweapons destroying the global population? But that’s okay, because colloidal silver is the magic bullet that will boost your immune system to help you fend off this scamdemic. Add that to your herbal stack alongside Lung Health Organic Herbal Spray which is definitively proven to boost your immunity even though it’s never been clinically tested.Oh, and have we mentioned that chocolate is an octave of the sun?Strap in, folks, because this week we’re finally looking at David “Avocado” Wolfe, whose paranoid Telegram channel boasts all of the above claims and much, much more. And we’re not just clipping recent podcast talks and driver’s seat rants. We’re joined by longtime journalist, health food marketing guru, and co-founder of the website, Ethos, Jill Ettinger, who worked side-by-side with David for many years. She’ll tell her side of it—and honestly, it’s not all bad, except for recent years. In effect, we’re looking at a conspiracy-prone health food guru turn full conspiritualist over the last two decades. Bonus: Jill brought Derek along to many events across the country in the aughts, and David was often there, so we’ll hear about this descent from people who watched it happen. -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/15/20221 hour, 13 minutes, 44 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Listener Stories: Christina (part 1)

Christina Flinders is our honoured guest today for the first of a two-part tour through her  experience with cultic dynamics and conspirituality. Matthew and Julian learn about her family's enmeshment in the cult of Eknath Easwaren, and her subsequent journey through rebellion, self discovery, and political awakening.We'd like to thank Christina for her generosity and lucidity, and her family for supporting her in this. We hope that this will be the first in a series. If you'd like to share your story with us and the Patreon community of listeners here, please get in touch.Show NotesComment from Pratik Joshi on Easwaren's abuse history in IndiaPEOPLE v. RUPPENTHALEknath Easwaran on the Training of Attention -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/12/20227 minutes, 44 seconds
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119: We Are Slenderman (w/Kathleen Hale)

On May 31st, 2014, Morgan Geyser stabbed her onetime best friend Bella Leutner nineteen times, while her new best friend, Anissa Weier, looked on. All three girls were twelve years old.  Geyser was living with schizophrenia, and Weier had introduced her to the crowd-sourced internet phantasm known as Slenderman, who first appeared on Something Awful, the message board at the root of chan culture. Together, Geyser and Weier came to believe that Slenderman was demanding a sacrifice in exchange for his protection. Their crime,  at once naïve and brutal,  sparked a moral panic. Author Kathleen Hale joins Matthew to discuss her reporting on this story in her riveting and compassionate new book, Slenderman: Online Obsession, Mental Illness, and the Violent Crime of Two Midwestern Girls.Slenderman is brimming with tenderness for these girls, who are all creative, confused, scared, and ultimately bound to each other through social contagion and mental illness. Hale's writing is accessible but elliptical as it uncovers jagged details, but never easy answers, about a world that predicts our own.  On this podcast we spend a lot of time on the virtual demons that animate conspirituality and QAnon, driving some devotees to violence. Hale's work is good medicine for those who know that internet chaos and mental precarity will remain locked in feedback loops for the foreseeable future. Her meticulous investigation—enriched by hours spent interviewing Morgan Geyser—shows that the road to understanding is always paved with empathy. Show Notes Slenderman — Kathleen HaleAm I being catfished? An author confronts her number one online critic | Books | The Guardian Folklore, Horror Stories, and the Slender Man: The Development of an Internet MythologyThe Slender Man Wiki | Fandom -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/8/20221 hour, 34 minutes, 15 seconds
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Bonus Sample: The Consciousness Instinct

As we're all with family over the holiday weekend, here's a 2018 interview that Derek conducted with neuroscientist Michael Gazzaniga after the publication of his last book, The Consciousness Instinct: Unraveling the Mystery of How the Brain Makes the Mind. Michael revolutionized the field of neuroscience in the 1960s with his work on split-brain patients and remains a towering figure in his field.  -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/5/20226 minutes, 23 seconds
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118: Detoxing From Wellness (w/Kerri Kelly)

Do you ever stop to think about whether or not you can afford organic food—and then consider that many people don’t have such an option? Is Goop’s $295 incense holder a sign of feminine empowerment or merely another Gwneth Paltrow grift? Will that $32 spin class that features an endless litany of positive affirmations make you more likely to slip $5 to the homeless person camped outside of the studio—or does it increase your happiness or contentment levels at all, once the endorphins wear off?These are just some of the questions posed by CTZNWELL founder, Kerri Kelly, in her new book, American Detox: The Myth of Wellness and How We Can Truly Heal. Beginning with her own transformational moment after 9/11, Kerri has long asked difficult questions of both herself and the industry she’s spent decades immersed in. In fact, while Derek and Julian were co-founding the Conspirituality pre-cursor, YogaBrains, over a decade ago, Kerri was an integral member of yoga-activist organization, Off the Mat, Into the World. She joins us this week as co-host to discuss her own origin myth and to tell us exactly how she’s detoxing from America these days.Show NotesAmerican Detox: The Myth of Wellness and How We Can Truly Heal -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/1/202252 minutes, 3 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Swan Song Series 6 | Michelle Remembers: Literal Symbols

The homestretch of our study of Michelle Remembers zeroes in on the literal symbols—and symbols gone literal—of the Satanic Panic. Archetypes, gore, anxieties about sex and babies and filth: Lawrence Pazder mined it all, using modes of abstraction and dehumanization as old as religion itself to weave a story he claimed was all about Michelle—but was really an exercise of his own fetishes.Michelle Smith could have received proper care for her understandable stresses. She could have offered up her feelings and sensations and images from dreams for discussion and contemplation, and an actual therapist would have held that material safely for her to explore. But in Pazder, Smith found someone who wasn’t interested in common human complexity. He was interested in cosmic warfare, and the role he could LARP within it.But Pazder was so blind to his craven narcissism that he couldn’t help but tell on himself. In the final passage we analyze, Pazder records Smith demanding to end therapy. “If I could tear out my tongue,” she says, “I would never have to speak again.” But in the very next paragraph, the man who is forcing her to “remember” symbolically tears out her tongue, rejecting her plea to end the sessions, interpreting her demand as though it were coming from Satan himself.She imagines herself getting in a car and driving and driving, anywhere. Away from this psychiatrist who wanted to be an exorcist, away from his story, perhaps to find her own. Show NotesHIGHEST GAME IN TOWN ‘I See His Blood Upon the Rose’ | Franciscan Media How to Lose Weight (Weight Loss and Obesity) - Teal SwanThe Cause of Obesity - Teal Swan Articles  -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/29/202210 minutes, 9 seconds
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117: The Real Cost of Fitness in America (w/Natalia Petrzela)

Fitness is the beating heart of America. No, wait, that’s opportunistic capitalism. But opportunistic capitalism, as it turns out, is the beating heart of fitness. Yet fitness has a soul too—in fact, mysticism, capitalism, and fitness have been dancing together for a very long time, while politics calls the tune, as historian and assistant professor at The New School, Natalia Petrzela, is here to tell us about today. We should also note that Natalia is our only four-time guest.She’s also the author of an incredible new book, to be published this December by the University of Chicago Press, titled Fit Nation: The Gains and Pains of America’s Exercise Obsession. The book spans over a hundred years, chronicling shifting cultural attitudes, gendered expectations, political inflections, and jackpot innovations in how Americans have celebrated, reviled, bought, sold, and been turned-on or enlightened by rituals of exercise.Like us, Natalia loves physical culture, but contradictions abound in the collisions between embodiment, politics, and commerce. If, as the marketing has told us over the years, recreational running is better for the mind than psychotherapy, moonlit naked hottubing at Esalen can save the world, women can simultaneously embrace dance studio fitness as a path of feminist liberation and a way to titilate the male gaze, and yoga can promise freedom from ever needing drugs or surgery, is it any wonder that a country so obsessed with exercise is so notoriously unhealthy?Show NotesFit Nation: The Gains and Pains of America’s Exercise ObsessionFrom Performance to Participation: The Origins of the Fit NationWorking On The Work of Working Out: A history of fitness in America -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/25/20221 hour, 9 minutes, 24 seconds
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Bonus Sample: JP Sears is Definitely Binary

JP Sears constantly refers to himself as a freethinker. His increasing religiosity is counter to critical thinking, however. Derek responds to two recent videos that detail his religious thinking and transphobia, showing how a specific strain of Christianity—and binary thinking—is not freethought, but propaganda. -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/22/20226 minutes, 35 seconds
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UNLOCKED: Swan Song Series 2 | Teal Swan: Art & Artifice (w/Paola Marino)

In this episode of the Swan Song Series, Matthew interviews Paola Marino about why she found Teal Swan a fascinating subject to film for 2018’s “Open Shadow.” They discuss aesthetics, the mystery of personality, why Swan’s parents agreed to sit down with her. Matthew also surprised her with the newly-revealed translations of Swan’s coded journal pages.Prefacing the interview is a discussion between Julian and Matthew about art, artifice, the risks of doing and not doing hard journalism on the subjects we cover. They discuss James Joyce’s proverb about noble art, in which he describes “aesthetic arrest” as the middle way between propaganda and pornography.Marino’s work attempts to find that path, while Jon Kasbe’s The Deep End falters to both sides. On one hand Kasbe’s film titillates viewers with high drama. On the other hand it tells viewers what they should think. And in both cases it creates a story where the truth would suffice.The feelings excited by improper art are kinetic, desire or loathing. Desire urges us to possess, to go to something; loathing urges us to abandon, to go from something. These are kinetic emotions. The arts which excite them, pornographical or didactic, are therefore improper arts. The esthetic emotion (I use the general term) is therefore static. The mind is arrested and raised above desire and loathing. —James Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young ManShow Notes Open Shadow—Paola MarinoGizmodo Launches 'The Gateway,' an Investigative Podcast About a Controversial Internet Spiritual Guru -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/18/20221 hour, 49 minutes, 41 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Swan Song Series 5 | Michelle Remembers: Themes & Framing

In the second of three episodes on Michelle Remembers, we recap its Catholic contexts, and Lawrence Pazder's quest to transcend the limitations of psychiatry through mystical nightmares. We then explore the front matter: how Pazder introduces his project (and himself), and the ambivalent endorsement of Remi de Roo, Archbishop of Victoria. In Pazder's many clerical alliances, a crucial theme is established: the rapprochement between psychiatry and the priesthood, in which the former submits to the latter to restore the reality of the supernatural. We also look at the pre-emptively defensive  intro penned by the publisher, Thomas B. Congdon Jr. He claimed to have verified the substance of the book through interviews, and thought that Pazder and Smith were very earnest and forthcoming people when he hosted them for editorial meetings. Okay sure.Show NotesRemi De Roo - WikipediaThomas B. Congdon, Editor of Best Sellers Like 'Jaws,' Dies at 77The Beginning of a Community -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/15/20228 minutes, 31 seconds
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116: History is Not a Placebo: Chinese Medicine in America (w/Tamara Venit-Shelton)

Traditional Chinese Medicine is an ancient medical system that has persisted in its homeland for countless generations before being exported to the rest of the world—right? Well, not exactly, but that doesn’t mean the varying sets of practices have not made an impact in China and abroad.This week, historian Tamara Venit-Shelton joins the podcast to talk to Derek about the history of Chinese Medicine in America. The author of Herbs and Roots: A History of Chinese Doctors in the American Medical Marketplace, they discuss the xenophobia and racism that Chinese encountered in the 19th century West, how early Chinese doctors used the exoticism of their system to their advantage when advertising to disaffected Americans who were suspicious of the dominant health care system, the moment that these varying practices became unified by Chairman Mao in the middle of the 20th century, and how the acupuncture needles we use today are not actually Chinese in origin—we can thank the Japanese for the world’s recent widespread adoption of that practice. Show NotesHerbs and Roots: A History of Chinese Doctors in the American Medical MarketplaceTamara Venit-Shelton gets to the roots of Chinese medicine in AmericaEvidence Map of Acupuncture review of systematic reviews on 1,500 RCT’s.David Gorski “Acupuncture is a theatrical placebo, retconned beyond recognition.”$2.5 Spent—No Alternative Cures Found by the NCCIH -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/11/20221 hour, 24 minutes, 12 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Swan Song Series 4 | Michelle Remembers: Context & History

There's no Teal Swan without the Satanic Panic. And there's no Satanic Panic without the 1980 publication of Michelle Remembers, by Lawrence Pazder and Michelle Smith.In this first of three segments on this melted book, Matthew and Julian cover its historical, cultural, and mass media context. We start with a review of a 1985 20/20 episode called “The Devil Worshippers” for a taste of how mainstream outlets hosted cranks like Pazder, giving him a hall pass on evidence, and overlooking how his Catholic fetishes and paranoias played a huge role in the fictions he spun. The post Vatican 2 context is crucial, especially as we bear witness to the current political triumphs of Trad-Cath propaganda and politics in our post-Roe, QAnon -fried world. For help, we look to an excellent essay by social historian Bernard Doherty about the genre and elements of the Catholic Horror Film, which begins with Rosemary's Baby in 1968. This reactionary genre attempted to respond to modernizing—or postmodernizing, as Jordan Peterson might say—changes in Church doctrine.Bottom line? The Satanic Panic largely begins in and is sustained by Catholic-flavoured conspirituality anxiety about secularization, sex, babies, and abortion.Show NotesMichael Hobbes and Sarah Marshall cover Michelle Remembers with great skill. "20/20" the Devil Worshippers - May 16, 1985West of Memphis movie review & film summary (2012) | Roger EbertMel Gibson: The man without a pope - Where Peter IsThe Smoke of Satan on the Silver Screen: The Catholic Horror Film, Vatican II, and the Revival of Demonology | Journal for the Academic Study of Religion -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/8/20228 minutes, 2 seconds
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UNLOCKED: Swan Song Series 1 | Close to Home

We can't understand Teal Swan without understanding the Satanic Panic. And we can't really understand that historical disaster with out feeling our way into the mysteries of memory, fantasy, shame, and terror.Many of you will have heard about therapists interfering in a family constellation by insinuating the client has has memories of abuse to uncover, and that they can’t go forward in their lives without doing that work. This is the bread and butter of Swan's technique, with the result being that many of her close followers come to tell stories  about their childhoods that echo hers. Swan's own story of childhood abuse crystallized after she goes through treatment with a leading Satanic Panic therapist, Barbara Snow. Those are stories on the page. But today, to kick off the Swan Song Series, Julian shares  the moment-by-moment mechanics of how this disastrous parody of therapy turned his own life inside out, and alienated him from his family for a decade. Content warning for listeners: we’ll be talking about stories of child sexual abuse.Show NotesThe Gateway Michelle Remembers, covered by Sarah Marshall and Michael Hobbes Forrest Yoga students ask A. Forrest to stop using the Zia Nation symbol A. Forrest's ostensible mentor  -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/6/20221 hour, 24 minutes, 52 seconds
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115: Controlling Women's Bodies "Naturally" (w/EJ Dickson)

Matthew sits down with ace journalist EJ Dickson to explore her deep archive of reporting on the policing of women's bodies, and how it reflects on her own experience of childbirth.This episode opens and closes with reference to the essay that first introduced Matthew to this world, "Giving Birth in Yogaland," written by his partner Alix, after two C-section deliveries.Show Notes"Giving Birth in Yogaland" —Alix Caleraggapunzel on Instagram —water birth on the beachCovid-19 Vaccine: How Dommes Are Convincing Submissives to Get JabsMatt Gaetz, QAnon Followers, and the GOP Are Exploiting the #FreeBritney MovementAre Sex-Negative 'Puriteens' Actually Taking Over the Internet?'Pastel QAnon' Is Infiltrating the Natural Parenting CommunityPrincess Diana Struggled With Bulimia. Does 'The Crown' Do Her Justice? The Baby-Formula Shortage Has Spawned a New Brand of Mom-ShamersRoe v. Wade: Top Influencers Avoid Abortion Debate - Rolling StoneAmber Heard, Johnny Depp: TikTok Reenactments of Testimony Goes ViralMichelle Phan: How YouTube Beauty Guru Fell in With Bullshit PeddlerThere Are a Million Reasons to Get An Abortion. This Was Mine.Bentinho Massaro: Instagram Guru 'F-king' His Followers 'To Freedom' In Minnie Mouse's D -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/4/202258 minutes, 37 seconds
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Bonus Sample: The Wellness Theory of Depression

A recent review questioning the serotonin theory of depression has revived a generations-long debate over the very notion of "chemical imbalances." While there are plenty of important debates about the roles of pharmacology and psychotherapy in mental health disorders, conspiritualists from both wellness spaces and the far right have been using mental health to promote (and monetize) their own agendas. Derek investigates. Show NotesThe serotonin theory of depression: a systematic umbrella review of the evidenceThe New Study on Serotonin and Depression Isn’t About AntidepressantsInside Kelly Brogan’s Covid-Denying, Vax-Resistant Conspiracy MachineThe Far Right’s Next Target for a Bullshit Moral Panic: Antidepressants -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/1/20228 minutes, 3 seconds
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114: Guns, Germs & Fear (w/Alan Levinovitz)

Life is scary. Natural disasters, violent intruders, and deadly viruses threaten our survival and endanger our loved ones. When ordinary solutions and institutions are not trusted, we may reach for talismanic help; crystals, herbal remedies, ritual prayer and magical thinking, or we might consult the charismatic oracle who channels prophecies from the Great Beyond—right on your iPhone. But what about weaponry? Even though guns exert devastating real-world impact, our guest argues that they also carry an important  symbolic power. While most may never use it, the knowledge that cold hard steel is nearby is one attempt at managing an anxiety that is all-too human. In fact, coping strategies both magical and militaristic are woven into the American political psyche—and as the pandemic has demonstrated, flare up dramatically during social crises; even at times becoming strange bedfellows. Philosophy and religion professor Alan Levinovitz calls this "empowerment epistemology" and describes it as a connective tissue between the seemingly distant domains of gun culture and the wellness sphere. In both cases, this longing for empowerment in the face of helplessness motivates us to cleave to what we believe protects us, regardless of evidence to the contrary—or the tragic consequences in our middle schools and medical ICUs. Show NotesOprah's 'happiness guru' designed apartments to maximize joy — and they start at $5 millionKilling does not come easy for soldiers - The Washington Post Hanns Johst “Schlageter”Quote/Counterquote: “Whenever I hear the word 'culture'…”  -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/28/20221 hour, 32 minutes, 32 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Listening to Teal Swan’s Mom and Dad

Some of the most valuable material that comes to us from Paula Marino's Open Shadow film of 2017 is an extended interview with Swan's parent's, the Bosworths. They speak about Swan's sensory sensitivity as a young child, and how that morphed into a staunchly independent but sometimes isolated social life. They describe Swan's secret runic writing, their belief in her capacities as a medical intuitive, and discuss the gaps in psychiatric care that failed them all when her mental health needed help. This episode examines this interview, and then cross-checks some aspects against the account of Swan's childhood friend, Diana Hansen Ribera.Here we have the unique insight into parents speaking vulnerably and transparently about their baffling child—which means we can really lean into the primal material that pre-exists the charged questions about whether Teal Swan is  running a cult or encouraging suicide. What we find, between the accounts of the Bosworths and Ribera, is a collection of commonplace phenomena: high sensitivity, parents learning as they go, the intrusion of internet pornography, and a likely abusive figure who was too close to the family. In this episode, Matthew and Julian discuss the mystery of familial memory,  idealizing vs. pathologizing children, the appeals of fantasy as a mode of relief, whether the Satanic Panic was a collective cry for help to resolve commonplace domestic and community abuse, and the possibility that cult formation is a social form of post traumatic play. Show NotesOpen Shadow — Paula MarinoDo You Cry Easily? You May Be a 'Highly Sensitive Person'The science behind why some of us are shyStudy: Pornography does not cause violent sex crimesWhen Children Act Out Sexually: A Guide for Parents and Teachers1607: Growing up with Teal Swan - Diana Hansen Ribera“Forbidden Games”: Post-Traumatic Child's Play — Lenore TerrValerie L. Dripchak (2007). Posttraumatic Play: Towards Acceptance and Resolution. , 35(2), 125–134. doi:10.1007/s10615-006-0068-y -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/25/20224 minutes, 54 seconds
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113: A Course in Conspiracies (w/Sam Kestenbaum)

We spend so much time on this podcast discussing the wellness industry’s paranoia around anything from the medical “establishment” or the Luciferean nature of “Big Pharma,” but there’s another devil that’s lurking around every corner: the Mainstream Media. Derek has long argued that there’s no such thing. Media organizations are competing businesses, and while there can be sloppiness when trying to break a story or laziness when rewriting press releases for clicks, the notion of a media “Deep State” is usually part of the conspiritualist’s sales technique, not the reality of modern media. Derek began his career as a religion journalist, and this week he interviews Sam Kestenbaum, who’s made a career in this field. Sam has written for the NY Times and the Washington Post, where he recently published an expose on Christiane Northrup. Derek asks him about this story in particular, as well as his process of reporting on religion, the differences between spirituality and religion, and the coming post-pandemic spirituality surge—and how conspiritualists are already monetizing it.Show NotesChristiane Northrup, once a New Age health guru, now spreads covid disinformationLife After Proclaiming a Trump Re-election As Divinely OrdainedGodspeak Calvary Church Defies Quarantine, Attendance Soars -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/21/20221 hour, 1 minute, 46 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Swan Song Series 2 | Teal Swan: Art and Artifice (w/Paola Marino)

In this episode of the Swan Song Series, Matthew interviews Paola Marino about why she found Teal Swan a fascinating subject to film for 2018’s “Open Shadow.” They discuss aesthetics, the mystery of personality, why Swan’s parents agreed to sit down with her. Matthew also surprised her with the newly-revealed translations of Swan’s coded journal pages.Prefacing the interview is a discussion between Julian and Matthew about art, artifice, the risks of doing and not doing hard journalism on the subjects we cover. They discuss James Joyce’s proverb about  noble art, in which he describes “aesthetic arrest” as the middle way between propaganda and pornography. Marino’s work attempts to find that path, while Jon Kasbe’s The Deep End falters to both sides. On one hand Kasbe’s film titillates viewers with high drama. On the other hand it tells viewers what they should think. And in both cases it creates a story where the truth would suffice. The feelings excited by improper art are kinetic, desire or loathing. Desire urges us to possess, to go to something; loathing urges us to abandon, to go from something. These are kinetic emotions. The arts which excite them, pornographical or didactic, are therefore improper arts. The esthetic emotion (I use the general term) is therefore static. The mind is arrested and raised above desire and loathing. — James Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young ManShow NotesOpen Shadow—Paola MarinoGizmodo Launches 'The Gateway,' an Investigative Podcast About a Controversial Internet Spiritual Guru -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/18/20224 minutes, 25 seconds
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112: The Science Whisperer (w/Danielle Belardo)

This podcast was born in response to COVID and vaccine disinformation that, while bubbling up for some time, flooded the population with the release of the pseudodocumentary, “Plandemic.” Ever since then, we’ve wondered how to combat the constant tides of pseudoscience masquerading as “natural remedies” that conspiritualists champion, then sell for a profit. One of our earliest champions was the Southern California-based cardiologist, Danielle Belardo, who built up a large social media following even before the pandemic ravaged the world. Not only was she on the actual frontlines of COVID wards, but she’s been leading the charge on providing evidence-based information on her social media feeds, as well as her excellent podcast, Wellness: Fact Vs Fiction.Derek was recently a guest on that podcast, and now Danielle returns the favor, joining him to discuss her thoughts on being a science communicator and a female cardiologist in a male-dominated field, as well as many of the wellness myths circling around social media, including supplements, statins, sunscreen, veganism, organic foods, and GMOs.  -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/14/20221 hour, 37 minutes, 18 seconds
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Bonus Sample: The Music of the Conspirituality Podcast

Derek steps back from conspiracies and wellness this week to discuss something very healing and personal to him: music. Specifically, how music has shaped his career, as well as the story behind the music you hear every week on this podcast. Show NotesEarthRise SoundSystem on SpotifyEarthrise SoundSystem vs Nina Simone: Come YeBole 2 HarlemPete KuzmaGlobal Beat Fusion: The History of the Future of Music -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/11/20229 minutes, 26 seconds
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111: Who's Afraid of Teal Swan (pt 2) (w/Jennings Brown)

Our guest today, Jennings Brown, is a bright light in an increasingly chaotic cult-content economy. His 2018 podcast on Teal Swan, The Gateway, produced with Gizmodo, sets a high-watermark standard for research, fairness, and sensitivity. A lot has happened since that pod dropped: #MeToo, MAGA, QAnon, COVID, and now a post-reality Supreme Court in which Justice Thomas publishes a concurrence in which he states that COVID vaccines use the tissues of aborted fetuses. All of which is to say: we don’t know how intensely the insanity of the era will escalate, but we do know that clear, ethical reporting on difficult issues is a very thin lifeline back to sanity, communication, and trying to do something.If you listened to episode 109 (if you haven’t we encourage you to stop here and go there), you’ll hear our criticisms of The Deep End docuseries about Teal Swan. You’ll hear us interview the director, Jon Kasbe. We lean on him, maybe too gently, on the numerous integrity issues with his film. Bottom line: with deceptive edits and a vacuum of expert commentary and research, we feel that this project is a real setback for everyone trying to understand cultic dynamics in the online age. And as we’ll report at the top of the show, before our interview with Brown, the story of this embedment is only getting messier.Our interview with Jennings steers clear of the muck, because what we really wanted to hear was all about his process, his editorial decisions, and the help he got from his producers. We were also very lucky to have him drop some previously unreported data into the mix. Spoiler alert: it’s about the types of things that Swan used to write in her secret runic alien language.Show NotesJennings Brown — About page with tip line contact infoEpisode 109: Who's Afraid of Teal Swan? w/ Jon KasbeJon Kasbe wishing Teal Swan happy birthdayBits Sola rapping Teal Swan happy birthdayGizmodo Launches 'The Gateway,' an Investigative Podcast About a Controversial Internet Spiritual GuruOpen Shadow — Paola MarinoPaola Marino on The Deep End (clip)Jennings Brown — Revelations -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/7/20221 hour, 50 minutes, 52 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Swan Song Series: Close to Home

We can't understand Teal Swan without understanding the Satanic Panic. And we can't really understand that historical disaster with out feeling our way into the mysteries of memory, fantasy, shame, and terror.Many of you will have heard about therapists interfering in a family constellation by insinuating the client has has memories of abuse to uncover, and that they can’t go forward in their lives without doing that work. This is the bread and butter of Swan's technique, with the result being that many of her close followers come to tell stories  about their childhoods that echo hers. Swan's own story of childhood abuse crystallized after she goes through treatment with a leading Satanic Panic therapist, Barbara Snow. Those are stories on the page. But today, to kick off the Swan Song Series, Julian shares  the moment-by-moment mechanics of how this disastrous parody of therapy turned his own life inside out, and alienated him from his family for a decade.Content warning for listeners: we’ll be talking about stories of child sexual abuse.Show NotesThe Gateway Michelle Remembers, covered by Sarah Marshall and Michael Hobbes Forrest Yoga students ask A. Forrest to stop using the Zia Nation symbol A. Forrest's ostensible mentor  -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/4/20229 minutes, 57 seconds
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110: Temple of the Gun

Rosaries made of shell casings. A breakaway Unification Church sect that holds rituals with gilded ARs. JP Sears on the gun range. The unholy American trinity of conservative politics, religious extremism, and gun culture is deep into its liturgical calendar. And it looks like conspiritualist influencers in the yoga and wellness space are setting up their juice bars outside the temple of the gun. Is Christiane Northrup LARPing when she talks about murdering political enemies? What would Mikki Willis wear to tactical boot camp? Amidst the carnage of Uvalde and the Supreme Court, are conspiritualists gearing up to offer logistical or merely symbolic support for political violence? Does it even make a difference? When does the Temple of the Gun become a firing range, and then a staging ground? We’ll cover these questions this week in part one of our look at guns and spirituality. Then in three weeks, Julian will talk to sociologist of religion Alan Levinovitz about how New Age spirituality and US gun culture shake hands through an “epistemology of individual empowerment,” which, he argues, has emerged amidst a crash in social solidarity.Show NotesNew York Times report on Guns in GOP AdsHow Many Lives Were Saved by The Assault Weapons Ban?Christian Nationalists and the Holy Gun CrusadeRod Of Iron Ministries Buys “Spiritual Retreat” Property in Tennessee -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/1/20221 hour, 26 minutes, 6 seconds
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Bonus Sample: The Chapels in Our Brains

Matthew introduces Julian to the solipsism of an old Catholic catechism. Julian remembers meditating on non-duality. What spaces in our brains do these exercises create? Did we need those spaces for safety, or to hide from ourselves and the world? What happens to these spaces when we no longer need them? If we learned how to take pleasure in “cognitive closure” through religion or spirituality, can we use that skill forever, but detached from the ideologies that want to steal that fire? -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/27/20229 minutes, 42 seconds
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109. Who’s Afraid of Teal Swan? (w/Jon Kasbe)

If the world has become too much to bear—and the bots know it from your search history— you will likely find Teal Swan. She will appear, an angel of the algorithms, part icon and part anime avenger. Against a backdrop of flowing water or turning constellations, she will gaze into your despair. She will speak in a drone at once hypnotic and relieving, giving words to feelings you thought were taboo. At 3am, this might feel like mystical luck, but it’s no accident. Swan is open about recruiting suicidal seekers to her content, and she has the tech chops to do it.Now, with Jon Kasbe’s series, “The Deep End” airing on Hulu, Swan has entered some A-list limelight. But what do we really learn from this docutainment event, radiating out from an embedment in Swan’s inner circle? According to Kasbe’s own words, we don’t learn the “Capital T Truth” of Swan’s day-to-day, but rather the immersive feeling of what it is like to be under her spell. Or do we? Swan accuses Kasbe of casting his own spell, with deceptive editing that scrambles timelines and conflates interactions, and even different people. And it appears she might not be wrong. We talk to Kasbe in this episode about his vision and blindspots, and the ironic risk of creating a film of Satanic-Panic level false memories about an influencer who says she specializes in retrieving past trauma. This episode will pilot a series of Patreon bonus episodes in which we’ll study the Teal Swan spectacle in detail, and how important it is to not only report on it well, but to be fair to an influencer like Swan and her dedicated followers, lest they lose even more trust in the real  world.CORRECTION: Matthew referred to Jennings Brown's role on The Deep End production incorrectly during the episode. His title is "Development Executive Producer."Show NotesThe Deep EndThe Gateway Podcast Teal Swan 2014 interview on her backstory.Teal Swan: Gucci Guru article by Be ScofieldBarbara Snow’s seminal Satanic Panic article: Ritualistic Child Abuse In A Neighborhood SettingRecovered Memory Therapist Placed on ProbationMichelle Remembers & The Satanic PanicTeal’s Responses to The Deep End Start HERETeal Swan Defense :Testimonial Deep End Defamation—Sylvan -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/23/20222 hours, 4 minutes, 6 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Giving Up the Gun

After becoming global leaders in gun manufacturing in the 16th century, Japan banished all guns from their country for two centuries. How did this happen? And what were the results? Well, even today, the nation of 127 million experiences under 10 gun deaths every year. Derek looks back at this period in history to find out what happens when a society seems to move backward when in reality progress is made. He also looks at the psychology of warfare while noting that as bad as society can become, nothing is inevitable. Show NotesGiving Up the Gun: Japan's Reversion to the Sword, 1543-1879The demographics of gun ownershipAmerica's gun culture - in seven chartsPacky McCormick: OptimismJapan has almost completely eliminated gun deaths — here's howA Terrible Love of War: James HillmanWar is a Force That Gives Us Meaning: Chris HedgesTribe: Sebastian Junger -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/20/20227 minutes, 31 seconds
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108: Downeast with Christiane Northrup (w/ Mooncat, Andy O’Brien, & Alyce Ornella)

Half-a-million Facebook followers. Hundreds of videos in a series called “The Great Awakening.” Christiane Northrup, the matriarch of New Age women’s wellness, warns her followers about fake viruses, and tells them to avoid sex with their vaccinated partners. She stumps alongside QAnon celebrities, shovels campaign contributions to Trump, and dotes over sovereign citizen sheriffs. To ease your symptoms of ascension, she offers bath recipes of alfalfa greens and Dr. Bronner’s soap. You can have a good soak and listen to her golden harp. But in this nowhere world, where oh where is Christiane Northrup? Who is she? Is she flesh and blood, or a social media hologram generated by a Louise Hay AI? Is that mansion she broadcasts from a sound stage, or is there real soil and manure and flowers there? Our guests today know Northrup as super-real, because they live in her home state of Maine. Alyce Ornella, Andy O’Brien, and Mooncat have known her as a doctor, an MLM diva, antivax rabble rouser, and QAnon tour promoter. Now, they tell us, another Northrup may be crystallizing on Maine’s rocky shore, floating past the lighthouses and over the cranberry bogs on a cloud of essential oils. She’s been seen haunting the blueberry patches, wearing a chunky necklace of lobster claws. As Northrup begins to hold revival meetings in Down East churches, and openly fantasize about murdering political enemies, they wonder if she is assuming her ultimate form—as an IRL cult leader.Show NotesDear Dr. Northrup Dr. No: Christiane NorthrupRepublican barred from inviting guests into State HouseNaomi Wolf: “Five Freedoms” speech, April 2021.Arise USA rally draws crowds inside, outside Crosby Center Arise USA Meets Maine Stands UpInside the Disastrous Conspiracy Roadshow That Likely Killed a COVID-Denying Ex-CIA AgentMaine Republican compared the governor to Nazi Josef MengeleME state rep compares COVID vaccine mandate to NazismNorthrup bo -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/16/20221 hour, 40 minutes, 38 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Julian Goes to Church

Julian recently attended his first Catholic funeral and found himself equal parts supportive friend and atheist anthropologist. This week, Matthew draws on his Catholic upbringing and experience as church organist (for close to 1,000 funerals) to help unpack this experience. In hindsight, it turns out that the rote blandness of organized religion may serve communities more honestly than the monetized performative charisma of New Age ritual. The conversation touches on the mythological and social dimensions of religion, as well as both Julian and Matthew’s experience of corporal punishment at school, meted out by the same authority figures who donned ceremonial robes for church. -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/13/202210 minutes, 5 seconds
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107: An Open Letter to Aubrey Marcus

Aubrey Marcus really wants to not be a cult leader. He really wants Fit For Service to not be labeled a cult. He’s come out and said so, in a bold but vague response to criticism of his content from our podcast. Matthew takes him at his word, and puts on his cult research hat to give some pointers on how Aubrey can avoid abusing his power. Key bits of advice include: rejecting high intensity recruitment techniques, not depicting the world outside Fit For Service as “upside down” or insane, and not platforming alleged child molesters like Marc Gafni.While this open letter is addressed to Aubrey, his Fit For Service clients might also find it useful as they decide whether to keep spending up to 20K USD per year participating in the program. Also, if Aubrey feels that this episode contains information that will help current and future participants assess whether he is really making good on his promise to provide “radical self-sovereignty,” we at Conspirituality Podcast would happily give permission for this episode to be included with Fit For Service materials, pro bono.This letter is also open in a broader sense, because it contains solid tips for all earnest charismatic influencers who want to improve their ethics game. We believe you can do it, influencers! You can dig deep, and live your better life, by fucking over fewer people!Show NotesA Holocaust Denier Is Travelling Across Canada Building Up The Country's Newest Far-Right Militia Movement - Canadian Anti-Hate Network 'I Was 13 When Marc Gafni's Abuse Began' – The Forward Former Rabbi Accused of Improper Sexual Conduct Now Rising Star in U.S. Spiritual Movement Gafni Faces Fallout From New Age Community Marc Gafni Named In Latest Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Against Yeshiva University Popular New Age author Marc Gafni molested 13-year-old girl in 1980, lawsuit says Sara Kabakov lawsuit docket“Jane Doe” lawsuit -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/9/20221 hour, 20 minutes, 7 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Jordan Peterson, Derrick Jensen, and the Anti-Trans Laugh Emoji

An audio essay from Matthew about how anti-trans ideology can so curdle the soul that an otherwise progressive eco-activist—Derrick Jensen of Deep Green Resistance—can blow up his entire career over it, disrupting the very thing he says he lives for, and destroying the movement he spent years building up.The story starts more than a decade ago, but comes to its peak absurdity, for Matthew at least, on Facebook. He posted some thoughts about Jordan Peterson freaking out over that woman on the cover of Sports Illustrated. And then Jensen visited his page. Show NotesThe New Age / Medieval Mortifications of Jordan Peterson | by Matthew Remski | MediumThat FB post about Peterson and Yumi NuYumi Nu cleverly responds to Jordan Peterson's 'not beautiful' comment' | indy100Simulacra and Simulations — BaudrillardGovernment Bill (House of Commons) C-16 (42-1) - First Reading - An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code - Parliament of CanadaCanada's gender identity rights Bill C-16 explainedFour years on, past critics are silent on whether fears around transgender human rights bill were foundedAn Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal CodeJordan Peterson: The right to be politically incorrectI Was in the Room While Jordan Peterson and Senators Debated My Human Rights​​Lies of the land: against and beyond Paul Kingsnorth's völkisch environmentalismWhat Speaking Like Jordan Peterson Probably Feels LikeJ -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/6/202210 minutes, 17 seconds
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106: Conspiracy Dojo (w/Stephan Kesting)

We've gone deep on yoga communities infected by conspiracy theories. We've looked at essential oils and supplements influencers peddling in misinformation. There are channelers and astrologers and chiropractors. But there's another world we've only mentioned in passing: martial arts practitioners, which turn out to be another influential vector for disinformation. This week, Stephan Kesting, longtime BJJ black belt and instructor (and so much more) joins Derek to look at the conspiratorial frame of Joe Rogan, Dana White, and many other figures peddling misinformation in the arts. -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/2/20221 hour, 8 minutes, 48 seconds
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Bonus Sample: The Ruthless Sovereignty of Kelly Brogan

Matthew and Julian have to thank Kelly Brogan for hanging out on an episode of Aubrey Marcus's podcast, where she lays bare the emotional avoidance and cruelty that conspirituality attempts to sublimate—or dispel the guilt of.Here's the pull quote for the ages:So when I am sick, right, chronically sick, what do I get? I get compassion built in to my life from others who pity me. Right? And who offer me that surrogate hit of love. I get to say no without having to actually learn to assert my boundaries and express my desires in this clear, indirect way because of course, I'm limited by my illness. I can't do that. I get to say no all the time. I get to experience the validation of this felt sense of wrongness and brokenness that's always lived within me out of all my patients told me that the first time they got a diagnosis, they felt like See, I knew something was wrong with me. Yeah. And it's like, you know, ends up being like the prison number you know, that's put on their vest, but it feels in the moment like it's somebody's finally seeing their hurt. And when, you know, we end up over identifying with that wound with the cancer diagnosis with the, you know, the mental illness…She goes on in the episode to say: "victim consciousness is the only human pathology." Show NotesPremka MemoirIf you want to STAY SICK, Don't Watch This | Dr. Kelly Brogan MD on Aubrey Marcus PodcastLesson 136: Sickness is a defense against the… | ACIM -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/30/20228 minutes, 59 seconds
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105: TikTok, Cults, & Conspiracies (w/Abbie Richards)

Is humanity doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past? This week, Julian traces a timeline from the bright-eyed early days of the internet to the dark message boards where QAnon emerged—and that still foment white supremacist mass shootings. to the dizzying infinite scroll on TikTok. Each new evolution of social media exploits innate human vulnerabilities more effectively, delivering more potent strains of deceptive manipulation to receptive young minds. No surprise, then, that a crew of talented dancers with huge TikTok audiences appears to have been recruited into a high-demand evangelical group with a divine mandate to conquer all aspects of American life for Jesus. We'll hear from friends and family anxiously wondering what is going on.For today's interview, Abbie Richards returns. She's the the mis and disinformation researcher with special expertise on the "clock app."Show NotesHow Lonelygirl15 Changed The InternetAnalyzing TikTok Usage and GrowthIs "The Garden" a TikTok Cult?Dancing In The Name of The LordInside the $2.5M LA Mansion Where Alleged TikTok "Cult" Shoots VideosShekinah Church "About" PageThe Modern Apostles Who Want To Want To Reshape America Ahead of the End TimesHBO Recruits Instagram Independent Reporters -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/26/20221 hour, 56 minutes, 27 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Alt-Med Treadmill

Julian and Matthew decompress after the interview with Gavin Ryan and discuss the "alt-med treadmill" and what it means to never quite know where the threshold of evidence lies. -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/23/20228 minutes, 43 seconds
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104: Leaving Ramtha's Ranch (w/Cortney & Shana)

Cortney and Shana can’t remember exactly how they first became aware of the New Age promises and anxieties that would come to dominate every aspect of their lives. Their mom brought it into the house and their daily rhythms bit by bit.As kids in the early 1980s, they would fall asleep to visualizations by the self-help guru Wayne Dyer, on audiocassette. Or mom would read passages from Autobiography of a Yogi, by Paramahansa Yogananda, after tucking them into bed. Cortney remembers an eerie photograph of the yogi’s corpse in a glass coffin in the mortuary. The lore was that he just wouldn’t decay. “Mom had a real fascination with beating death,” she told us. When the girls were still in elementary school, mom took them to an “attunement”, which must have made them the youngest Reiki Masters in Green Bay, Wisconsin—if not the whole midwest. “She was on a search,” Shana told us. And at some point the local massage training, the flyers in the health food stores, and the mail-order books weren’t enough. Mom started going to events, a long way from home—all the way out in Washington State. One time she came home with a VHS tape and played it for the girls. It showed a woman named J.Z. Knight transform into someone she called “Ramtha,” who she said was 35,000 years old, and carried the wisdom of the ages. She also brought audiocassettes of Ramtha, which they played in the car. This was their introduction to “channeling.” They were young teens, and didn’t know what to think. Was it magic? Was it funny? Ramtha sounded like the Great Gazoo, after all. When mom wasn’t home they’d show the VHS tape to their friends and giggle. But they also felt strange about it. Embarrassed. “I remember yelling at my mom, ‘Why can't you be normal?’” Shana said. What they understand now is how much she desperately needed to find something that was meaningful. “She was really struggling in the Catholic religion,” Shana said, “And her marriage,” Cortney added. “And midlife. It was the perfect storm.” Matthew sits down with Cortney and Shana as they share their story publicly for the first time.  -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/19/20221 hour, 28 minutes, 42 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Yoga & the Body in Time (Pt 2)

As the crew is in the final stages of submitting their forthcoming book, Julian and Derek reflect on how yoga has evolved in their personal lives. In Part 2, they talk about yoga in aging bodies, the pursuit of philosophy, and leaving the damn cell phone out of yoga studios. -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/16/20228 minutes, 52 seconds
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103: Roe Against the Machine (w/Kiera Butler)

Since day one, we've been covering medical disinformation on this podcast, always wondering where it would move next. Our collective breaths were stolen when learning about the seemingly inevitable overturning of Roe v Wade last week—and the extensive implications that could have for American society.Mother Jones senior editor, Kiera Butler, has been reporting on medical disinformation in parenting groups for years. Her most recent piece points out the next potential freedom to be stripped from women: the use of contraception. She joins Derek this week to talk about this seemingly dystopian present we're moving into, as well as the continued merging of the Christian Right and wellness influencers—which is very much a part of this movement.  Show NotesThe Anti-Abortion Movement’s Next Target: Birth ControlThe Terrifying Story of How QAnon Infiltrated Moms’ GroupsThe Death of Roe Is Going to Tear America Apart -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/12/202245 minutes, 20 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Yoga & the Body in Time (Pt 1)

As the crew is in the final stages of submitting their forthcoming book, Julian and Derek reflect on how yoga has evolved in their personal lives. In Part 1, they discuss the origins of their yoga practices, what led them to teaching, and some ideas about yoga philosophy in general. -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/9/20228 minutes, 47 seconds
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102: Conspirituality, Cancer, & Compassion (w/Gavin Ryan)

After we published episode 98 on “Placebo Joe” Dispenza, an Australian artist named Gavin Ryan posted a comment to Facebook in response:“My wife was full of this stuff, when she stopped taking all the treatments that had finally turned her breast cancer around, right up to the day she died of it. Still fully convinced she was going to heal herself by sheer force of wishful thinking.” We reached out, and Gavin agreed to an interview.Fey was 47 years old when she died under the coconut palms and stars of Ubud, with Gavin at her side. She’d spent six years feverishly trying to keep ahead of breast cancer with alternative medicine and New Age spirituality. She received several turns of evidence-based care that had served her body well. But she would always return to the energy work, herbs, and meditations that spoke to her soul. Gavin was there with her all the way. He found himself stretched thin between advocating for treatments that worked, and honoring her need for magic. We're really grateful that he has shared this story with us.Show Notes Here's the full recording of Fey reciting "Karuna Breath." -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/5/20221 hour, 1 minute, 51 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Cash Grab

Manifestation workshops. MLM downlines. The supplement grift. Cash is king everywhere in the conspirituality sphere, even—especially—when disguised in the jargon of spiritual-ese. Derek and Julian step back and discuss the cash grab impulse, as well as talk about their own feelings on money and its value. -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/2/20228 minutes, 57 seconds
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101: Eugenic Pandemic (w/ Beatrice Adler-Bolton)

In this conversation, Beatrice Adler-Bolton—disability justice advocate and co-host of Death Panel Podcast—says something twice:"Under capitalism, you’re only entitled to the survival you can buy." Her forthcoming co-authored book is called, provocatively, Health Communism. Part of its argument is that we have to imagine a society in which everyone is entitled to the survival we can share.How disquieting it is that the natural instinct we have as individuals to ask:  "What is this going to cost me?" is microcosmic to neoliberal obsessions—austerity, productivity, and dreams of a better future purchased with moral sacrifices in the present. It’s microcosmic to the brutal decisions our societies are now making about who is worthy of protection and who isn't, and which political constituencies we can't afford to piss off by appealing to the small amount of generosity and humility it takes to wear a mask. We're living in a culture of What is it going to cost me? And that's not really a culture at all.If we don't do better, then how exactly are the conspiritualists wrong? Not about the details, but about the existential condition. They imagine a Cabal at the top of everything, making nefarious decisions, and this is easy to dismiss. Less easy to dismiss is the feeling they articulate, that many of us share: that unseen and impersonal forces are working against the spirit of human generosity. They know that sometimes we all feel ourselves participating in that process, which means we have to do something—perhaps as radical as waking up. Not to the magic of turmeric, or the realization that we’re starseeds. Something far more radical than that, and much more mundane: that we can organize ourselves in more fair and loving ways.Beatrice Adler-Bolton is a blind/low vision and chronically ill artist, writer, and disability justice advocate. Beatrice studies radical patient groups and the capitalist political economy of health as an independent researcher and is earning a master's in Disability Studies at CUNY. She is the co-host of the Death Panel podcast with Artie Vierkant and Phil Rocco.Note from Beatrice: If you'd like to give your listeners a little more info on Disability Justice (DJ), I would recommend this link from Sins Invalid, which is a short and foundational DJ text and a really quick primer on what it is written by Patty Berne and Sins Invalid: tinyurl.com/DJ10Principles. -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/28/20221 hour, 23 minutes, 45 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Taking the Con Out of Spirituality

Derek and Julian discuss the literary influences and yogic practices that led them to yoga in the first place, while also discussing what spirituality in a post-pandemic world could look like.  -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/25/20229 minutes, 49 seconds
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100: State of Disinformation (w/Imran Ahmed)

In July 2020, just as we were finding our sea legs with this podcast, Imran Ahmed joined to discuss the state of disinformation occurring around the world. As the founder of the UK’s Center for Countering Digital Hate, he had just produced a report that found anti-vax organizations were reaching 58 million people on social media—and this was well before the COVID vaccines were developed. The total amount of money spent by anti-vax groups and advertisers targeting their followers on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube turned out to be roughly $1 billion.Imran’s group kept reporting and we kept covering them. You probably remember the Center thanks to its Disinformation Dozen report, which profoundly impacted awareness of just how much anti-vax leaders were monetizing their supplements, seminars, and other supposed COVID “interventions.” The report even reached the White House where Joe Biden called out the Disinformation Dozen during a press conference. What’s changed in the nearly two years since we had Imran on? Well, a lot—and in some ways, not much at all. Julian interviews Imran this time around after having met up in person at the Defeat the Mandates rally in downtown Los Angeles. Imran discusses what’s changed, what hasn’t, and how the bottom line remains the same: namely, the conspiritualist’s bottom line. They also talk about the nature of free speech in an internet filled with disinformation. Before hearing from Imran, Derek and Julian briefly discuss the state of disinformation and free speech online, which Derek frames in terms of urban planning and the concept of legibility.  -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/21/20221 hour, 35 minutes, 33 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Zach Bush and the Holy Sardines

The Sermon of the Sardines is etched into our very souls. Picture the scene, as dreamboat doctor Zach Bush recounts his shimmering story of swimming off the coast of Tulum with thousands of tiny heroic fish, for Rich Roll’s Tuscany retreat participants. In this week’s Bonus episode Matthew and Julian connect the dots between Zach’s quivering amphibious ecstasy, his fascist notions of holy sacrifice in warfare via “non-empathic presence,” how he praises his hospice staff for using reiki as opposed to pain meds, and inspires his listeners to have no fear of death. After all—it’s the ultimate upgrade. From Sardine to Salvation, Bush has it covered. -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/18/202210 minutes, 1 second
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99: Conspirituality Goes to Therapy (w/Rachel Bernstein)

Listeners: there’s a revolution going on. Legions of Twitter counselors and Instagram therapists has risen up to offer unsolicited sermons on cults, cult leaders, and cult recovery. With COVID closing down the studios, every third yoga teacher has become an expert in trauma. They’re starting Facebook groups. They’re selling courses. They’re doing their Family Systems work out in the open, displaying heroic levels of vulnerability. We’re just waiting for the first QAnon recovery MLM to launch on Kickstarter.  We know it’s coming. There will be oils, and breathing exercises, and some very long emotional check-ins on Zoom.Meanwhile, Netflix is distinguishing itself from GaiaTV, the Netflix of cults, with an explosion of cult documentaries. There’s a gold rush on. Scouts for all of the streaming companies are lined up outside of the ashrams, vetting survivors to see who has the chops to carry a series. We seem to love them, but sometimes not as much as the sociopaths themselves. The cult doc is the new true crime chill.Beneath the feeding frenzy, there’s real work to be done. The QAnon Casualities subreddit has 235K followers as of today. We get dozens of emails and DMs from people who have had their lives upended by conspirituality and cults. We have hints and whispers to offer them, but no answers. Yes, we live in a capitalist hellscape in which emotional turmoil of the people is commodified and sold back to them in the form of workshops and bingeable series. But we are also able to host Rachel Bernstein, cult recovery therapist, to get some clarity on the basic phenomena that dominate our commons today.Program note: We’re going to try to stretch this out to 90 minutes so that we can each say we got a 45-minute free consult on why TF we’re doing this job. -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/14/20221 hour, 29 minutes, 21 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Watch What They Say, Watch What They Sell

Since early on in this conspirituality experiment, Derek has been using the catchphrase that is the title of this week's bonus episode. Julian joins in to discuss exactly what the phrase means in the landscape of conspiritualists, who the most egregious offenders are, and the origin story of the term. If you think your coffee is moldy or those glasses are really blocking blue light, think again. -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/11/20227 minutes, 55 seconds
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98: Placebo Joe Dispenza

If you get treated by someone who says they’re a doctor, but they’re not, can they still have a placebo effect? That’s the question we’d like to ask Dr. Joe Dispenza, who’s not a doctor, but who plays one on the internet, treating one and all with the placebo of his bafflegab about Quantum healing and TimeSpace.Placebo Joe. Who is he? How do you take the measure of a Quantum Man? We’ll shine our browsers into the slit experiment and observe a particle here, a wave there. The particles of video clips, the waves of affiliate links. We’ll run our signature experiment: Schrodinger’s Influencer, to find out just how many parallel Joe Dispenzas are populating the multiple universes he is trying to crack back to alignment with his chiropractic panache. There’s the Joe of the Ramtha School of Enlightenment, Joe who starred in “What The Bleep Do We Know?” There’s faith healer Joe, and Joe who now headlines, alongside David Icke, for the Netflix of conspirituality, Gaia TV.Joking aside: in episode 89, we heard from Mary, whose husband almost gave up on chemotherapy for aggressive pancreatic cancer under the influence of Placebo Joe. And today we’ll watch him pretend to be able to cure infertility, and romance Aubrey Marcus. We’ll also puzzle over his strangely undramatic origin story. We’ll suss out the normalizing impact Joe has on a whole raft of bullshit. We’ll wonder why this boy from a nice working class famiglia in Jersey wanted to be a doctor so badly, he was willing to talk himself into it. Show NotesGaia Acquires Yoga International, a Leading Digital Yoga ServiceYou Are The Placebo Why Some People Are More Susceptible to Placebos$2.5B Spent by the NCCIH Placebo Myths DebunkedFeedback Monday Bonus: Responding to Lissa Rankin Merv Griffin Show JZ Knight As Ramtha - 1985 - 14 minutes RSE: 4 axioms Life University loses accreditationDispenza Quantum University bioJoe Dispenza "I am the Placebo" -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/8/20221 hour, 41 minutes, 16 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Conspirituality Casting Call

Matthew and Julian draw back the curtain to take you behind the scenes of the book-writing process. They step back to consider the pantheon of conspiritualists we’ve covered over the last two years; the kaleidoscope of themes they represent, and the key moments they’ve had on the big cultural stage as the pandemic has unfolded. Who among them is worthy of being cast in the rogue’s gallery we will include in the book that will officially document all of our work over almost 100 episodes now? -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/4/20228 minutes, 29 seconds
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97: Brand Awareness

This week we’re “just asking questions.” You probably recognize that quip from Joe Rogan, of course, but today’s focus is another actor and comedian turned popular podcaster, Russell Brand. As with Rogan, who he recently said he loved being compared to, Brand is amassing an increasingly large following—trust us, he’ll remind you of that number at the top of every episode—thanks to his high-energy solo rants about the conspiracy of, well, seemingly everything. But what’s Russell really saying? We’ve listened to hours of his podcasts and watched further hours of videos and, to be honest, we can’t really tell. Pseudo-spiritual musings mesh with benign revolutionary politicizing with a healthy dose of his live performance schedule and reminders to smash the subscribe button thrown in. Russell is exceptionally good at evoking emotions and firing listeners up with his high-energy, seemingly stream-of-consciousness diatribes, yet when you break down the sentences, you find that he’s pretty content-free. Well, except when he’s marketing himself, which, at the end of the day, seems to be the only thing Russell is truly interested in.Show NotesHybrid immunity offers increased protection that is longer-lasting against Covid-19 reinfection, studies showRussell Brand: My ResponseRussell Brand: How Did We Miss This?Russell Brand & Nigel Farage clash over immigration on Question TimeRussell Brand: 'I've never voted, never will'Johnson & Johnson Announces Real-World Evidence and Phase 3 Data Confirming Strong and Long-Lasting Protection of Single-Shot COVID-19 Vaccine in the U.S.Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Vaccine Boosting in Persons Already Protected by Natural or Vaccine-Induced ImmunityEffectiveness of the BNT162b2 Vaccine after Recovery from Covid-19Protection against SARS-CoV-2 after Covid-19 Vaccination and Previous InfectionWorld Economic Forum: Digital IdentityWatch Russell Brand Read From A Couple Of My Articles -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/31/20221 hour, 9 minutes, 40 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Feedback Monday

Hey everyone... Matthew and Julian here with a more relaxed format. We'll be periodically checking in on feedback going forward, starting with a look at some shade thrown by Lissa Rankin at the pod. We're not entirely buying what she's selling, but it does give us pause to reflect on communication styles, satire, and empathy. Here's what Rankin had to say: https://www.facebook.com/lissarankin/posts/521303766024162. And here's how Matthew responded: https://www.facebook.com/matthew.remski/posts/10166401550575602 (Apologies about Matthew's sound quality. Kittens knocked over the mic stand and snapped the connectors. Derek is shipping out a hand-me-down for Thursday!) -- -- -- Support us on Patreon Pre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | Julian Original music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/28/202210 minutes, 24 seconds
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96: The Terrain Theory Grift (w/Dr Dan Wilson)

You might have heard some revolutionary news: germs don’t exist. Ok, they exist, but they only make you sick after you ruin your relationship with your environment—the terrain. Actually, the idea isn’t new. Initially floated in the 19th century, terrain theory was never  proven in real-world experiments, and so fell dormant—until now. As with many terrible 19th-century science metaphysics, conspiritualists are feeling nostalgic. And do we have a group to introduce you to this week.To help us debunk this funk, Dr Dan Wilson returns to the pod to offer his keen ear in breaking down the bullsh*t being shoveled by Tom Cowan and Andrew Kaufman during The Event 2021. First, Derek offers a brief history of the battle between germ theory and terrain theory—one that produced a clear winner in Louis Pasteur, which, as conspiritualists now spin it, is just further evidence of the Deep State conspiracy holding us all back. Show NotesDan Wilson on YouTube | Instagram | TwitterThis pseudoscience movement wants to wipe germs from existenceGerm theory denialism is alive and well – and taking the nuance out of scientific debate -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/24/20221 hour, 20 minutes, 41 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Reading Tony Robbins

The world's top life coach has a new book, Life Force. Seemingly bulletproof to criticism due to connections in high places (and a litigious legal team), Tony Robbins's new book is a perfect example of the conspiritualist grift: mix science with sciencey sentiment and package it in a shiny revolutionary marketing package that promises much and delivers little more than confusion. Derek reviews. Show NotesA single blood test claims to detect dozens of cancers. Skeptics wouldn’t bet your life on it.The 700-calorie breakfast you should eat if you want to live forever, according to a futurist who spends $1 million a year on pills and eating rightWhat supplements does Ray Kurzweil take and why?Instagram: Low testosterone is one of the most underdiagnosed conditions in American menEpigenetics: It doesn't mean what quacks think it means Siddhartha Mukherjee: The Gene Detox: What “They” Don’t Want You To Know -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/21/20228 minutes, 17 seconds
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95: Aleksandr Dugin: Kali Yuga Chess

The mystical politics of Aleksandr Dugin, the mercurial philosopher and geopolitical strategist hovering behind Vladimir Putin, is front and center this week.  Last week, we covered the phenomenon of Western conspiritualists folding the Russian invasion of Ukraine into their fact-free claims about what's really going on. It turns out that once you're all-in on the cabal, the Great Reset, mole children, and vaccine genocide, whatever happens in the world means you were right all along. Conspiritualists are claiming that, just like Donald Trump, Putin is really a light worker fighting to save the children and destroy Anthony Fauci's secret bioweapons labs in Ukraine while heralding the true Great Awakening. But an entirely different prophecy, one promising a Soviet spiritual rebirth, appears to be inspiring Vladimir Putin's actions—as well as Russia's disruptive interference in American politics. Julian unpacks the perennialist religious movement, Traditionalism, and how it speaks to fascist political actors around the world, including Steve Bannon. This is especially relevant in light of tragic events in Europe, a stark reminder of those of us who remember the Cold War. This time, Dugin and Putin dream of a new Russian Empire.Show NotesAleksandr Dugin Ukraine Invasion Press ConferenceMoscow Patriarch Stokes Religious Tensions with Ukraine RemarksDugin, Putin & The 2016 ElectionThe Rise of Traditionalism by Benjamin TeitelbaumSteve Bannon’s Ideological SoulmateDugin Fired from University Post for Inciting GenocideThe London Dinner that Brought Europe’s Far-Right TogetherBannon Cites Julius EvolaInside The Strange Origins of Bannon’s Nationalist FantasiaDugin’s Foundations of Geopolitics ReviewedDugin’s Eurasianism & The Am -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/17/20221 hour, 12 minutes, 6 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Conspirituality Timeline Stories (pt 1)

Matthew brushes off and polishes stories and analyses we’ve only had the time to glance at in various episodes. A second or even 3rd instalment may be forthcoming.Presented in chronological order, dating from a year before the WHO declared the pandemic, up to just after they did.  March, 2019: How JZ Knight, aka Ramtha, began forging alliances with Qanon promoters back in the spring of 2019. February, 2020: How Joe Mercola positioned himself very early as the go-to for COVID quackery, and how his platform primed the pump for circulating terrible ideas right out of the gate. March 11, 2020: How Dr. Tom Cowan resurrected R Steiner for his wisdom on COVID. March 20, 2020: How Mak Parhar, a Flat Earther Bikram Yoga teacher, was the first yoga studio owner in Canada to defy the shutdown. What was he thinking? He later died of COVID.  -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/14/202210 minutes, 18 seconds
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94: Conspirituality Goes to War

After two years of being lied to about COVID, are you really going to believe the mainstream media about what’s happening in Ukraine? Didn’t you know that Ukraine is a child-trafficking hub? That it’s full of US-funded bioweapons labs? Do you really think Putin is evil, or do you just think what you’re told to think? Look at you, with your all-new, personalized, more terrifying feed to doom scroll. Only it’s not new, just more intense. If it wasn’t, how would the powers-that-be keep your attention while they instantly convert your money into social credit and make you pay $10 for a gallon of gas? Wake up! See through the green-screen battle scenes and crisis actors covered in stage blood. The explosions are revelations, the flashes of light are miracles waiting to be recognized.Yes, dear listeners: Conspirituality influencers have gone to war, and they’ve dragged us kicking and screaming to the front lines. But now that we’re here, we’re committed to understanding and negotiating this liminal space. We are podcast peacekeepers. Our rations are non-GMO. We have our helmets of analysis securely fastened; our flak jackets will protect our vital organs. Most importantly, our hearts will stay intact. To you at home: we urge you to plant your victory gardens now and keep the faith. Conspiritualists have launched a brutal, illegal attack on a humanitarian crisis. They’re monetizing a war in which starving 19-year-olds are killing civilians. Our influencers may well meet the reality of their empty souls on this battlefield. When they come home bandaged, they will need soup and real jobs—and that will be up to us.Show NotesWho is Gene Decode?Signposts On The Road To Ascension Trailer #1 — WitzemanUkraine Invasion & Putin’s Spiritual Advisor Alexandr Dugin Teal Swan on The War InsideChristiane Northrup Shares Patriot Underground on the Khazarian Mafia JP Sears Hot Tub Hot Take Pro-Publica on Fake Fact-Checks About InvasionMaajid Nawaz on Facebook and Azov BattalionNATO on National Women’s Day BBC on Claims of  “crisis actors” in Ukraine -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/11/20221 hour, 27 minutes, 13 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Encanto

Matthew takes a break from the news to expand on the possible origins of conspirituality—as being related to intergenerational trauma.What is conspirituality, if not the mobilization of forced, fragile, and ultimately empty spiritual aspirations, made to temper hypervigilance? It's also just a relief and a pleasure to spend time away from the feeds, and immersed in this brilliant film.Show NotesDr. Nerurkar on the glorification of trauma -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/7/202210 minutes, 13 seconds
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93: Roganomics (w/Daniel Latorre & Jessica Malaty Rivera)

A few weeks ago, you couldn’t turn to a social media platform without seeing that Joe Rogan was trending. The diversity of topics boggled the mind: COVID disinformation; misogyny, pseudoscience; transphobia; and, of course, racism, thanks to the infamous N-word mixtape. Then a parallel argument came through: fair pay for musicians on Spotify. Given that Rogan was given $100 million for his podcasting contract—a number we’d later find out was closer to $200 million—the economic discussion brought another dimension into the conversation. But given all of the topics being discussed, which dimension should we have focused on?That thought led Derek to write a series of tweets on the topic, followed by a more in-depth Substack article contemplating the three main issues of concern: scientific misinformation, racism, and fair pay. The tweets led to a lot of pushback, which we’ll be looking at through the lens of conversation and debate, as well as a 2021 Pew Research poll on American political typologies. It also led to today’s guests—infectious disease epidemiologist and science communicator, Jessica Malaty Rivera, and civic product leader and community activist, Daniel Latorre—offering their own views on the topics, first on social media, then here on the podcast. But first, we’ll discuss the implications of intersectionality and progressive politics in a world in which social media can distort as much as it amplifies. Matthew will dish on how much he loathes everything Joe Rogan stands for, and why—but also wonders about how pragmatic his seething hatred is, or could be.Just a note before we begin. Between our last episode—in which Julian caught up with Sara Aniano and dappergander on current events in the QAnon world—and today, Russia has invaded Ukraine, and all of the news is terrible and terrifying. Since the first rockets hit, we’ve been monitoring how conspirituality influencers are responding, and we’ll bring you that data next week, as it continues to show the adaptability of the movement and the willingness of its influencers to say literally anything to remain at the center of the attention and outrage economy.Show NotesJoe Rogan: We are in Kali YugaJoe Rogan shares Sadhguru: “It is fashionable to suffer”Matthew Sheffield on Right-Left “balance” on Rogan.McInnes appearance on Rogan “instrumental” to Proud Boys’ growth: Rolling StoneBeyond Red vs. Blue: The Political TypologyRace & Class at Spotify -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/3/20222 hours, 38 minutes, 54 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Left/Right Horseshoe

The Left-Right political spectrum doesn't really capture the breadth of political sentiment in America. Derek looks at a 2021 study by Pew Research on political typologies—as well as Jean-Pierre Faye's horseshoe theory—to better understand the multivariate dynamics at play, as well as its implications for democracy in America moving forward.Show NotesPew Research: Beyond Red vs. Blue: The Political TypologyRational Wiki: Horseshoe Theory -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/28/20229 minutes, 3 seconds
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92: The Quiet Part, Loud (w/Sara Aniano and dappergander)

"Freedom Convoy" leader, Pat King, recently live-streamed his arrest on Facebook. His racist public incitements to violence belie claims that the convoy was non-partisan and peaceful. As with other conspiracy-based events, inner circle communications and public relations messaging prove to be contradictory. From RFK Jr appearing at a Far Right rally in Berlin and militias storming the US Capitol on Jan 6 to anti-vaxxers gathering at the Lincoln memorial and the Ottawa truckers tying up traffic and trade for over a month, QAnon appears everywhere. This week, Julian pilots solo to interview extremism experts Sara Aniano (who regularly reports on the alt-tech far-right cess-pool, Telegram) and dappergander about recent developments in the Q-adjacent conspiracy sphere, implications for the planned American convoy, and the coming midterm elections in America. They also discuss surviving the emotional toll of their research and offer advice for those trying to help themselves—or someone they love—escape.Show Notesdappergander on TwitterSara Aniano on TwitterGrid.News Reporting on Planned American Trucker ConvoyQ-Adjacent Convoy Protestor Arrested in Ottawa Cries Out “I’m  Being “Stuck with a Vaccine” Convoy Leader Signs Off Her Speech at Occupation with WWG1WGA Rallying Cry -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/24/20221 hour, 37 minutes, 31 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Carpetbagger Pharaohs

They couldn’t be more different: the self-made, self-help guru to the stars, the antisemitic Black-separatist, the blue-blood anti-vax lawyer, and the founder of a science-fiction religion. But in the cult-conspiracy economy, strange bedfellows are often the norm.Julian investigates how—underneath cultural, racial, political, and even religious differences—opportunistic grifters can always find common cause in the pursuit of wealth and influence. In the end, they’re all carpetbaggers dressed up as pharaohs.Show NotesThe Lies of RFK Jr’s Medical Racism DocumentarySamoan Measles OutbreakSomali Measles OutbreakMeasles Outbreak Amongst Brooklyn Orthodox JewsRFK Jr. At Berlin protest with Neo-NazisWeaponizing Racism for Anti-Vax ActivismWerner Erhard: Father of Self-HelpAnti-Vax Infiltrates Nation of Islam Scientology Money Project -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/21/20226 minutes, 52 seconds
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91: We Need to Talk About Stephanie

When Stephanie Sibbio, owner of Glowing Mama Fitness in Toronto, livestreamed herself harassing workers in her local health food store over COVID policy, the world was introduced to a now-familiar archetype: the petulant anti-masker who cares as little about science as she does about others. Sibbio has since developed this role with gusto, becoming a minor celebrity in the Canadian antivax movement. Recently, she threw her support behind the Occupation of Ottawa.But everyone comes from somewhere: a family, a network, a circle. Beneath a persona hardened by the social media spectacle, there’s a person to be known, remembered, and perhaps welcomed back. Today Matthew sits down with four friends who have known and loved Stephanie since junior high school. They share stories of the bonds they nurtured growing up, and how quickly and violently antivax ideology and social media smashed their circle. An honest and transparent discussion about the emotional and social costs of conspirituality. Show NotesGlowing Mama Anti-Masker. Toronto Influencer Socially Toilets in…The Unbearable Feelings of the Anti-Masker Oppression Fantasies of White Anti-Vax Moms That Time When I Was in a Cult and Got a Loving Letter from a Friend -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/17/20221 hour, 46 minutes
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Bonus Sample: Spiritual, Um—Sorry—Canadian Bypassing

"An essential pleasure of white liberal identity in Canada is the schadenfreude of looking down our noses when we consider what’s south of us. It’s an unearned pride that says: “We’re not like that.” It’s delusional. We are absolutely like that, with tougher gun laws and the moderating effect of the Parliamentary process—but absolutely like that. We want to say “QAnon  wouldn’t find a foothold here.” and it does. We want to say “We’re a long way off from Jan 6,” but we’re not. Democracy is as fragile as the human body."An editorial piece from Matthew on a harsh awakening in the Great White Liberal North.Show Notes Land acknowledgments meant to honor Indigenous people too often do the opposite – erasing American Indians and sanitizing history instead Harsha Walia on historical continuity Ottawa police discover children living in protesters' trucks | The Star Land Acknowledgement – City of Toronto Toronto Cops Say They Did 'Tremendous Job' After Beating People, Destroying Homeless Camp Nearly $2 million spent on clearing encampments should have gone to housing, advocates say300 people trapped. 4 hours. Pouring rain. The day I was kettled by police in Toronto.'We regret that mistakes were made': Toronto police acknowledge 'unacceptable' mass arrests at 2010 G20 protestsLawsuit filed against convoy organizers, seeking damages on behalf of downtown Ottawa residents We're not Tragically Hip fans — and yes, we're Canadian -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/14/202210 minutes, 24 seconds
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90: The Convoy is an Occupation (w/Elizabeth Simons)

We cover a lot of ground in this episode. But to introduce it in seed form, we want to draw your attention to a 15-second video we’ve posted to our Instagram. It shows a little boy, clearly stressed, sitting in the cab of an expensive black pickup truck with the window open, holding his ears against the incredible noise of the air horns as his mother takes a triumphant pan-shot video of a convoy rally. The clip encapsulates the surreal chaos of a deceptive, astroturfed, funded-from-outside, social-media-driven catastrophe that is right in line with the worst of the conspirituality world. A torrent of misinformation, co-opted trauma, and “freedom-fighters” LARPing, in which children are weaponized by super-pilled parents, in which we can witness the cycles of social neglect and psychic violence turning in real time. We open today with a review of the Occupation of Ottawa and what we know so far, and a discussion of how our conspirituality friends are co-opting and distorting events in ways that are not only craven, but will increase the chances that this event will end in violence. Finally, Matthew interviews Elizabeth Simons of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network on the deep background, the big picture, and the horizon. CORRECTION: Matthew incorrectly stated that The Branches Yoga in Kitchener Waterloo hosted a workshop by Selam Debs. They did not host it, but they did promote it to their community. Show Notes Canadian Anti-Hate Network New Age Healers and Right-Wing Militants Come Together in Ottawa Canadian Yoga Teacher and Anti-Racism Educator Targetted The 'Freedom Convoy' Is Nothing But A Vehicle For The Far Right Mayor of Windsor: “Some occupiers are willing to die.” A Holocaust Denier Is Travelling Across Canada Building Up The Country's Newest Far-Right Militia Movement - Canadian Anti-Hate Network Canada's “Freedom Convoy” Is a Front for a Right-Wing, Anti-Worker Agenda Ottawa police discover children living in protesters' trucks | The Star Freedom Convoy Brings the Far-Right  -- -- -- Support us on Patreon Pre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | Julian Original music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/10/20221 hour, 51 minutes, 23 seconds
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Bonus Sample: The Ritual of Healing

Despite the binary conversations around vaccinations, healing has never been an either/or dependent on one factor. What works for one person isn't necessarily the correct course of action for someone else. One criticism of modern health care certainly stands out: the ritual of healing has been sacrificed for the convenience of scripts and hasty dialogues between doctors and patients. Derek looks at the intersection of healing and ritual through the lens of placebo studies and psychedelics, arguing that regardless of the discipline, "therapy" is a holistic endeavor.  -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/7/20226 minutes, 35 seconds
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89: Till Death Do Us Part (w/Mary)

Mary joins Matthew for an extended interview about the last year of her husband’s life. Louis died of pancreatic cancer almost exactly a year ago, at the age of 45. Mary—who has asked that her last name be kept off the record for privacy concerns—loved him and cared for him throughout that journey. It was hard, not only for the reasons we all share, but because Louis spent his last months under the influence of quantum chiropractor Joe Dispenza. At one crucial point, he was on the verge of stopping his chemotherapy treatment, believing that a Dispenza meditation technique might be more effective. Mary is an Applied Psychologist with a science background and an evidence-based mindset. She didn’t share Louis’s beliefs or ideals, and at points was terrified that his death would be hastened by conspirituality. But of course, she loved and served him nonetheless. And it seems he had a good death, perhaps blessed by beliefs that made Mary wonder if they might provide relief for her as well. If we’ve learned one thing over the course of this project, it’s that we’ll be living and dying together for a long time at the crossroads of data and imagination, science and spirituality, evidence and the unknown. We’re grateful that Mary has shared this love story of how she navigated it all. Note: If you have recently lost someone close to you, you may find this episode difficult to listen to.Show NotesJohn-Roger, New Age Spiritual Leader in California, Dies at 80 - The New York Times ARCHIVE Cult Leader John-Roger, Who Says He's Inhabited by a Divine Spirit, Stands Accused of a Campaign of Hate  -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/4/20221 hour, 45 minutes, 50 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Misinformation Millionaires

Last week’s Defeat The Mandate March in Washington D.C. saw a who’s-who of conspiracists address thousands from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Live-streaming and mic’d up— some fresh from massive exposure on the Joe Rogan Experience—they complained about censorship and tyranny, and compared vaccine mandates to the Holocaust.They present themselves as bold outsiders who reveal forbidden knowledge and stand up against the corrupt establishment. But scratch the surface of anti-vax celebrity and Covid-conspiracism and you’ll find the well-oiled machinery of affiliate marketing and global quack-medicine sales networks. Julian reports on Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Simone Gold, Pierre Kory, and Sayer Ji. He follows the money and asks, “What’s the difference between a misguided activist and a cynical grifter?”Show NotesKennedy Xmas Party Hypocrisy Ravens’ Theory of Mind Research Primate Theory of Mind Goldfish-Broccoli Study $1M in PPP Loans for Anti-Vax Groups CCDH Pandemic Profiteers Grandview Research on CAM Global MarketNCCIH Spent $2.5 on Failed Alt-Med Studies Skeptical Inquirer Report on CAM Grants -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/31/20229 minutes, 54 seconds
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88: New Age Crack

Snap. Crackle. Pop. That’s the release you’ve been waiting for—the ecstasy of small gas bubbles being “cracked” along your spine. While it’s debatable how much good chiropractic adjustments are doing for your body—there’s some evidence that it alleviates lower back pain, alongside a litany of unsubstantiated claims—what’s not debatable is the number of anti-vax, pseudoscience-prone chiropractors clogging the conspirituality pipeline these days.This isn’t a “chiropractor takedown” episode, as both Derek and Julian have benefited from treatments in the past. Indeed, there’s a whole realm of “mixers” that try to follow best practices and clinical science. Yet there’s a strong conspiritualist lean among a number of chiropractors and we want to know why. To that end, Derek offers a history of the practice, which is, perhaps unsurprisingly, rooted in an anti-vax, anti-medicine strain of 19th-century vitalism. Julian discusses some of his experiences while Matthew questions consent and harm in the industry. The team then breaks down chiropractor Melissa Sell’s discussion of the antisemitic Germanic New Medicine, which she recently championed on the pseudopalooza of online disinformation conferences, The Event 2021. Show NotesU.S. Judge Finds Medical Group Conspired Against ChiropractorsChiropractors Charged in Insurance Scam Can Indecision Cause Hemorrhoids?Goodbye to All Yoga Bullies. | by Matthew Remski | Medium   -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/28/20221 hour, 17 minutes, 53 seconds
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Bonus Sample: The Irrational Makes Sense

Inspired by a recent discussion on psychoanalysis and politics with Pat Blanchfield on Know Your Enemy, this brief meditation focuses on two aspects of the conspirituality landscape that have lurked in the unconscious of the pod: People do not make sense. There are conflicting impulses and voices within us all. One objective of our project is akin to the goal psychoanalysis: to get those parts talking.  Calling people hypocrites for not making sense is a terrible way of getting them to make sense. What we call hypocrisy, they have used for coherence and survival. The blowback isn't stubbornness, but a confession of needs. Matthew looks at how the contradictions of Kelly Brogan and JP Sears make sense. Brogan rails against "mommy medicine" while installing herself as "mommy shaman." Sears tells us "Don't outsource your truth," while he absorbs data from Bitchute and Rogan. Brogan's followers are attracted by the simultaneous rejection and reconstitution of authority. JP Sears is a hollow husk of a man, telling his followers to look inside. But when you meet a contradiction or a defence that is harmful, you can’t just argue it away. You have to work towards a better answer to the condition the defence is trying to ease.Show NotesFreud and Politics (w/ Pat Blanchfield) -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/24/202210 minutes
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87: The Aubrey Marcus Spectacle

When we left our Austin conspirituality heroes in the last episode, Charles Eisenstein, New Age Q, was locking in his position as the philosopher—or jester—in the court of Aubrey Marcus. But what of this court? Matthew’s scene by scene analysis of some prime Marcus marketing porn will give us some clues. The video in question is for Marcus’s life-coaching programme, which is called “Fit for Service.” The visuals centre around what looks like a haka ritual dance, through which customers release their inner warriors, nurture their affiliate links and jazz up their socials. On point for the influencer age, the ritual plays out in a narcissistic hall of mirrors, choreographed for performance by programme participants in order to promote the programme they are performing in. Naturally, Matthew will be using the analytical frameworks of spectacle and simulation from Guy Debord and Jean Baudrillard to make sense of it. He’ll also apply Renato Rosaldo’s concept of “imperialist nostalgia” to explore the ugly conflicts in Marcus’s indigenous cosplay.Show NotesFit for Service homepagefit.for.service:  A Dandelion In A Field Is Un-killableA poet’s plea to save our planet | IN-Q | TED Institute "Revolution": The FORGOTTEN Voices of The Pandemic Will Have You In TearsThe 5 Desires: Marcus on FFS promises Aubrey Marcus - Fit For Service Mastermind - Review – Max HugThe Wellness Pornographers. Gamifying intimacy, abusing public… | by Matthew Remski | Medium Heresy Labs on HeilungRenato Rosaldo: Imperialist Nostalgia -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/20/20221 hour, 20 minutes, 18 seconds
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Special Drop: Red-pilled Poet, Charles Eisenstein

Charles Eistenstein has had quite the pandemic. Essays read by millions, retweeted by Jack Dorsey, quoted by Ivanka Trump, held up as the poet philosopher of conspirituality—hell, he’s even been on the podcast!Given the response to this bonus episode, we've decided to release it into the wild as an important companion to Conspirituality 86. Julian tracks the transformative arc of malformed ideas garnished with spiritualized language that has made Eisenstein the romantic mascot of anti-vax, Covid-contrarian wellness. This is how he finds himself now poised to become the mythic storyteller-in-residence of an emerging Austin-based cult of psychedelic bro science and “medical freedom.” -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/18/20221 hour, 9 minutes, 22 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Science Is Not a Religion

In 2017, Charles Eisenstein addressed the SAND (Science And Non-Duality) Conference on our "obsession with measurement." A clip of that talk, published in 2019, put forward the question Is Science a Religion? Charles answered yes, offering a number of supposed parallels.Only—most of them don't hold water. Derek responds to his talk, breaking down Charles's analysis point-by-point. He also bookends the episode with clips from a thinker who brilliantly drew parallels between science and religion without conflating them: Oliver Sacks.Show NotesIs Science a Religion? — Charles EisensteinOliver Sacks on Humans and Myth-making  -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/17/20229 minutes, 15 seconds
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86: Charles Eisenstein, New Age Q

Up to this point, we’ve understood Charles Eisenstein as the poet-philosopher of conspirituality, lending his Burning Man ritual workshop chops to the antivax faux-freedom movement. Out of deference to his apparent sensitivity and respectable writing skills, we’ve given him the benefit of the doubt—we even invited him on this show for two episodes to see whether we could find common ground. We didn’t.In our last Bonus episode, Julian tracked how Eisenstein has accelerated and intensified his rhetoric. Today, we’ll see how he’s fortifying his money networks, and starting to say the quiet parts out loud. He’s no longer “just” dog-whistling violence and QAnon. We’re reviewing a recent video he’s co-produced with Onnit multimillionaire and Austin bro-poet Aubrey Marcus. It’s an anime rendition of the ending of his 2013 bestseller, The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible. In the book, Eisenstein presents “The Gathering of the Tribe” as a kind of personal mythology. As he levels up to the big leagues, this story about belonging to a group of blessed alien shamans sent to wake up humanity carries clear real-world literalness—and a culty vibe. If the high-end video doesn’t convince you, a tape from a hipster New Year’s Eve party in Ithaca NY might do the trick. As he holds guru-court for All the Big Questions, Eisenstein tells an Iraq vet that he has special gifts to deploy against the (fictional) building of COVID concentration camps in Rhode Island. Then he says he hopes the “pedophile elite” will just stop. Sound familiar?Eisenstein’s content is poetic and vague. Its implications are plausibly deniable. It pours out through an endless stream of radiant and inscrutable essay drops. He has mastered the cryptic prompt that either speaks to your soul, to your appetite for disrupting public health, or to your recent tactical training regimen. Who can really tell? His skill is to stand beside and above it all. He can avoid being pinned down. It’s almost as if he’s not really there, but only reflecting the zeitgeist of our broken moment. It’s time to just name him for what he is: New Age Q.Show NotesA Gathering of the Tribe | POWERFUL Short Film by Charles Eisenstein w/ Jon Hopkins & Aubrey MarcusA Gathering of the Tribe | Reality Sandwich (original, 2009)A Gathering of the Tribe (full version Charles’s site)Interview with Charles Eisenstein | Inner World Press | Shift in Consciousness Ezine In the Miracle (Eisenstein essay, 2009)Charles Eisenstein at Resonance NYE The Man Behind th -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/14/20221 hour, 33 minutes, 40 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Red-pilled Poet, Charles Eisenstein

Charles Eistenstein has had quite the pandemic. Essays read by millions, retweeted by Jack Dorsey, quoted by Ivanka Trump, held up as the poet philosopher of conspirituality—hell, he’s even been on the podcast!Julian tracks the transformative arc of malformed ideas garnished with spiritualized language that has made Eisenstein the romantic mascot of anti-vax, Covid-contrarian wellness. This is how he finds himself now poised to become the mythic storyteller-in-residence of an emerging Austin-based cult of psychedelic bro science and “medical freedom.” -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/10/202210 minutes, 24 seconds
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85: Gaia Buys Yoga International, Stocks Rise on Uranus

On the day after the Winter Solstice, as the world tucked in for an Omicron staycation, a news flash came over the wire. Yoga International—one of the largest yoga media companies in the world—had been acquired by Gaia—one of the largest pseudoscience, pseudointellectual, conspiracy theory platforms in the world. While the CEO of Yoga International immediately assured nervous content providers that the platform will remain editorially independent, only time will tell. What we do know is that countless print articles written by earnest yogis and thousands of hours of classes created by earnest yoga instructors will now share space with David Icke, an antisemitic conspiracy theorist who believes lizard people have coopted world governments—and that’s only the start. The acquisition predicts even more brain-melting in yogaland, exposing even more vulnerable and credulous seekers to a dumpster fire of meaning dressed up in a simulation of spirituality. Julian covers some Gaia history. Derek makes us suffer through some Gaia content. Matthew opens by tracking the century-long descent of yoga media to this conspiritualistic nadir.Show NotesRob Price Interview on Gaia and Conspiracy TheoriesGaia Acquires Yoga International, a Leading Digital Yoga Service Yoga guru in compromising position / Celebrity instructor Rodney Yee faces allegations of misconduct with students The Case against Swami Rama of the Himalayas How to Respond to Sexual Abuse Within a Yoga or Spiritual Community -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/7/20221 hour, 24 minutes, 35 seconds
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Bonus Sample: The Inventor of Yoga Teacher Training Was a Rapist Obsessed with UFOs

In 1969, Swami Vishnudevananda pioneered what has become a life transition ritual for the GenX and Millennial precariat: the Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) Programme. He was a cult leader rapist who thought yoga would help the world understand messages sent by UFOs. Not exactly confidence-inspiring.Not every YTT programme is bad—today's bonus host Matthew has worked in some good ones for over a decade. But on the whole, we're talking about an industry that has graduated up to 500K ppl over 50 years through a pseudo-educational process that has greased the epistemological pipeline towards conspirituality.YTTs are unregulated by any academic or professional consensus. They are driven by the anxious charisma of urban yoga studio entrepreneurs who need to sell big-ticket products to counter the rising overheads of the gentrification they're helping to drive. Their curricula offers a pastiche of uncited resources. They pad contact hours with sermons and meditation sessions. The typical YTT training manual is an unironic postmodern meat-grinder in which Iron Age philosophy and high school anatomy are blended with quotes from Carl Jung and Rumi. As an example, Matthew looks at a Jivamukti Yoga School manual from a 2007 training hosted at Omega Institute.Again: not all YTTs are bad, or lead to QAnon. But the ritual and charismatic pedagogy that most offer has a lot in common with the sacrament of redpilling—albeit more socially acceptable and aspirational. Conspirituality went viral in 2020. It's time to ask whether the YTT industry compromised a culture's immunity to it. Show NotesHello, YogAnon! Selfish Care Rituals | by Matthew Remski | MediumHow a #MeToo Facebook Post Toppled a Yoga Icon | by Matthew Remski | GENShielded for Decades, a Leader of Sivananda Yoga Finally Comes Under Fire for Alleged Abuse | GENJohn of Fraud. How did slack journalism and New Age… | by Matthew Remski | Medium Practice and All Is Coming – Matthew RemskiJivamukti sexual harassment lawsuit says the yoga studio is a cult.Jivamukti, Dark and Light: Holly Faurot, Sharon Gannon, and David Life Speak Out - Decolonizing Yoga Terry Eagleton in the New Statesman Re -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/3/202210 minutes, 19 seconds
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84: Red State Christians (w/Angela Denker)

"When we don't avoid people who think differently than we do, we gain an opportunity for growth and national renewal." So opens Red State Christians: Understanding the Voters Who Elected Donald Trump, a fascinating and insightful book by Lutheran pastor and journalist Angela Denker. Denker spent years on the road talking to Christians who voted for Donald Trump—listening to their motives and writing honestly, but not uncritically, about their reasoning. To her surprise, she discovered a much more diverse coalition than you’d likely imagine—just like the Left is not the monolith that conservatives sometimes paint. From abortion rights and racial issues to immigration and football, Denker offers an inside look at the American mindset. -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/30/202152 minutes, 25 seconds
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Bonus Sample: The Language of Conspiritualist Merchants

Derek investigates the origins of language through thinkers like David Crystal, Michael Corballis, and others, to investigate how two popular figures—Deepak Chopra and Rick Warren—sell their spiritual wares. Their patterns reveal the model many conspiritualist influencers use today. -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/27/20219 minutes, 50 seconds
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83: Climate Solstice (w/George Monbiot)

The global pandemic response is a microcosm of the global climate collapse response. In both  we get to see what’s really under the hood when the pressure is on. In the face of endless and relentless odds and near-constant demoralization, what stories do we turn to, what bonds do we form, and who do they help?Climate journalist emeritus George Monbiot joins Matthew to discuss the never-ending road of empathy and activism, and what happens on that road when otherwise brilliant and sensitive people “lose their mirror,” or sense of responsibility to the commons. What happens when they aestheticize grief. What happens when they have enough privilege to fetishize renunciation. Their discussion orbits around the recent conspirituality spiral of a writer who has been  a hero to many in the realm of climate literature and consideration. Paul Kingsnorth has recently converted to Romanian Orthodox Christianity... and vaccine skepticism. He's also wondered aloud whether the virus is not "a delicious little sign from God" that humanity deserves punishment. Show NotesThe Dark Mountain Manifesto Earth Talk: Five years on a mountain - Paul Kingsnorth and Dougald HineIs there any point in fighting to stave off industrial apocalypse? | Paul Kingsnorth and George Monbiot | The Guardian After the failure of Cop26, there is only one last hope for our survival | George Monbiot  The Vaccine Moment, part one - by Paul KingsnorthThe Vaccine Moment, part two - by Paul Kingsnorth  The Vaccine Moment, part three - by Paul Kingsnorth George Monbiot on Twitter: "I've read Paul Kingsnorth's anti-vaccine essay on Substack, and I suspect it might contribute to quite a few deaths. Why? Because his writing is elegant and powerful, but some of his facts are simply wrong. Here's a very small sample: Thread/"  -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/23/20211 hour, 5 minutes, 5 seconds
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Bonus Sample: The Middle Circle

In the 1990s, Westerners searching for enlightenment flocked to India. The pilgrimage represented an affirmation of status and authority in the burgeoning yoga economy. Julian reflects on his three months in the “middle circle” of the Osho Ashram in Pune, where he chased a destiny seeded years before in a South African basement. As an earnest yet skeptical seeker passing though cultic territory, he points out the overlaps between meaningful experience and group indoctrination. -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/20/20219 minutes, 55 seconds
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82: Steve Bannon, Mystic (w/Benjamin Teitelbaum)

While Americans were transforming esoteric strains of yoga into a commodifiable industry in 1980, a young naval officer named Steve Bannon was picking up theosophical texts in metaphysical bookstores and practicing Zen meditation in secret while stationed in Hong Kong. He was wary of his countrymates liberal explorations of Eastern philosophies, aware of the nationalistic roots upon which these “mystical” systems were founded. Then he stumbled into Traditionalism, a perennial philosophy that consumed all world religions, as popularized by the likes of French metaphysicist René Guénon and Italian antisemitic conspiracy theorist Julius Evola.This week we welcome Benjamin Teitelbaum, an Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology and International Affairs at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and author of the book, War for Eternity: The Return of Traditionalism and the Rise of the Populist Right. Teitelbaum gained access to leading right-wing figures around the world, including Steve Bannon. He’s got their number and brings receipts. Get ready for a long, strange trip.Show NotesThe rise of the traditionalists: how a mystical doctrine is reshaping the rightCovid-19 Is the Crisis Radical ‘Traditionalists’ Have Been Waiting ForThe People Who Pray for the Apocalypse | Benjamin Teitelbaum | The Glenn Beck Podcast -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/17/20211 hour, 19 minutes, 3 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Not All Conspiritualities Are the Same

Matthew responds to the robust feedback on the Sam-Harris-is-a-highbrow-conspiritualist bonus, and then stretches the terms around harm in the conspirituality sphere in another way, by looking at the spectrum of agency offered by different wellness/spirituality products. He interrogates the premise implicit in some of our reporting that the cognitive errors and magical thinking of alt-health and New Age paradigms are all on a slippery slope to ruin. TLDR: isn’t it always more about sociology than ideology? -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/13/202110 minutes, 1 second
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81: Praying for Fire (w/Sean Prophet)

When Mike Flynn posted a video on July 4, 2020 in which his family recited QAnon slogans, it cemented the disgraced former National Security Advisor and U.S. Army lieutenant general as a MAGA patriot super-hero. On September 17, just 14 short months later, Flynn took the stage, bathed in light at the Lord of Hosts Church in Omaha, Nebraska to lead a political prayer that was a fiery angelic call-to-arms. But, oops! It turns out that this prayer traces back to New Age doomsday cult leader, Elizabeth Clare Prophet. Now the Q-faithful have turned on their hero, accusing him of being in league with the Satanic cabal. We’ll ask today’s guest host, Sean Prophet—who happens to be the eldest son of that cult leader—how he got out, and how we got here.Show NotesThe Radical Secular podcast with Sean ProphetRelevant episodes:9: QAnon and Conspirituality: with Matthew Remski - 08.24.2016: Before Q, There Was CUT: with Joe Szimhart - 10.19.2022: Getting out of Cults and Harmful Religions - Bonus Episode54: Blavatsky, the I Am, and The Summit Lighthouse - 07.19.21Black Sun Journal » Happy Birthday, Mom!: 2006 Article by Sean Prophet on final interaction with Elizabeth Clare ProphetChurch Universal and Triumphant - Nightline - May 17th 1990 CUT/Summit Lighthouse on Oprah 5 with Streiker and Hassan QAnon Fall Out from Mike Flynn using I Am Prayer -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/10/20211 hour, 26 minutes, 3 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Spiritual Consumerism

Derek shares a story from his time as a Lululemon brand ambassador to highlight the toxic merging of spiritual practices and consumerism. Not only does he detail Lulu's post-Chip Wilson pivot in an attempt to "own yoga," he also explores the histories of branding, money, and markets in an attempt to understand how we arrived at the influencer culture that dominates social media today.  -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/6/202113 minutes, 50 seconds
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80: Lights, Camera, Yoga (w/Jill Miller)

We've talked a lot on this podcast about the selfie sermon: the kind of iPhone video native to Instagram influencers. Easily weaponized by conspiritualists, this sermon is equal parts intimate confessional, prophecy download, and motivational coaching, directly transmitted from your favorite self-anointed maverick expert. Social media seems perfectly designed for such hypnotic performances and spiritual darshans. But in the brick-and-mortar world, yoga teachers have long blurred the line between acting and teaching, space holding and theater, and ritual ceremony and fitness. If all the world's a stage, as Shakespeare had it, the wooden planks of the yoga studio—and the digital platforms built in ether—demand that teachers embrace a role, adopt a script, and sell a story to their audience. What we want to know is: where does the performance end and yoga begin, or perhaps more to the point, is there even a difference?Our guest host today is Jill Miller, who many listeners will know from her hugely influential body of work in yoga and movement as founder of Tune-Up Fitness. She's also a former actor, which played an important role in her transition to full-time yoga instructor. We're going to start today with an excerpt from her 2017 TED-style talk that she gave in Toronto titled, “Lights, Camera, Yoga." -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/3/20211 hour, 6 minutes, 40 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Did We Choose to Be the Good Ones?

Kyle Rittenhouse walks away from the courthouse while Ahmaud Arbery's killers were found guilty and "QAnon Shaman," Jacob Chansley, was received significant jail time. Our opinions on each of these cases are likely determined by our political affiliations, which in turn are a reflection of how we think about morality, crime, and punishment.Julian draws on scientific research into how genetics and the brain shape our politics, thought experiments in moral philosophy, and the work of moral psychologist Jonathan Haidt.As he questions whether or not any of us have freely chosen to be the good ones, he wonders if a way out of our toxic polarization might be found through understanding the underlying  moral values and emotional reactions that drive one another's political beliefs. -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/29/20218 minutes, 57 seconds
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79: Anti-Hate Work in Canada (w/Dan Collen, Elizabeth Simons, & Morgan Yew)

COVID has been a recruiting windfall for hate groups in Canada, with new alliances and networks forged between white supremacists, xenophobes, and ethnonationalists in the fire of accelerated conspiracism. Joining Matthew to map out this landscape are street-level anti-hate activists Elizabeth Simons, the deputy director of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, Dan Collen, a researcher with the Neuberger Holocaust Education Center's Online Hate Education and Research Project, and Morgan Yew, a video journalist and DJ from Kamloops, whose coverage of Toronto's anti-lockdown protests has been rich and revealing.We cover a lot in this one: the “irony poisoning” white nationalist recruiting tactics that target 14 year-old boys, the rogue’s gallery of extremists wreaking havoc at anti-lockdown rallies, racists trying on “sovereign citizen” pseudolaw in the courts, and their craven appropriation of Indigenous rights discourse when they lurch into “Pretendian” territory. We’ll also look at the People’s Party of Canada, and discuss why it is not very smart to write it off as QAnon foolishness.Content Warning: analysis of hateful views, including notes from a white supremacist recruiting manual that is instructing followers on how to indoctrinate children.Show NotesCanadian Anti-Hate NetworkDan Collen’s fantastic articles on Medium: dancollen.medium.comMorgan Yew’s awesome Twitter feedCanadian Anti-Semites and Far-Right Conspiracy Theorists Try New Tactic: Aligning with Indigenous Communities MediasmartsLearning for Justice | Education ResourcesWisdom2Action – Facilitate Change. Strengthen Communities.The 519- nonprofit promoting 2SLGBTQ+ inclusion serving Toronto - The 519 - Space For Change - The519Egale Canada - nonprofit promoting 2SLGBTQ+ inclusion serving Canada Home - EgaleCASSA - Council of Agencies Serving South Asians - http://cassa.on.ca/The Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre - https://www.holocaustcentre.com/Chinese Canadian National Council for Social Justice - https://ccncsj.ca/Timeline cleanse. Some of Morgan’s video nurturance journalism. -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/25/20211 hour, 21 minutes, 25 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Sam Harris: High-Brow Secular Conspiritualist

Bonus episode, piloted by Matthew.There is a subtle form of conspirituality that rides on the familiar dialectic of political cynicism and spiritual promise—but it's dressed for a button-down salon dinner in Harvard Square. No crystals in sight, no essential oils wafting through the room. Sam Harris isn’t sounding the alarm about the Cabal or the Illuminati: his bugaboos are Islam, or “wokeism,” or “cancel culture.” And he isn’t saying that starseeds will save the day, or that a Great Awakening is upon us. He’s not so low-brow. His salvation product is meditation, which he says can validate his political insights. And hey, there's an app for that!Show NotesCelebrity Crusaders For EmpireTowards a geopolitics of atheismWhy the arguments of the 'New Atheists' are often just as violent as religionHarris daydreaming about a nuclear strikeMeet the Renegades of the Intellectual Dark WebWill the "University of Austin" ever actually exist?Sam Harris & Charles Murray Harris. “A Few Points of Confusion.”Decoding the Gurus: Sam Harris & Meditation is all you needGurometer— Kavanaugh and BrowneBuddhist Studies Has a Whiteness Problem -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/22/20219 minutes, 58 seconds
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78: Society of the Conspiracy

Conspiracy theories flourish during uncertain times. They're always with us, passed down through generations like alternate histories, yet they’re constantly reinvented when collective stress levels peak. Julian reports on the QAnon spin-off group that’s been camped out in Dallas’s Dealey Plaza for two weeks, hoping to catch a glimpse of a pantheon of resurrected dead celebrities. In light of the Astroworld concert tragedy, which killed 10 people, being interpreted as a ritual Satanic sacrifice on social media, Derek wonders if conspiracies are just how we process everything now. Matthew points out the legitimate reasons conspiracy theorists have for their paranoia while warning against the media's tendency to titillate by misusing the terminology of cult research. And he also reads a bit from Paradise Lost. A conversational recap week as we’re working on some Big Shows in the next few weeks.Show NotesRiots, deaths, sexual assault: Maybe Woodstock was always a nightmareThe Bizarre Travis Scott Claims Show That Conspiracies Are Just How We Process ThingsTikTok and QAnon Panic Over ‘Satanism’ Conspiracies at Deadly Travis Scott ConcertQAnon’s Refuse to Leave Dallas After JFK Jr. Fails to AppearInside The QAnon Cult Waiting for JFK Jr.On The Ground At Dealey PlazaTwitter videos/thread on Michael Brian ProtzmanWhat Biden is keeping secret in the JFK files QAnon Influencer Recruiting Secretary of State Candidates Academic Research on Conspiracy Theories in Times of Social CrisisKaren Douglas PhD on The Psychology of Conspiracy Theories -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/19/20211 hour, 10 minutes, 17 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Privilege in Wellness Spaces

Privilege is often blind and rampant across societies. But is the term also overused?Derek looks at two examples of privilege in wellness spaces, the danger of its overuse, and a possible reframing of how to approach the topic.  -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/15/20219 minutes, 11 seconds
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77: A Homeopathy Episode So Potent You Can’t Hear It (w/Jonathan Jarry)

To prepare this curative episode, we listened carefully to alternative health consumers for many hours, taking an exhaustive history of life challenges on physical, mental, and emotional planes. We scanned the symptoms against our compendium of disease states and prescribed the precise substances that would mirror them.Then, we took minuscule audio samples from our podcasting apothecary — skepticism, melancholy, and empathy. We mixed these, diluted them a thousand times, to the point at which they became completely inaudible. Then we shook them up and down while chanting the spell of this bespoke remedy: Conspiritualitis investigarium.Please don’t try to turn up your volume on this episode. You can’t actually hear it, and that’s what makes it so powerful. But seriously folks. Welcome to our long-awaited homeopathy show — and not a week too soon. NFL’s leading quarterback Aaron Rodgers has just admitted to endangering the entire league by opting to be “immunized” via homeopathy rather than complying with the league’s vaccination requirements. (He’s also a lying liar.) There are reports of homeopaths selling COVID19 remedies — through both small ops in the U.S., and federally-approved dispensers in India, where Narendra Modi’s Hindu Nationalists mingled sugar pills with astrology to help disguise their negligent pandemic response. Derek takes us on a tour through the strange history of this medicine that isn’t there, and interviews Jonathan Jarry of the McGill Office for Science and Society on why it haunts us. Julian contextualizes homeopathy against the broader “Complementary and Alternative Medicine” landscape. And Matthew wonders about the uses of magic. Show NotesA brief history of homeopathyVaccines and HomeopathHomeopathy: A HistoryBerlin Wall pills: a cure for emotional trauma – or royal-endorsed quackeryJonathan Jarry's homeopathy videoJonathan's articles for McGill UniversityHomeopathy And Its Founder: Views Of A British ResearcherMEASURING MYTHOLOGY: Startling Concepts in NCCAM Grant$2.5 billion spent, no alternative cures foundComplementary And Alternative Medicine -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/12/20212 hours, 2 minutes, 16 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Rational Emotions & Poetic Science

Are emotions really separate from rationality? Is trusting science similar to religious faith? Do poetry and mythic archetypes disclose a reality beyond the material world? What might characters like Mr. Spock reveal about logical thinking? Julian explores the relationships between scientific and religious world views through the lenses of emotions, metaphors, and the brain. He draws on clips from neuroscientist Antonio Damasio, philosopher Julia Galef,  linguist George Lakoff, biology professor Robert Sapolsky, and neurologist Vilayanur Ramachandran.Show NotesThis Time With Feeling: David Brooks and Antonio Damasio40/40 Vision Lecture: Neurology and the Passion for ArtGeorge Lakoff - How Does Philosophy Illuminate the Physical World? 24. SchizophreniaThe Straw Vulcan, Julia Galef Skepticon 4 -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/8/20218 minutes, 24 seconds
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76: A Field Guide to White Supremacy (w/Kathleen Belew)

There is no avoiding the fact that conspirituality plays out against a backdrop of racially-charged politics and the echoes of colonialism. And from the beginning of this podcast project we’ve tackled things like the origins of yoga and wellness being tangled up with European fascist movements and racist eugenics. We’re speaking from and into a culture that is predominantly white, and has the disposable income to afford boutique health ideologies. We know it’s naturally allergic to the project of public health. We know that it ignores the social determinants of health — because if it didn’t, it couldn’t sell its green-smoothie-based hero’s journeys.But reporting on race and conspirituality is only going to get harder. In this episode, Matthew reviews a new volume of essays that might help. A Field Guide to White Supremacy, edited by Drs. Kathleen Belew and Ramon Gutierrez, brings together a pile of resources for journalists and policy-makers who want to engage thoughtfully with issues of equality. And he interviews Dr. Belew on best practices, The Great Replacement conspiracy theory, and why there are no “lone wolves.”In a debrief discussion, Derek and Julian join in to puzzle out the complexities of reporting on Robert F. Kennedy Jr. platforming Black anti-vax activists, how the sources of vax-hesitancy shown by Aaron Rogers and Kyrie Irving might be coming from different places, and how to think empathetically about vaccine hesitancy in Black liberation movements. Show NotesKathleen BelewA Field Guide to White Supremacy by Kathleen Belew, Ramon A. Gutierrez RFK Jr is one of the Disinformation Dozen, and He has actively courted and collaborated with Black communities and leadersTwitter thread of Barclay's Center protest clipsThe Creator Of 'The Punisher' Wants To Reclaim The Iconic Skull From Police And Fringe AdmirersKyrie Irving hints at redpilling followers on IG -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/4/20212 hours, 4 minutes, 14 seconds
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Bonus Sample: My Religious Attitude Toward Science

Okay, maybe the title is overstated. But, as Matthew explores in this bonus episode: what are the contours of social comfort and habitus — supported by faith and ritual — that haunt any layperson's relationship to science? When the pressure is on, be it acute or existential, do we really display "critical thinking" — or are we really skilled at post-hoc rationalizing choices that embody the social status we wish to identify with?What are the psychosocial scents that waft from institutional actors vs. influencers, and what does it say about history and personal experience that one or the other is inviting, or terrifying?Finally: both Steve Hassan and Lee McIntyre have proposed that careful 1:1 conversations can re-establish interpersonal trust with the indoctrinated. But when we're talking about making vulnerable populations less susceptible to pseudoscience and conspiracy theories, is this really sufficient? Or must we consider broader forms of social atonement, like reparations? Show NotesSapolsky: Religious Ritual is OCDB.C. health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on COVID-19333,000 children were abused within France's Catholic Church, a report finds Santa Claus and Dr. Tam have a video chat  -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/1/20218 minutes, 26 seconds
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75: How to Talk to a Science Denier (w/Lee McIntyre)

What happens when a philosopher of science shows up at a flat earth conference to test out his theories about changing people's minds? This story catapults you into Lee Mcintyre’s new book, How to Talk to a Science Denier. As anti-vaccine and anti-quarantine protests flare up around the world, and the pandemic drags us all through financial and emotional destruction, discussing science communication has become more necessary than ever. Mcintyre's 2018 book, Post-Truth, examined the manipulative world of “alternative facts.” As a sort of addendum, his latest charts a boots-on-the-ground course to understanding and engaging with false beliefs. Julian's interview with Lee is the main focus of today's episode. After we run the interview, the crew debriefs and discusses.Show NotesTalking to science deniers and sceptics is not hopelessWhen Corrections Fail: The Persistence of Political MisperceptionsSanta Claus and Dr. Tam have a video chat -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/28/20211 hour, 52 minutes, 12 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Charisma & Extroversion

It's been over a century since Dale Carnegie began teaching the importance of extroversion, bringing with it a cultural shift that champions an aggressive social and work style. Gone were the days of championing introspection.Derek explores his own relationship with introversion in Yogaland, wondering how a quiet form of self-investigation that often champions the loud and bombastic on social media. The influence of the extrovert has dominated many domains, but none more insidiously than the wellness influencers feigning compassion in an attempt to influence people but not necessarily win friends. Show NotesPeople Aren’t Meant to Talk This Much Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/25/20216 minutes, 47 seconds
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74: Elena Brower Could Stop Selling doTERRA

What happens when MLM sales and neoliberal life coaching collide with a yoga charisma that oozes with pseudofeminism? Where do we even begin? Exploitation. Heartbreak. Toxic mimicries of therapy, mentorship, political awareness, and community.In this investigative report, Matthew digs into the background of a recent article posted to Medium called “Open Letter to Elena Brower.” He interviews the author, Tatum Fjerstad, who Brower mentored from 2014 to 2016, and Liz Fullen, who worked as Brower’s unpaid yoga class assistant for approximately three years. He’ll also play excerpts from a legally-recorded Zoom call in which Brower gives non-consensual “coaching” to a stranger. Friend of the pod Dr. Natalia Petrzela joins the story to recount her personal brush with the Handel Coaching Method. Brower is a Handel “expert coach”, and has merged the Method with her yoga training to produce peak cognitive-dissonant messaging: You’re fabulous, but you're fucked. You’re already perfect and you know what’s right for you, but you have a lot of work to do, and I can show you how to do it.Other themes include “performative therapy abuse”, the perils of unlicensed therapy, and how the power pyramids that hide in plain sight may be more vulnerable than we know, especially when we begin to talk about them clearly.Show NotesOpen Letter to Elena Brower. CW: spiritual and emotional abuse | by tatum fjerstad | Sep, 2021 | Mediummlmtruth.org's killer list of research and resourcesNew Presidential Diamond announcement: BrowerConspirituality Instagram post on "Performative Therapy Abuse"Yoga Teachers Are Not Doctors, Doctors Are Not PriestsIYNAUS independent investigation of Manouso ManosThe American Yoga ReVolution with Iyengar disciples Manouso Manos and Patricia Walden“Betrayal of Trust”: 1991 Mercury News Investigation of Sexual Assault Allegations Against Manouso Manos — by Bob FrostThe Yoga Mogul: John Friend, Creator of the Anusara School -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/21/20212 hours, 1 minute, 41 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Radical Denial

With a new variant of QAnon circulating through white evangelical churches, protests against masks and vaccines are becoming more aggressive around the world. In Germany, a gas station attendant who asked a customer to mask-up was shot dead this week, and a Maryland man allegedly killed his pharmacist brother and sister in law, believing that they were poisoning people with vaccines. Demonstrations have turned violent in Australia; in New York, a mobile-free Covid-test site was up-ended. In LA, Beverly Hills protest organizer Shiva Bagheri was caught on video punching a breast cancer patient outside a clinic and harassing parents and kids as they walked into an elementary school, yelling that vaccines are a form of child-rape. For this week’s Bonus, Julian looks at these developments through the lens of research on radicalization and fascist political movements. While Westboro Baptist Church tip-toes right up to the edge of violence with their hateful fundamentalist activism, the anti-abortion movement has included terrorism in the form of bombing, kidnapping, and murder. But it’s not all bad news. This episode ends with data from a recent study on what supports de-radicalization, as well as a hopeful personal account of how compassionate online interactions led one woman to exit a hate group she was born into, and advocate now for tolerance. Show Notes What does Radicalisation Look Like? Four Visualisations of Socialisation into Violent Extremism Watch a Beverly Hills Anti-Vaxxer Scream at School Kids Vaccines Are ‘Rape’ ‘It’s evil’: Jim Acosta reacts to Trump’s remark during interview The Link Between the Capitol Riot and Anti-Abortion Extremism What Do Former Extremists and Their Families Say About Radicalization and Deradicalization in America? -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/18/202110 minutes, 40 seconds
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73: Eating Disorders in Yogaland (w/Jason Nagata & Chelsea Roff)

Meat is toxic. Dairy is toxic. Eggs? As dangerous as cigarettes. Garlic stokes the hormones. Avoid nightshades at all costs. Organic or bust. Eat according to your blood type. Eat according to your chronotype. Cacao resonates with the frequency of the sun, but never, ever add sugar to it. Sugar is toxic. Juice cleanses lead you to your highest self. If you’re exhausted already, so are we. This week, Derek anchors our look at how the wellness world disguises eating disorders as purity tests and pathways to “clean” eating. He opens up about his 15-year-battle with orthorexia, an eating disorder he believes to be rampant in yoga and wellness, as well as the broader fitness world, where men hide their own eating disorders with protein shakes and ketogenic fasting. Matthew adds kitchen notes from the spiritual cult front lines. Julian talks with Chelsea Roff, founder of Eat Breathe Thrive, about her own struggles with food before discussing her decade of experience working with eating disorder victims in Yogaland. Derek then chats with Dr. Jason Nagata about the challenges of treating boys and men in clinical settings, and what to do about a phenomenon so many suffer from yet so few are able to find a language for.Show NotesThis Is What It’s Like For Men With Eating DisordersEating Disorders in Teens Have ‘Exploded’ in the PandemicEating Disorders Surged Among Adolescents in PandemicMen obsessed with building muscle mass have higher mental health risksUncovering and Destigmatizing Male Body Dysmorphia in Popular CultureDoctors alerted to dangerous dry scooping workout trendProspective health associations of drive for muscularity in young adult malesWhat Is Orthorexia?Body dysmorphic disorderFilm Theory 101 – Laura Mulvey: The Male Gaze Theory -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/14/20211 hour, 48 minutes, 4 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Talking to Children About Conspirituality

An audio essay loosely based on conversations Matthew has while parenting. Content is possibly appropriate for ages 7 to 11 — although who really knows. The main point is to deflate the media persona and cut back on the cynicism and hot-takery to discuss these things in a way that leaves the door open for growth and hope. Rules: use simple sentences, many examples, frame bad news within good news, and never call anyone stupid. Don’t give a kid a story that has no way out. Don’t people their world with hopeless cases.Questions include: What is a conspiracy?  What’s the difference between a good and bad conspiracy?  So what are conspiracy theories?  Are all conspiracy theories bad?  How can people can believe COVID isn’t real when they can see how many people are getting sick and dying?  Why do conspiracy theorists make things worse than they actually are?  Why would the government cover up aliens?  What is spirituality?  What do conspiracy theories have to do with spirituality?  So if you grew up believing in Jesus, did you used to believe in conspirituality? -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/11/20219 minutes, 9 seconds
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72: John of Fraud (w/Lisa Braun Dubbels and Mirna Wabi-Sabi)

Whatever one’s conception of “God” is, “John of God” should now be a nauseating name. For decades, João Teixeira de Faria pretended to heal an endless stream of pilgrims to his center in rural central Brazil through the Spiritist practice of “psychic surgery.” In reality, the miracle healing claims worked to cover up an obvious truth. João was sexually assaulting and raping women, in public and in private, likely every day of his “working” life. As he did so, he amassed a vast fortune in affiliate businesses, farming operations, real estate, referral rackets, and sales of crystals and fake remedies.In this episode we won’t retell this history, now poignantly captured by a new Brazilian-made documentary on Netflix. Instead, we’ll look at how lazy and motivated journalism shook hands with the entrepreneurial New Age to validate and accelerate the absurd claims of a monster. In addition to original reporting on how João made his mark in the U.S., Matthew is joined by former New Age publicist Lisa Braun Dubbels and Brazilian journalist Mirna Wabi Sabi to discuss the globalization of magic and abuse. Trigger warnings for this episode: rape, sexual assault, fraud, spiritual abuse.Show NotesBiles, Maroney, Raisman and Nichols opening statements before CongressChico Xavier | ObituaryIs ‘John of God’ a Healer or a Charlatan?John of God — SkepdicJames Randi ABC comments debriefThe trouble with Dr. OzJohn of God 2006 Atlanta ProgramAbout Heather CummingsOprah March 13, 2010: “Do You Believe in Miracles?” (webarchive)Leap of Faith: Meet John of God — Susan Casey (webarchive)Part One: John of God: Oprah’s Favorite Ghost-Channeling Rapist Surgeon – Behind the BastardsFamous Brazilian spiritual healer accused of sexual abuse | 60 Minutes Australia -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/8/20212 hours, 18 minutes, 2 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Flow States & Humility

During Thursday’s episode, Derek briefly described Flow States in the context of a universal form of spirituality. He explores that concept in a little more depth, pulling audio from Hungarian-American psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s 2004 TED Talk about the social ramifications of Flow States. -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/4/20214 minutes, 24 seconds
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71: So Do We Believe in Anything at All?

We’re grounding down. We’re letting go. We are going deep. We are finding the metta in our meta and tuning in to Source. This week we’ll either answer or transcend the core questions our listeners post in moments of parasocial vulnerability:Do you guys believe in anything at all? Are there any wholesome spiritual communities out there? Are all spiritual teachers toxic?This four-hour immersive encounter between three white guys is not to be missed!(Seriously tho: we’ve got some huge interviews and investigative pieces coming up in the next few weeks, so we’re kicking back a little here to talk basics and regroup.) -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/30/20211 hour, 19 minutes, 52 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Reality Bites: The Tragedy of Magical Thinking

Julian traces the roots of today’s pandemic-era conspirituality back to What The Bleep’s quantum woo, The Secret’s privileged denial and grandiosity, and the dark lessons of why beliefs really matter, as revealed by James Arthur Ray’s deadly Spiritual Warrior Retreat.Show NotesLaura Tucker’s response to Nine Perfect StrangersGuru: The Dark Side of Enlightenment -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/27/20219 minutes, 42 seconds
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70: Conspiracy Theories Conceal a Burning World (w/Daniel Sherrell)

Daniel Sherrell is the author of an extraordinary memoir and prayer book, Warmth: Coming of Age at the End of Our World, in which he recounts how, as a climate activist born in 1990, he has fought to manage, digest, and even celebrate the desperate tasks of the only age he’s known: the Anthropocene. The book is his homage to the resources that help him meditate on weaning ourselves from the dissociations of Twitter and doing the hard work of transforming climate grief into climate integrity.In our feature interview this week, Matthew sits down with Daniel to discuss the real conspiracy of climate denialism, and how conspiracy theories provide relief to those who cannot contemplate our condition.We start the show with Derek’s contemplation of Amitav Ghosh’s “The Great Derangement” and Julian’s notes on climate denialism dwarfing the disinformation we typically interrogate in the wellness world.Show NotesWarmth by Daniel SherrellSherrell and Dorothy Fortenberry on Know Your EnemyWhy Grief can be Strength in a Warming World | Daniel Sherrell |Learning How to Die in the Anthropocene – ScrantonLaudato si’ (24 May 2015) | FrancisTucker Carlson on Military Vaccine MandateDr. Wilson (Debunk the Funk) on Mike YeadonBig Oil’s War on ScienceUCSA Climate Skeptic Disinformation ListThe Climate Disinformation PlaybookDesmog DatabaseSteven Koonin, the “Obama Scientist”Daniel Sherrell’s Reading ListDucks, Newburyport — EllmanThe Summer Book – Jannson -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/23/20212 hours, 16 minutes, 13 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Spirit Island No Garbage

On his family’s yearly trip to Manitoulin Island, Matthew detoxes from conspirituality influencer garbage, and returns with parts of a new plan.Show NotesWarmth by Daniel Sherrell: 9780143136538 | PenguinRandomHouse.com: BooksLiving at the End of Our World (w/ Daniel Sherrell & Dorothy Fortenberry) | Know Your EnemyLives Reclaimed — Mark RosemanWhat Conspiritualists and Anti-Vaxxers Get Right | by Matthew Remski | Aug, 2021 | Medium -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/20/20219 minutes, 33 seconds
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69: Fascism Down Under!!! (w/Dr. Izzy Smith)

This week, California Governor Gavin Newsom rode sane pandemic messaging to victory against the Republican-led recall election by a huge margin. Unsurprisingly, voting patterns perfectly matched the state COVID heat map, with fans of the recall suffering the worst outbreaks. Meanwhile, a strict lockdown in Australia, which is experiencing a Delta outbreak, led to American libertarians and right-wing commentators screaming fascism! We talk to Decoding the Gurus co-host (and real-life Australian) Matthew Browne about the situation on the ground. Later in the episode, Julian interviews another Aussie, Dr. Izzy Smith, about her online anti-conspiracy theory activism and science advocacy.In the Ticker, Derek looks at JP Sears’s new cryptocurrency grift, which appears to be inspired by fellow Austinite Mikki Willis—who also announced a supplement grift this week. Matthew talks briefly to Toronto video journalist Morgan Yew to begin making sense of the alarming convergence of racist alt-right groups with aggressive anti-mask, anti-vaccine protestors at medical facilities in Canada.Show NotesHow the media helped fuel the anti-vaxx movementThe Non-Fungible Freedom ColumnAtlantic article “Australia Traded Away Too Much Liberty”Josh Szeps Twitter thread response to The AtlanticFederalist article Pursuing Covid-Zero Has Turned Australia into an Authoritarian StateOpinion | Meet the police chief turned yoga instructor prodding wealthy suburbanites to civil warEx-La Habra police chief Alan Hostetter, 5 others charged in Jan. 6 Capitol riotWhen QAnon Came to CanadaGlowing Mama Anti-Masker. Toronto Influencer Socially Toilets in… | by Matthew Remski | MediumMorgan Yew (@weynagrom)Morgan Yew interviewing Sarah Choujounian of Canadian Frontline NursesMorgan Yew: Plan to “Interview” Racist Anti-Lockdown Influencer Ends in Violence -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/16/20212 hours, 16 minutes, 23 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Mikki Willis Rewrites History

In June, Planedemic creator Mikki Willis appeared on Living 4D with Paul Chek to discuss what “really happened” at the Capitol on Jan 6. During the long-ranging talk, Willis took some time to attack a VICE News article that we were featured in. Unfortunately for Willis, we have the audio from the Election Night party in Austin being referenced. Derek updates Willis’s memory.Show NotesLiving 4D With Paul Check, EP 141 – Mikki Willis 2: What’s Really Going On?The Election Night audioLeading New Age Conspiracy Influencers Plan Their Retreat to Utopian Lagoon -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/13/202110 minutes, 14 seconds
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68: The Jordan Peterson of Fitness Bros (w/Antonio Valladares)

Paul Chek will tell you how much he’s influenced the fitness industry. He’ll tell you that he popularized Swiss Balls, and about his time working with the Jordan-era Chicago Bulls and then the championship Lakers. The kinesiologist and founder of the Chek Institute, which offers numerous training programs under the slogan, “We teach the science of living well,” claims that he’s always taken a holistic approach to weightlifting and the gym. In fact, the man does not mind telling you how vast his influence is.Embedded in Chek’s holistic approach is a penchant for conspiratorial thinking. He trained JP Sears, traded podcasts with biohacker Ben Greenfield, hung with anus sunshiner Troy Casey, and hosted Mikki Willis twice in the last year on his own podcast, Living 4D with Paul Chek. Today’s co-host, NYC-based fitness expert Antonio Valladares, also trained with Chek, but unlike many of Chek’s acolytes, Antonio has used his time and knowledge debunking conspiracy theories in nutrition and fitness, not adding to the fire. In this week’s closer, Matthew reviews and contextualizes a Facebook post from the charismatic dissectionist Gil Hedley. Hedley’s post leaned into familiar anti-vax territory. But he deleted it — and, in a positive email exchange, revealed some earnest motivations and empathetic impulses. A good lesson that you never quite know where people are coming from, or where they’re going.Show NotesDeconstructing Paul ChekWho is Paul Chek: Holistic Lifestyle CoachPlandemic Director Mikki Willis Explains His Presence at Capitol Riot — Matthew RemskiAbout Gil HedleyGil Hedley: Fascia and stretching:  The Fuzz Speech -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/10/20211 hour, 13 minutes, 40 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Hollow Men: The QAnon Roadshow Flop

A QAnon-themed Stop The Steal, anti-vax, Covid-denial roadshow came to an untimely end in mid-August with their fearless leader succumbing to COVID pneumonia on a ventilator in Florida. He denied the virus was real until his last breath.This week, Julian chronicles the 84-stop Arise USA Resurrection Tour led by the recently deceased former CIA agent, Robert David Steele.Characters on this Ill-fated tour include the aging wanna-be rock star slam-poet conspiracist Sacha Stone, anti-vax Urban Health Alliance leader Kevin Jenkins, cowboy-costumed MC Trent Loos, and a presidential impersonator named Lincoln Bob. -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/6/20216 minutes, 28 seconds
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67: The Promise & Peril of Psychedelics

Psychedelics are all the rage in the investment world, with hundreds of millions of dollars pouring into research-based startups in the hope of finding interventions for addiction, depression, PTSD, end-of-life anxieties, and much more. But is it too much? Are we, as has happened with numerous substances in the past, placing too much faith in plant medicine? Will investors expecting a return on investment skew the research? And, more to the point of this podcast, is the burgeoning crop of yoga instructors turned shamans promising more than they can deliver?With Matthew on a much-deserved vacation this week, Julian interviews Derek about these topics based on Derek’s 2020 book, Hero’s Dose: The Case for Psychedelics in Ritual & Therapy.In the Ticker this week, Julian looks at the growing list of anti-vax, COVID-is-a-hoax conservative radio hosts dying of COVID. We begin with the obvious: Joe Rogan recently contracted COVID, and admitted to undergoing what might be the most insane drug regimen to date.Show NotesRobert David Steele Dies from Covid, While Denying CovidAnti-Vax Conservative Radio Hosts Dying from CovidCaleb Wallace, 30-year-old Freedom Rally Organizer Dies from CovidTexas GOP official who Mocked Covid, dies from itHero’s Dose: The Case for Psychedelics in Ritual & Therapy -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/3/20211 hour, 27 minutes, 21 seconds
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Bonus Sample: I Don’t Know Who My Friends Are

After watching the Almost 30 podcast hosts bond over Zach Bush’s Jesus-like qualities, Matthew explores the barren friendship landscape of wellness gigworkers.From the transcript: We engage with friendship pornography by consuming attractive images and vicarious sensations of friendship for the sake of pleasure, without having to engage with the complexity of social conditions, class differences, boredom, sickness, or death, and without having to be responsible for the other in any sustainable way.Why is this relevant to conspirituality? Because at every turn on this podcast, we are talking about economies built within demographics sewn together by consumerism. It’s a world in which charisma is the currency and emotions are the commodities. When the influencer sells you on their subscription “community”, they are offering a toxic mimic of friendship — that’s clear… Think of how MLMs co-opt the lingo of “community”, “tribe”, etc, when what they’re really doing is turning every single social interaction within a given demographic into a sales pitch.Show NotesAbout Lindsey & Krista: Almost 30SoulCycle changed fitness. Its culture and toxic work environment made growth impossible.The Wellness Pornographers. Gamifying intimacy, abusing public… | by Matthew Remski | Aug, 2021 | MediumAnti-Vax Doctor Manifests as Jesus. Wellness Ladies Weep with Joy. — Matthew Remski -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/30/20218 minutes, 29 seconds
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66: Spirituality & Status (w/Will Storr)

Spirituality, ill-defined a term that it is, often implies both an emptying out and an addition. What leaves is the vacuous clinging to achievements that are supposedly preventing us from seeing our true nature. What’s granted is a new mindset, a novel way of being, one in which you are at peace with both yourself and the world.Where does the drive for status play into this quest? As journalist Will Storr points out in his new book, The Status Game: On Social Position and How We Use It, you can’t escape our impulse for achieving status. You can learn to dampen its hold on you, however. Derek catches up with Will to discuss how status plays a role in anti-vax groups, spiritual communities, and political groups.We start this week with a Ticker by Matthew, who previews a bonus episode on the friendship porn we see on the Almost 30 episode in which the hosts share tears after being snowjobbed by Zach Bush.Show NotesAlmost 30 podcast, Ep.451: Dr. Zach Bush on Fear, The Immune System, & The Real Meaning of LifeThe Status Game by Will Storr review — how the fight for status defines our world -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/26/20211 hour, 13 minutes, 24 seconds
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Bonus Sample: The Question of Consciousness

One of the most debated topics in spirituality (and beyond) involves the origins of consciousness. Most neuroscientists agree that it’s emergent—the physiological systems of the body create what we call “consciousness.”Derek revisits his 2018 conversation with Michael Gazzaniga, whose 1961 studies on split-brain patients revolutionized the discipline of neuroscience.Show NotesNeuroscientist Anil Seth: ‘We risk not understanding the central mystery of life’VS Ramachandran: 3 Clues to Understanding Your BrainDecoding the Brain’s Cacophony -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/23/20218 minutes, 31 seconds
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65: Long-Haul QAnon (w/Rachel Bernstein & Jitarth Jadeja)

Santa Barbara surf coach Matthew Coleman murdered his two young children in Mexico nearly two weeks ago. He told the FBI that he was “enlightened by QAnon and Illuminati conspiracy theories and was receiving visions and signs revealing that his wife possessed serpent DNA and had passed it on to his children.”Beneath the peak chaos of this story lies a social fabric torn to shreds by QAnon and related conspiracy theories. Marriages are ending, custody battles are raging, and parents and children are negotiating painful silences or estrangements.Joining us today as a co-host is Jitarth Jadeya, one of the few ex-QAnon followers so far who has been willing and able to discuss what this fever dream did to him and his family. Marriage and Family therapist Rachel Bernstein, the host of the brilliant IndoctriNation Podcast, also joins to discuss her experiences working with cult survivors and providing recovery resources. In this week’s closer, Derek examines the scientific hipsterism of Zach Bush, who has recently co-opted Malcolm X as a posthumous endorser, when Malcolm would have probably hated his gut biome.Show NotesSurf Instructor Killed His Children and Claimed QAnon Made Him Do It, F.B.I. SaysQAnon: a timeline of violence linked to the conspiracy theoryFormer QAnon follower Jitarth Jadeja on “The Takeout” — 2/12/2021Former QAnon believer says following the conspiracy “was absolutely a drug”He went down the QAnon rabbit hole for almost two years. Here’s how he got outHow Ex-QAnon Followers Escaped The Cultish Conspiracy TheoryHe’s a former QAnon believer. He doesn’t want to tell his story, but thinks it might help.Rachel Bernstein’s excellent IndoctriNation PodcastQAnon Casualties on Reddit -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/20/20211 hour, 24 minutes, 40 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Strongman Heroes, Barefoot Science, & Fake Victims

Conspiritualists amp up their victimhood-fetish by comparing anti-vaxxers to Jim Crow-era African Americans and Jews under the Holocaust. Meanwhile, Tucker Carlson questions vaccines, bangs the CRT red-scare propaganda drum, and swoons over Hungarian fascist Viktor Orban.ulian compares Fox News’s idealizing coverage of Orban to how they treat another famous Hungarian, boogeyman of the far-right, George Soros. He also tells the tragic tale of Trofim Lysenko—Stalin’s “barefoot scientist,” to illustrate how pseudoscience actually flourishes (to everyone’s detriment) under real totalitarianism.Show NotesThe Soviet Era’s Deadliest Scientist Is Regaining Popularity in RussiaUnder fascism, a generation of scientific knowledge was lost in SpainHungarian scientists are on edge as country is poised to force out top universitySay it with statues: Brick-and-mortar revisionism in Orban’s HungaryOrban shocks the world again: He admits to being a Nazi pilot, calling him a knight and a hero -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/16/20218 minutes, 4 seconds
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64: Remembering Guru Jagat: a Panel

With guests: Philip Deslippe, Jules Hartley, Janja Lalich, and Stacie StukinWe’ve convened an expert panel this week to remember and discuss Katie Griggs, aka GJ. She died in an LA hospital on the evening of August 1st. LA Magazine was the first outlet to confirm the death with the RA MA Institute, which Griggs co-founded in Venice, CA.The cause of death has not been confirmed, but according to a eulogy film put out by the RA MA Institute, Griggs reportedly broke her ankle in Berlin on July 11th, and on the 15th had surgery to repair it in Los Angeles. Subsequently, she developed a pulmonary embolism, which proved fatal.In episodes 36 and 37, Philip and Stacie joined me to discuss Griggs’s adopted culture and religion, Kundalini Yoga, and where she stood in relation to the legacy of KY’s abusive founder, Yogi Bhajan. They are uniquely equipped for that background: Philip is an expert in KY history, and Stacie has published excellent investigative work on the #metoo wave that swept through the community to uncover long-suppressed stories of Bhajan’s abuses.Joining us today to dig even deeper are former Kundalini Yoga student Jules Hartley, and renowned cult expert Janja Lalich. In our earlier episodes, we discussed how Griggs went on the offensive in the midst of the Kundalini abuse scandal, publicly attacking Bhajan’s survivors. We also discussed how she quickly pivoted into conspiracy theories about COVID and BLM when the pandemic hit. We also discussed the culture and cultural impact of Griggs’s RA MA Institute.We continue that discussion in somber tones today.Show NotesPhilip Deslippe’s websiteJules Hartley on IMDBJanja Lalich’s website and 2021 Recommended Reading ListStacie Stukin on TwitterLA Magazine Griggs death noticeInside the Dubious World of RA MA Yoga, and Its Girl Boss Guru to the Stars — Cassidy George, VICEGuru Jagat Dies. A Saint Is Born. | by Matthew Remski | Aug, 2021 | MediumGuru Jagat Mourned in Person with Breathing Exercises, No Masks — Matthew Remski(PDF) From Maharaj to Mahan Tantric: The Construction of Yogi Bhajan’s Kundalini Yoga — Philip Deslippe -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/12/20211 hour, 36 minutes, 3 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Wellness Pornography as Abuse

This past week, Matthew defined “Wellness Pornography”, working from the ideas of C. Thi Nguyen and Bekka Williams in their essay “Moral Outrage Porn.” In this bonus episode, he asks: How do we measure the violence of wellness pornography when it becomes clear that it fuels vaccine hesitancy? When wellness pornographers directly indoctrinate people against public health, are they, like the sexual pornographers eviscerated by Andrea Dworkin, violating civil rights to security and safety? If we start to see the death concealed by wellness pornography, will we also see through the ads for pickup trucks to the ecocide they conceal? Will that help? What will we do with all of this rage? Show NotesThe Wellness Pornographers. Gamifying intimacy, abusing public… | by Matthew Remski | Aug, 2021 | Medium(PDF)Moral Outrage Porn — Nguyen and WilliamsKohut and the self-objectAndrea Dworkin’s Testimony to the Attorney General On Pornography (all trigger warnings)Hunger Strike: Starving Amidst Plenty by Susie Orbach -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/9/20218 minutes, 19 seconds
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63: Yoga and the Jab (w/Colin Hall & Sarah Garden)

The YogaVaxGate Instagram post turns out to have been a bellwether for the $88B industry packed with science skeptics and spiritual bypassers. When Wolf Terry got trolled for daring to argue in Yoga Journal that getting vaccinated was an act of non-harming, the stormfront was clear. As thousands of yoga studios ponder opening amidst the stop-and-start waves of Delta and beyond, one question dominates staff meetings: “Will we ask our returning clients for proof of vaccination?” Matthew interviews Sarah Garden and Colin Hall of Bodhi Tree Yoga in Saskatchewan, who made national news when they announced that yes, they would. Bodhi Tree clients will have to show their card; if they can’t or don’t want to be vaccinated, online classes are still available. Simple, right? Not in Yogaland. We’ll be reading from emails describing the backlash — from the absurd to the abhorrent — faced by studio owners who are taking the no-brainer Bodhi Tree path. In the Ticker, Derek looks at Antisemitism in vaccine disinformation campaigns while Julian checks in with Joseph Mercola, who announced he’ll be removing all content from his website this week. In the Jab, Julian lays out the “base-rate fallacy” anti-vaxxers are using to falsely claim that vaccinations are not helping to stop COVID-19. And off the top, we’ll briefly flag the topic for next week: the sudden death of conspiritualist Kundalini leader Katie Griggs. Show Notes How About Not Using the Holocaust to Spread Vaccine Disinformation? Mob Morality and the Unvaxxed Inside the Dubious World of RA MA Yoga, and Its Girl Boss Guru to the Stars Griggs LAMag obit Matthew: Guru Jagat Dies. A Saint is Born. ‘Bold decisions’: Regina yoga studio cancels in-person classes, calls on others to follow suit – Regina | Globalnews.ca Regina yoga studio requiring proof of vaccination to attend classes Lawyer says yoga studio should be legally allowed to ask clients for vaccination status Bodhi Tree Yoga, Regina SK The Most Influential -- -- -- Support us on Patreon Pre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | Julian Original music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/6/20212 hours, 8 minutes, 51 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Vaccines Are Not the Holocaust

A recent uptick in Holocaust-related memes around the COVID vaccine is fueling further anti-Semitic thought and behavior. Derek investigates a crop of wellness influencers guilty of this charge. -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/2/20214 minutes, 42 seconds
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62: Manifesting Something Awful (w/Dale Beran)

The genius parade continues this week with co-host Dale Beran, author of It Came from Something Awful: How a Toxic Troll Army Accidentally Memed Donald Trump into Office. All three of us writers are legit blown away by Beran’s layered and penetrating coverage of the chan-verse-to-Capitol Riot pipeline. After last week’s journey led by Dr. Annie Kelly through the anti-feminism of the high-testosterone sites that prepped cyberspace for QAnon, Beran takes us deep into the cosplayed souls of the man-child nihilists who created an online politics of chaos, and served it up to the MAGA movement. Equal parts deep-internet history, social psychology, and critique of late capitalism, Beran’s lamentation to based and wasted youth still manages to hold out some hope for the future — and we’re going to ask him why.Show NotesThe Return of AnonymousWho Are the Incels of 4Chan, and Why Are They So Angry?It Came From Something Awful: How a Toxic Troll Army Accidentally Memed Donald Trump into Office -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/30/20211 hour, 23 minutes, 32 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Digital Delusions: How conspiracy-fueled political religions like QAnon hijack our brains

QAnon emerged out of a perfect storm of evolving technology, social psychology, and global crisis. But it exploited pre-existing neural architecture already easily hijacked by addictive drugs, junk food, porn, persuasive marketing, and cultish religions. It also relied on how mobile social media, running on cellular and wifi technology, amplifies and speeds up the algorithmic impact of hyper-contagious cultural memes on the material world. Maybe 5G was the real threat all along?Julian explores our conspiritualist tendencies toward patternicity and apophenia, which can be super-stimulated by well-adapted memes, complex puzzles, and grandiose in-group purpose—and suggests a possible antidote. -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/26/20218 minutes, 54 seconds
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61: From Anti-Feminism to Anti-Vax (w/Dr. Annie Kelly)

It takes patience, empathy, and a steady hand to paint a detailed landscape of the politics and culture that connect anti-feminism to ethnonationalism to the broader obsessions of conspirituality.Dr. Annie Kelly’s scholarship in these spaces reveals a network of “subversion anxieties”: that patriarchy will be replaced by social justice autocrats, that the privileged will be brought low, that feminism will destroy hetero freedoms and pleasures, that human bodies will become cyborgs, that collectivism will replace capitalism. As our guest host this week, she’ll be our tour guide through the last decade of hot internet garbage, and explain how she’s kept her manners and wits intact enough to gain the trust of QAnon moms on the front lines of the U.K.’s anti-lockdown movement. We’ll also talk about her new brilliant podcast “Vaccine: The Human Story,” which takes the history of smallpox and its eradication as an object lesson for the COVID era.On the vaccine tip, our brief Ticker will address how the yoga world showed its anti-vax ass by trolling a Yoga Journal writer who dared to argue that getting vaccinated was a practice of non-violence.Show NotesWolf Terry: Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine Was My Act of AhimsaMatthew Remski: How Yoga Journal Set Off an Anti-Vax BacklashKelly: Opinion | The Housewives of White SupremacyKelly: The alt-right: Reactionary rehabilitation for white masculinityQAA Episode 110: Mothers For QAnon w/ Annie Kelly by QAnon AnonymousKelly: Vaccine, the Human StoryAnti-Vaxxers Could Be Helping Create Deadlier Versions of Covid -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/23/20211 hour, 31 minutes, 32 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Dear Raw Meat Guy

A closer look at the content and constellations of Josh Rainer Goldstein, who livestreams himself eating raw meat.Presented in three parts: An analysis of how the content is self-centered, ableist, misogynistic, and contribute to structural racism and epistemological confusion. An exploration of the deeply Freudian aspects of Goldstein’s account: its frenzied death wish expressed in an oral/anal fetish of raw meat and body perfectionism. The larger psychoanalytic question is: why are these displays gratifying to his followers? What does Goldstein allow them to feel, without shame? Part of it giving absolution for reactionary behaviours that feel good: consuming huge quantities of meat, and fantasizing about being surrounded by dozen babies on a homestead. In this part we also meet Goldstein’s mom. A letter that confesses how warmly I feel towards Goldstein: towards the understandable needs that get hijacked by the politics he’s gotten messed up in. How can we control what we’re exposed to, after all? Show NotesEating Raw Meat, Dreaming of Fatherhood — Matthew Remski on MediumGoldstein’s raw lamb mukbang.“You own your land. You defend your land.” -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/19/20219 minutes, 32 seconds
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60: Crypto Dreamin’ (w/David Morris)

Are you crypto-curious? This past year has shown that an increasing number of people are dreaming of becoming crypto millionaires. But what is blockchain and this strange new digital currency and, more pertinent to this podcast, how are conspiritualists trying to exploit it, even when they don’t understand what “it” is?Matthew drills Derek, who worked in blockchain for over two years with two different companies, on the basics, before Derek interviews David Morris, the Chief Insights Columnist at Coindesk who also just happens to have a longtime interest in MLMs and cults. Matthew also reviews the 1996 essay, “The Californian Ideology,” the famous 1995 study of the bizarre Silicon Valley-fueled fusion of cultural bohemianism and free-market utopia rhetoric. In the Ticker, Julian reconsiders the definition of free speech in an age of digital misinformation through the lens of anti-vax champion RFK, Jr, Vandana Shiva, and returning Conspirituality champion, Russell Brand.Show NotesThe Lesson of Bitconnect: Promoters Can Be LiableChina’s Anti-Crypto Crackdown Is Different This TimeOf Course China Is Anti-Bitcoin: Look What Happened to Jack MaBiden’s New FTC Chair Could Be a Big Web 3.0 Ally23-year old who kept QAnon onlineItaly’s Five Star Techno-UtopiansRFK’s Children’s Health Defense article on Brand and ShivaSeeds of Doubt New Yorker article about Vandana ShivaStanford U. Letter on Shiva’s Anti-Science Rhetoric“Bill Gates Agenda” viral articleGates New Agriculture Non-ProfitBarbrooke and Cameron, 1995: THE CALIFORNIAN IDEOLOGYRichard Brautigan, 1967: All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/15/20212 hours, 8 minutes, 54 seconds
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Bonus Sample: The Future of Psychedelics

Derek investigates a recent NY Times essay by Michael Pollan as an entry point to discuss big questions in psychedelics and conspirituality: How do we honor indigenous traditions as psychedelics are legalized (and monetized)? What dangers lie ahead as pharmaceutical companies and charismatic influencers exploit psychedelics for profit and power? How can we create psychedelic rituals that suit our current time and societal temperament?Show NotesHow Should We Do Drugs Now?Is This Peter Thiel–Backed Startup Trying to Monopolize the Astral Plane? -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/12/202111 minutes, 42 seconds
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59: Is Rudolf Steiner Dead Yet? (w/Jennifer Sapio)

What should a global network of popular and private schools do when faced with evidence that the foundation of their pedagogy was laid by a racist, proto-fascist pseudoscientist? What should they do when it becomes clear that they are evangelizing while pretending to teach secular humanism? These are the sticky questions raised by Dr. Jennifer Sapio in today’s interview with Matthew. Sapio taught for three years at the Austin Waldorf School. She was hired from her secular training, but gradually found herself drawn into what she calls an “inherently racist cult.” Her mentors pushed her towards accepting the 19th-century babblings of Rudolf Steiner, who, among other exploits, read the “Akashic Records” to learn why the spirit world disapproved of vaccines. They discuss the long shadows of racist and metaphysical nonsense that hang over the otherwise wholesome project of Waldorf education.  In the Ticker, Derek and Julian review a recent episode of Ben Shapiro’s podcast, in which he mutually masturbates with Russell Brand to consummate their brands, but they don’t quite come together.Show NotesThe Ben Shapiro Show Sunday Special Ep. 116The gun control debate is complex, but there are things we can doMovement against critical race theory is deeply necessaryDr. Thomas Cowan: Viral video claiming 5G caused pandemic easily debunkedDr. Sapio’s Waldorf memoir: Waldorf Schools Are Inherently Racist CultsAustin Waldorf School, Tuitions & FeesProf. Staudenmeier: “Anthroposophy and Ecofascism”Protesting too much: Myths about Waldorf educationMatthew on: The “Akashic Records” to “Do Your Research” PipelineAPTN: Residential Schools ArchivesNYT: Unmarked Graves at Residential Schools in Canada: What to KnowAnishnabek.ca: An Overview of the Indian Residential School SystemWoops. -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/8/20212 hours, 22 minutes, 39 seconds
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Bonus Sample: True Colors

Julian reflects on unchosen racial complicity and how moments of moral courage in the face of oppressive power can reveal one’s true colors. He traces the history of Apartheid as it intersects with the stories of his youth in South Africa. -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/5/20219 minutes, 21 seconds
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58: NXIVM: Recover & Educate (w/India Oxenberg)

How do we avoid being the subject of—and feeding the market for—trauma porn? If anyone knows, it’s India Oxenberg, who in less than two years (while under the unforgiving glare of a media firestorm) went from cult victim to survivor to anti-cult activist. Matthew sits down with her to discuss her recovery journey: learning to box, learning to love food, learning about “the strong yes” from her therapist. They also discuss the behind-the-scenes expertise that went into the documentary series India starred in and co-produced: Seduced.  In the Ticker, Derek wonders why wellness influencers are falling back on bad habits as the world reopens while Julian tracks how Bret Weinstein’s cries of censorship exponentially boost the exposure of his anti-vax, pro-Ivermectin science hipsterism.Show NotesHow Dangerous Is the Delta Variant, and Will It Cause a COVID Surge in the U.S.?Sah D’Simone: Transmission Hotline6 facts about economic inequality in the U.S.The Pandemic Is Turning the Natural World Upside DownWith almost 50 million Americans traveling on July 4 weekend, you may need to pack your patienceJune 28 Ivermectin Systemic Review and Meta-AnalysisSlavoj Zizek — Is Jordan Peterson the real Postmodernist?SEDUCED: INSIDE THE NXIVM CULTA Timeline of the Nxivm Sex Cult CaseJudge Says Allison Mack ‘Willingly Enslaved, Destabilized and Manipulated’ Women -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/1/20211 hour, 53 minutes, 9 seconds
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Bonus Sample: A Conspiracy Theory of Everything

Matthew debriefs after the Mike Rothschild interview, looking at QAnon’s “Conspiracy Theory of Everything” as a hyperobject and spiritual dilemma.Show Notes‘A reckoning for our species’: the philosopher prophet of the AnthropoceneConversations with Cornel West | Glenn Loury, Cornel West & Teodros Kiros | The Glenn Show -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/28/20216 minutes, 56 seconds
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57: The Storm is Mutating (w/Mike Rothschild)

It’s only been eight months since Q stopped posting, but Mike Rothschild has been able to corral the firehose of data into the first major journalistic study of the fever dream that has tortured millions since 2018. He joins us as co-host this week just as his new book, The Storm is Upon Us: How QAnon Became a Cult, Movement and a Conspiracy Theory of Everything, drops. We’ll ask him about researching a “conspiracy of everything, what a leaderless cult means, how an online religion worships, and how, amidst catastrophic disconfirmation and deplatforming, we’re seeing new delta QAnon variants emerge.Show NotesThe Storm Is Upon Us: How Qanon Became a Movement, Cult, and Conspiracy Theory of EverythingQAnon Is Not Dead, It’s Evolving Into Something Far Worse -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/24/20211 hour, 15 minutes, 53 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Playing Shaman

The race to capitalize on the world’s wellness needs in a post-pandemic society—well, at “post” as we can pretend to be—was unavoidable. Derek reflects on the continually unrealistic marketing promises being offered by wellness influencers, discussing how we’d benefit from more honest ad copy than the hyperbole attempting to be passed off as destiny. -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/21/20216 minutes, 11 seconds
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56: Critical Race Theory in Real Life (w/Dax-Devlon Ross)

In June 2020, equity consultant and journalist Dax-Devlon Ross—who you might remember from Conspirituality 4 that very same month—published an essay called “A Letter to My White Male Friends of a Certain Age.” In it, he applied his decades of experience as a nonprofit executive and program facilitator to have an honest discussion with, as the title suggests, his white male friends. A year later and the book version of that essay, called “Letters to My White Male Friends,” has been published by St. Martin’s Press. There couldn’t be a better time for this conversation, given the heated skirmishes around the meaning and manipulation of Critical Race Theory in our politics. Dax joins this week as a co-host, nearly a year to the day since his last appearance, to discuss the topics in his book, including the many years of lived experiences that cut through the academic rhetoric and political posturing concerning race in America today.Show NotesA Letter to My White Male Friends of a Certain Age (the original essay)Letters to My White Male Friends -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/17/20211 hour, 27 minutes, 47 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Doomsday Prophecy & Spirituality Porn

Humanity has an apocalypse fetish. But wrapped up In the doomsday death wish is a utopian fantasy of the ascension that comes after a fallen and sinful world is purified by cataclysmic fire. Whether the longed-for intervention is supernatural or extraterrestrial, spirituality porn hijacks our neurobiological wet-ware to bond cults together in a shared and singular climactic focus.For this week’s Bonus, Julian traces the recurring themes between the 19th-century Great Awakening, the Heaven’s Gate mass suicide, the New Age fascination with 2012, and the QAnon fever dream.Might our vulnerability to these narratives stem from evolutionary side-effects—which, like the space between medieval cathedral archways that are decorated with ornate trumpeting angels and burgeoning flowers, serve no structural purpose, but somehow draw a hyper-focused otherworldly fixation?  -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/14/202112 minutes, 5 seconds
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55: Games Against Humanity (w/C. Thi Nguyen)

This episode is co-hosted by Dr. C. Thi Nguyen, a philosopher who teaches at the University of Utah. His breakthrough book is about agency in games, in which he shines a light on disquieting aspects of our gamified lives and the question of whether we’re still able to act on our own values. We’ll talk about Dr. Nguyen’s key ideas, all of which are super useful for navigating conspirituality: the gamification of Twitter and other systems of “value capture,” the feeling of knowing something really clearly can foreclose on the desire for nuance, and the pleasures and perils of “moral outrage porn.”Show NotesPolarization or Propaganda? (Boston Review)Why We Call Things ‘Porn’ (New York Times)Escape the Echo Chamber (Aeon Magazine)Why Games are Good but Gamification is Terrible (Conceptual Foundations of Conflict lecture)Who Trains the Machine Artist? (Daily Nous)The Gamification of Public Discourse (Royal Institute of Philosophy lecture)How We Can Understand Ourselves Through Games (OUP)Group-Strapping, Bubble, or Echo Chamber? (SERRC)Am I in an Echo Chamber? (Open for Debate)On gurus and seductive clarity (Decoding the Gurus podcast)What’s in a game? (Philosophy Talk radio show/podcast)Games: Agency as Art (New Books in Philosophy podcast)Cheap talk (Escape the Void podcast episode, talking about clarity porn)Echoes in the void (Escape the Void podcast episode, talking about echo chambers) -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/11/20211 hour, 42 minutes, 36 seconds
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Bonus Sample: What Will Yoga Do to Our Children?

News from Alabama: after a 23-year ban on yoga in schools, generated by a Republican moral panic, Governor Kay Ivey signs a bill that lets kids do yoga again, but with some restrictions:“All instruction in yoga shall be limited exclusively to poses, exercises, and stretching techniques. All poses shall be limited exclusively to sitting, standing, reclining, twisting, and balancing. All poses, exercises, and stretching techniques shall have exclusively English descriptive names. Chanting, mantras, mudras, use of mandalas, induction of hypnotic states, guided imagery, and namaste greetings shall be expressly prohibited.”Those who promote yoga as a universal good will welcome this Indian art form being made more accessible for children in a State with terrible educational markers. Hindu nationalists, on the other hand, may be outraged at a secularized version of yoga, stripped not only of references to Hinduism, but of signs of any type of Indian spirituality. And a lot of white yoga progressives will look at this policy—mostly from the urban North— and worry about authenticity and appropriation.How will the children feel?In considering who wins and loses with this new development, Matthew reviews recent U.S. yoga-war history: battles between the Hindu American Foundation and Yoga Journal, the rise of Christian non-yoga-yoga “Praise Moves”, and Encinitas Union School District got sued for allegedly violating the Establishment Clause by contracting devotees of Pattabhi Jois to teach the kids yoga.It’s not a stretch to see an overlap between this theme and the medical-moral panic over vaccines. In both cases, the focus is on the imagined corruption of children, whether by poison, politics, or inner quiet.Show NotesAlabama lifts three-decade-old ban on yoga in public schools—with a catch.New study ranks Alabama as 43rd for student achievement, grade of D+12 Reasons Why Yoga is NOT Good for ChristiansHindu Group Stirs Debate in Fight for Soul of YogaHindu American Foundation: Hindu Roots of YogaShukla’s letter: Is Hindu a bad word? -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/7/202110 minutes
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54: Māori MAGA (w/Joe Trinder and Anke Richter)

Matthew sits down, across 9,000 miles of mostly ocean, with journalist Anke Richter and reporter and Māori rights activist Joe Trinder to discuss the mind-bending rise of Māori MAGA in the COVID-free sanctuary of Aoteoroa, aka New Zealand. Led by former blues musician Billy Te Kahika, conspirituality has seeped from music and cultural festivals and straight into national politics, where white supremacists manipulate Māori post-colonial distrust of settler governments to boost vaccine hesitancy and milk paranoia.In the Ticker this week, Derek dunks on Deepak Chopra’s “Lovetuner” penny-whistle, which will change your DNA for $58 and a few toots. Julian reports on Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying as they drift farther into conspiratorial pseudoscience and advocate for whiz-bang COVID cure-alls over vaccines.Show NotesExploring the Actual Science Behind Why Music Makes Us Feel GoodAnke Richter bioAnke Richter on cultsAnke Richter on conspiracy theories in New ZealandHow alternative festivals became platforms for conspiracy theoristsLuminate Festival organisers criticised for promoting far-right conspiracy theoristsAnti-conspiracist campaigners take aim at ‘Mothers for Freedom’ eventThe self-proclaimed ‘political prisoners’ in managed isolationAnti-lockdown group of academics criticised for promoting conspiracy theoristsThe scientist and the rabbit hole: How epidemiologist Simon Thornley became an outcast of his professionE-Tangata The rise of Māori MAGABilly TK: False ProfitSue Grey -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/3/20211 hour, 59 minutes, 48 seconds
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Bonus Sample: How Many Monuments Must Fall?

Derek looks back at three important historical figures with unsavory pasts to ask the question: who gets to decide who gets canceled, and why?Show NotesGreat Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle with India How would Gandhi’s celibacy tests with naked women be seen today?John Muir Is Canceled. Who’s Next?Don’t Cancel John MuirI’m an MLK scholar – and I’ll never be able to view King in the same lightA judge gave a drug dealer a second chance. Sixteen years later, he swore him in as a lawyer.Sponsored Content: Last Week Tonight with John OliverThe Unbearable Feelings of the Anti-Masker -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/31/20219 minutes, 17 seconds
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53: Learning Cultish (w/Amanda Montell)

We’re extremely pleased that someone who isn’t a Boomer  — and is younger than us — is making a serious but accessible contribution to this golden age of cult literature. Linguist Amanda Montell joins Julian for an engaging interview about her new book, Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism, which examines the power of language in high-demand groups, from The People’s Temple to the local Young Living dinner party. In a debrief, we discuss not only Montell’s study, but also our own run-ins with spiritual mumbo-jumbo.In the Ticker, Matthew wonders what Sayer Ji does when he loses his Facebook privileges and is relegated to the armpit of Telegram. Why, he goes full Satanic Panic, of course!Show NotesDeplatformed for Anti-Vax Propaganda, Sayer Ji Turns to Satanic Panic ContentAmanda Montell’s website -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/27/20211 hour, 49 minutes, 30 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Loaded Language & Productive Discussion

Julian and Matthew discuss words, world views, and how productive disagreement can lead to mutual understanding. In today’s overheated discourse, social media posturing can make the culture wars feel like pro wrestling and political conversation like tip-toeing through a hair-trigger minefield. While these two co-hosts share a healthy skepticism for conspiracy theories, pseudoscience, and New Age grift, some of their underlying philosophical and political beliefs hold interesting tensions. On the table this time: postmodernism, science, cultural sensitivity, Enlightenment values, social constructionism, and grand narratives about the arc of moral history. -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/24/20219 minutes, 33 seconds
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52: The Clerical Class of the Right (w/Alex Ebert)

This week we learned that Melinda Gates was disturbed by Bill’s men’s-club relationship with Jeffrey Epstein all the way back in 2011. And for fuck sake: when Bill visited Epstein’s Manhattan lair, reports say, he counseled the predator on image rehab while Epstein counseled Bill on his loveless marriage. Are the conspiritualists right, and about what? Matthew will revisit an earlier essay on Gates, and fill in some blind spots.Derek tackles the obscene co-optation of trans activism by anti-vaxxers who now pledge to lie about their status by “identifying as vaccinated.” In keeping with our musical theme, Julian reminisces about playing protest rock under an assumed name and the threat of a bomb under the stage during the Apartheid years in South Africa.In our feature interview, world-weary rock star Alex Ebert—frontman for Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros—joins Derek to map out the late 20th-century slide into infinitely co-opted creativity and revolution. They discuss the reasons America could use death rituals, the rise of Trump as the ultimate New Ager, wellness influencers as “the clerical class of the right,” and to ask if critical thinking and open-eyed spirituality are the new punk rock—and for how long.Show NotesThe NYT reported in the fall of 2019 that Gates was a frequent guest of Epstein in ManhattanA description from Town and Country of Epstein’s mansionSources at many meetings describe the Gates-Epstein vibeSex Redefined: The Idea of 2 Sexes Is Overly SimplisticThe Gene: An Intimate History | Siddhartha MukherjeeInside the Republican Anti-Transgender MachineGender-affirming surgery linked to better mental health, study finds“Identify As” Twitter thread -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/20/20211 hour, 35 minutes, 49 seconds
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Bonus Sample: No Moral Outrage Porn, No Punching Down

Matthew had a plan for this week — a 4K word essay on what could be learned from studying the content of an outrageously offensive conspiritualist… but then he shelved it. Why?A last-minute, off-the-cuff discussion on what it means to indulge or not indulge moral outrage porn. What it means to punch up or down, and how we decide. How we might confront an influencer who has managed to monetize mental illness.Produced with an enormous debt of gratitude to the work of C. Thi. Nguyen.Show Notes“Moral Outrage Porn“: Nguyen and WilliamsNguyen’s public scholarship on gamification, value capture, narrowed morality, and the seductions of certainty.Nguyen on the gamification of public discourseAaron Rabinowitz on cheap talkMatthew’s elegy for Michael Stone -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/17/20219 minutes, 12 seconds
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51: You Can’t Force It (w/Devendra Banhart)

As our access to vaccines eases the pandemic in the Global North, U.S.-based conspiritualists keep riding the wave of covid-denial influence—all the way to the bank. This week, Julian reports that Gen-Z spiritual entrepreneur Jason Shurka has launched a new media hub, The Academy of Divine Knowledge, and affiliating with the predictable rogue’s gallery—Christiane Northrup, Del Bigree, Sayer Ji, David Icke, and Judy Mikovits among them. This confederacy of dunces charges a $33 monthly membership because “33 is a Master Number that holds many divine meanings” that leads to “infinite possibilities,” such as magically draining your bank account. Of course, the pandemic is far from over. India is still going through the worst of it, and as Matthew discusses, one reason appears to be the influence of astrologers on Narendra Modi’s decision-making. Meanwhile, Derek unpacks the repeated fat-shaming being done by conspiritualists when boasting of their awesome immune systems. In this week’s interview, Derek talks with Venezuelan-American singer/songwriter Devendra Banhart about global music, anti-vaxxers, conspiritualist ideology, and paying $24 for a smoothie in Malibu. Next week will continue the theme, as we look at music’s influence in cult worship and indoctrination, with Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros joining the discussion.Show NotesThe Racist and Problematic History of the Body Mass IndexFat shaming, BMI and alienation: COVID-19 brought new stigma to large-sized peopleFat-shamers have felt enabled by Covid, and it’s hard to fight backCDC: Obesity, Race/Ethnicity, and COVID-19The Bizarre and Racist History of the BMIUncovering and Destigmatizing Male Body Dysmorphia in Popular CultureJewish Star article about Jason Shurka’s “miracle Torah”Signature Investment Group team page w/Jason Shurka as VPMatthew on Modi and the starsThe Indian government is cracking down on harrowing -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/13/20212 hours, 19 minutes, 24 seconds
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Bonus Sample: On the Anxiety of Death

Derek discusses a forthcoming interview with Alex Ebert, which will be featured on Conspirituality 52. They discuss the dearth of death rituals in America. In this bonus episode, Derek meditates and, more to the point, our anxiety around aging, including a modern incarnation of that age-old fear: the quest for perpetual youth through wrinkle-free skin.  -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/10/20215 minutes, 49 seconds
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50. Sellouts & Zealots (w/Sheena Sood)

When the drones hum over the improvised cremation grounds of Delhi, what will the conspiritualist see in the livestream—if they even look? Will their Orientalist spell, fixated on fire ceremonies and mantras, finally be broken? In our interview this week, Matthew speaks with sociologist Sheena Sood about the hubris of Hindu nationalism as its yoga-boosting ministers show their pious ineptitude, telling their gasping citizens to stop being crybabies and consider drinking holy cow urine against COVID.What about when other supposed zealots show their sell-out colors? Austin’s biohacking guru, Aubrey Marcus just sold his hipster supplement company to Unilever, of all companies. Derek breaks down the insanity of the COVID-contrarian set taking the buyout from the big-Ag, big-Pharm mack daddy. Julian looks at how, in the very same week, Marcus’s biz partner Joe Rogan, excuses his vax-hesitant comments by admitting he’s a moron. But isn’t the joke on us?Priests and punks, preaching spirit and stockpiling cash. When will this be over?Show NotesSuper-spreader events in IndiaMaha Kumbh Mela 2021Oxygen express trains in IndiaWaiving Vaccine Patents at the WTOAnti-Vax Firebombing in ItalyAubrey Marcus announces Unilever saleArt of Manliness Podcast #93: Total Human Optimization With Aubrey MarcusA British Skin Care Brand Pressured Asian Influencers To Promote Its Skin Whiteners. They Fought Back.Unilever South Africa to pull all TRESemmé products for 10 days over racist adWorld must tell India’s government to stop religious gatherings during COVIDOxygen Express trains deliver supplies as India hit by covid-19 surge -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/6/20212 hours, 23 minutes, 1 second
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Bonus Sample: The God-Man & His Enabler: How Ken Wilber Got Adi Da All Wrong

By the 1990s, the sadistic cult leader who claimed to be God on Earth had already fled the United States to avoid a stack of lawsuits and potential criminal charges. Even still, highly influential spiritual intellectual Ken Wilber was calling him the “greatest living realizer,” privately saying he was “happy about how many people had found their way to Adi Da through reading my books.”Wilber later modified his model of stages of spiritual development to try to account for supposedly enlightened beings who were awful people. In this week’s Bonus episode, Julian recounts this story of a sociopathic holy man and his brilliantly naive enabler—which culminates in a wickedly illustrative thought experiment! -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/3/202110 minutes, 40 seconds
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49: Tik Tok Fulfillment Center (w/Abbie Richards)

On the road to the screen, a rich story can flatten into propaganda. On the road to the influencer economy, a complex teaching can degrade into a conspirituality meme. As the Oscar glitter fades, we look at how Amazon could never have signed off on a real nomadland story any more than Gaia TV could have ever done justice to the spiritualities it exploits.In the Ticker, Julian looks at new research into correlations between huffing essential oils and seizures. Matthew looks at Miami’s Centner Academy’s announcement that they’ll fire vaccinated teachers—and wonders whether Kelly Brogan and Christiane Northrup sending kids and grandkids to this elite private school has something to do with it. In the Jab, Julian reviews the state of the nation re: vaccines, and offers three key principles to inject into conversations with the hesitant.Our interview this week is with TikTok anti-disinformation activist Abbie Richards, whose “Conspiracy Pyramid” and tea-time QAnon explainers have gone viral on the next-gen platform. Matthew talks with Abbie about her process, challenges, why she hates golf, and what GenXers (and older cohorts) should keep in mind when they wonder if the kids are alright.Show NotesJim DeFede breaks the Centner Academy storyCentner’s Medical Freedom from Mandated Vaccines (disinfo warning)Biscayne Times profile of the Centner’s: The Privileged ClassTour of the Centner’s Miami penthousePreethaji and Krishnaji, proprietors of O&O AcademyKrishnaji’s culty dad, Kalki Bhagavan: Mystic and the moolah‘It’s Baffling’: Parents Confused After Centner Academy Announces They Won’t Employ People Who Have Been VaccinatedThe Case Against NomadlandWhat Nomadland Gets Wrong About Gig LaborAmazon’s Minimum Wage Hike Comes With Cuts To Other Compensation“Strategic Transparency”: Ann Gleig. “From Sweeping Zen to Open Buddhism: Sex Scandals, Social Media, and Transparency in Western Buddhism” for Buddhism in the West Group. American Academy of Religion, Denver, November 17-20, 2018 (forthcoming) -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/29/20212 hours, 16 minutes, 56 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Post-Cult Shame

Survivor shame over what has been lost, and how one has been complicit. Apologist shame: turned inside out and externalized as aggression. Popular shaming, which tries to deflect attention from how close to home cultic dynamics really are. In the cult landscape, shame is a common denominator. In this contemplation, Matthew unpacks various aspects, with help from the writing of cult theorists and recovery counselors Alexandra Stein, Daniel Shaw, and Holocaust survivor Primo Levi. Show Notes Music: Spiegel im Spiegel and Pari Intervallo: Pärt Primo Levi: The Drowned and the Saved The Relational System of the Traumatizing Narcissist — Shaw Rachel Bernstein’s “One More Thing” at the end of Betrayal and Power w/ Nitai Joseph, former Hare Krishna — S4E5. All of Rachel Bernstein’s IndoctriNation podcast. What’s Behind the Blowback You’ll Get When You Engage Cult Members “Deception, Dependence, Dread of Leaving” — Langone “I Got Mine-ism” Selected Bibliography: Ainsworth, Mary D. Salter. Patterns of Attachment: a Psychological Study of the Strange Situation. Routledge, 2015. Arendt, Hannah. The Origins of Totalitarianism. Penguin Classics, 2017. Freyd, Jennifer J. Betrayal Trauma: the Logic of Forgetting Childhood Abuse. Harvard University Press, 1998. Freyd, Jennifer J., and Pamela Birrell. Blind to Betrayal: Why We Fool Ourselves We Arent Being Fooled. Wiley, 2013. Hassan, Steven. Combating Cult Mind Control: the #1 Best-Selling Guide to Protection, Rescue, and Recovery from Destructive Cults. Freedom of Mind Press, 2016. Kramer, Joel, and Diana Alstad. The Guru Papers: Masks of Authoritarian Power. North Atlantic Books/Frog, 1993. Lalich, Janja, and Madeleine Landau. Tobias. Take Back Your Life: Recovering from Cults and Abusive Relationships. Bay Tree Pub., 2006. Lalich, Janja. Escaping Utopia: Growing up in a Cult, Getting out, and Starting Over. Routledge, 2018. Langone, Michael D. Recovery from Cults: Help for Victims of Psychological and Spiritual Abuse. W.W. Norton, 1995. Lifton, Robert Jay. Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: a Study of “Brainwashing” in China.W.W. Norton, 1961. Miller, Alice -- -- -- Support us on Patreon Pre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | Julian Original music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/26/202110 minutes, 12 seconds
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48: Traumatic Influence (w/Kyra Haglund & Hala Khouri)

Teal Swan’s suicide-teasing trauma pseudo-therapy has cast a spell over millions. Kaia Ra is an up-and-coming contender, selling divine jewelry and a channeled text about how to transcend QAnon-type nightmares. Both claim to be survivors of long-term Satanic Ritual Abuse and alien ambassadors. Both have capitalized on the chaos of 2020.We discuss the trend of trauma exploitation, Satanic Panics throughout the decades, and social media entertainment finding cover through the pretense of therapy. Then we’ll hear from the pros: licensed psychologists Hala Khouri and Kyra Haglund join Julian to discuss the importance of trauma-informed yoga and cases of abuse in wellness spaces.In the Ticker, Derek examines the snake oil of Luke Storey, Julian reviews the “Health and Freedom” conference recently held in a Bible college in Tulsa, and Matthew worries about QAnons in Toronto who have started speaking in tongues. We’ll also discuss a new phenomenon amongst anti-vaxxers: “Reverse Contagion Anxiety”, which leads them to believe that merely being around vaccinated people will make them infertile or re-organize their DNA. (We can only hope.)CW: Audio clips from Lin Wood and Kaia Ra describing sexual / satanic ritual abuse of children in the context of QAnon mythology (Wood), and personal origin story (Ra).Show NotesLuke Storey wants to sell you a pyramid schemeElectromagnetic Fields & Parental Panics: A case study in how science can bring comfortReporter Sean O’Shea gets yelled at in tonguesSgt. Brown gets suspended for hugging anti-maskersWhen QAnon Came to Canada@selfhealingmama Chloe Angeline with a dire womb-warningChristiane Northrup as Vaccine LysistrataGizmodo investigative podcast series on Teal SwanBackstory on Barbara SnowAffidavit: Snow threatens family members, trashes houseSnow tes -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/23/20212 hours, 11 minutes, 15 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Vanillaroma

We don’t get “well” until everyone has an opportunity to tap into the resources needed to live. This week, Derek reads a 2006 essay from one of his closest friends, Dax-Devlon Ross, about being pulled over twice in the same stretch of NJ highway in a manner of minutes—all due to an air freshener dangling from his rearview mirror. -- -- -- Support us on Patreon Pre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | Julian Original music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/19/202115 minutes, 53 seconds
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47: Is An Ethical Cult Possible? (w/Jamie Wheal)

How do we tease apart the gold from the dross? What can be salvaged from a subculture marred by charismatic con-artistry, power abuses, and the toxic ingredients that lead to conspirituality? Founder of the Flow Genome Project, Jamie Wheal joins Derek for a wide-ranging interview about his new book, Recapture the Rapture. Following up on his Pulitzer-nominated bestseller, Stealing Fire, Wheal makes an ambitious argument for a dazzling renewal of meaning and mystery through sacralized biohacking. Rapture can be recaptured, Wheal argues, through awe-thumping music, blessed sex, moderate psychedelic use, and conscious community, or as he puts it “ethical cults.”  After the interview, we’ll discuss.In the Jab, Julian looks at clotting issues and emerging reports of vaccine impacts on women. In the Ticker, Matthew reviews the NY Times investigation of Alan Hofstetter’s wife and her January 6th adventure. Derek covers conspiritualism in fitness bro culture while Julian reports on Christiane Northrup’s latest junk science infomercial.Show NotesNew Jersey gym owners offer free membership to those who don’t get COVID-19 vaccineWhat We Know About Ian Smith, the New Jersey Gym Owner Defying Gov. Phil Murphy’s Executive OrdersAnti-mask gym finedFitness centers are struggling to rebound from the pandemicA Teacher Marched to the Capitol. When She Got Home, the Fight Began.White women’s role in white supremacy, explainedRecapture the Rapture — Jamie WhealCult Dynamics 101: a primerHypnotic Da Free John — Svengali of the truth-seeking set (San Francisco Examiner, 1985)Guru hit by sex-slave suit (San Francisco Examiner, 1985)Original Oregonian investigation into Osho and R -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/15/20212 hours, 51 minutes, 41 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Gaia & The Map to Nowhere

With over a half-million paying subscribers, Gaia is the world’s largest spiritual media streaming service. Have they have played a role in redpilling the Q-Age demographic? With a little help from Ken Wilber, Lewis Carrol, Jorge Luis Borges, and Jean Baudrillard, Julian maps out their landscape of ascension narratives, UFOs, cryptozoology, conspiracy theories, channelers, and yoga classes. He also tells the story of being part of the early LOHAS social media website they gobbled up in 2007. -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/12/20216 minutes, 20 seconds
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46: Back to the Vax (w/Lydia Greene & Heather Simpson)

Our EP10 guest, Center for Countering Digital Hate founder, Imran Ahmed, has been bringing the heat. His “Disinformation Dozen” white paper made a huge splash, prompting a conference call with Nancy Pelosi’s team ahead of their biannual grilling of Zuckerberg and Dorsey. Ahmed’s paper spotlights the fact that 65% of anti-vax content originates from just 12 social media figures. Conspirituality superstars Sayer Ji, Kelly Brogan, and Christiane Northrup hold positions 8, 9, and 10. Ahmed wants them deplatformed—and he’s making it happen. In response, the Dozen are raising money and having themselves caricatured as superheroes.Who have they been deceiving and emotionally abusing? This week Matthew interviews Heather Simpson and Lydia Greene from Back to the Vax, an anti-disinformation think-tank they founded after fleeing the online cult of anti-vax propaganda. In their first interview together, Simpson and Greene recount how mother-centered anti-vax social media spaces drew them in and exposed them to all manner of anxious conspiracism—and what it cost them to leave. They’ve got a very clear message about how public health communications can meet this entrenched challenge.In the Ticker, Julian tracks the Dozen’s emerging strategy, Derek finally addresses the English elephant in the room, Russell Brand, and Matthew takes an early look at the big reveal of Cullen Hoback’s Q: Into the Storm on HBO.Show NotesWhat “Causes” Covid? The Virus or The System?Decoding the Gurus: Russell Brand: Spiritual Transcendence and Anarchic Revolution is PraxisMike Rothschild on Hoback’s Q: Into the StormEpisode 136: Into The Storm feat Cullen Hoback by QAnon AnonymousI’m Cullen Hoback, the guy who made that QAnon series on HBO Max. AMA! : televisionRothschild on the HBO reveal: Ron Watkins QAnon: The Truth Has Always Been ThereBack to the VaxLydia on NPR: She Resisted Getting Her Kids The Usual Vaccines. Then The Pandemic HitHeather on CNN: Why this former anti-vaxx influencer is getting the Covid vaccine -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/8/20212 hours, 26 minutes, 29 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Pray & Work

Matthew offers a meditation on Brandolini’s Law — “the amount of energy needed to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it” — and accepting the hopelessness of altruistic reporting, whether on disinformation or climate change. With a haunting clip from ex-journalist Dahr Jamail. Also: a memory of visiting a Benedictine monastery, where there were no screens, and where the ancient rule understood that because work is never done, it only becomes sustainable through contemplating time itself. Show NotesPrimer on Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO)Brandolini’s LawCuomo covers up nursing home deathsSexual harassment allegations against CuomoDahr Jamail and Barbara Cecil on Last Born in the WildernessAbbaye de Saint-Benoît-du-Lac -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/5/20218 minutes, 37 seconds
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45: Theatre of the Transferred

Conspiritualists hide their grifts in mantras. MLMs market themselves as communities, while cults preach freedom. When a research firm spotlights Sayer Ji as a disinformation super-spreader, he calls them a hate group. When Lil Nas X spins a catharsis of gay-goth dreams, he embodies MAGA disgust. It’s an age of misdirection.It’s also an age of transference. Living and breathing people become memes. The impulse to communicate gets devoured by the need to perform. Drives to justice adopt dominant affects.  Real conspiracies get overshadowed by myths. We’re keeping ourselves very busy while the world burns,'This week we’re releasing a bonus episode into the wild that speaks to a small wedge of the transference game. Matthew contemplates what it means, in both helpful and unhelpful ways, to be named as or reduced to “cis white men”, and how important issues can get lost in the dead zone between culture wars and cults.Both conspirituality and social media influence are driven by the hot take, the keyword, the avatar, and the speed of emotional reactivity. And cults are glued together by intense, non-negotiable emotional demands on participants. So far we’ve shown how all of these elements degrade our chances to evaluate evidence and resist being conned by charismatics or cult leaders. Our hope is that we contribute to a slower and open-ended exploration of how to balance the rhetoric of social change with the nuance of interpersonal empathy.In the Ticker, Derek looks at the retraction crisis plaguing scientific research. Julian watches Lil Nas X lap-dance through the MAGA homo-pocalypse. Matthew looks at a new cult scheme for recruiting anti-vaxxers, while the Jab examines the conspiritualist love of contrarian experts with scientific credentials but no evidence for their claims.Show NotesLil Nas X’s ‘Satan Shoes’ trolled some Christians. But ‘Montero’ is about more than that.Lil Nas X’s unofficial ‘Satan’ Nikes containing human blood sell out in under a minuteLong-retracted papers are still cited in major journalsRetracting publications doesn’t stop them from influencing scienceThe ex-Pfizer scientist who became an anti-vax heroA rare clotting disorder may cloud the world’s hopes for AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccineMarketplace -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/1/20211 hour, 36 minutes, 19 seconds
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Bonus Sample: The Role of Intuition

Social psychologists and evolutionary psychologists have been studying the origins, neural networks, and role of intuition for decades. Wellness influencers cling to the belief that intuition is a mystical force. Derek looks at the research while celebrating the importance of this hard-won skill. -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/29/20213 minutes, 54 seconds
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44: Netflix & Pill

It was inevitable: QAnon has stormed HBO. Less inevitably, Conspirituality Podcast has been invited to an academic conference Down Under. In this episode, we’ll review how the first two episodes of Cullen Hoback’s “Into the Storm” lands, and wonder about what happens when conspiracy movements come under big-screen and academic scrutiny.Cullen embedded within the labyrinthine Q-world for almost four years. He globetrotted, gaining incredible access to a network of social avoidants and keyboard warriors. His sympathy is both touching and problematic. Our own embedding in the wellness world — sixty years between the three of us — hasn’t been quite so weird or dangerous. But it does raise a similar question: how clearly can we see the conspirituality of the world we’ve worked in for so long? As Cullen tries to draw out the humanity and intentionality of the QAnons, how are we understanding — or missing — our own subjects? Then there’s the question of impact. Will America understand itself more clearly after Cullen’s work? And where will the scholarship on conspirituality go after we dump our research on that conference table?In the Ticker this week, we review the new Lululemon mat, report on how Imran Ahmed’s team at the CCDH identified the social media Disinformation Dozen and succeeded in partially deplatforming conspiritualist power-couple Sayer Ji and Kelly Brogan. In the Jab, we’ll be looking at the woes of Astrazeneca Covid vaccine as they approach applying for FDA approval.Show NotesLululemon gives the yoga mat a clever makeoverLavrence and Lozanski on Lululemon’s neoliberal schtickWorkers making £88 Lululemon leggings claim they are beatenCCDH’s “Disinformation Dozen” ReportMatthew’s thread on Zen and the Art of the Q-dropOn Psychological & Influence Ops in the Info Age: Q in the Crosshairs (CW: disinformation site)Hyperobjects: ‘A reckoning for our species’: the philosopher prophet of the AnthropoceneFirst we take Deakin, then we take Berlin -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/26/20211 hour, 23 minutes, 18 seconds
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Bonus Sample: This is NOT Just a Drug!

Julian recounts the wild and touching journey of four close friends in a self-directed spiritual group therapy session—super high on Ecstasy.Content Warning: this story includes accounts of traumatic events. -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/22/20217 minutes, 30 seconds
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43: How to Redpill a Yoga Podcaster

Back in December, a certified anesthesiologist named Dr. Madhava Setty posted a long critique of our podcast to the New Age website Collective Evolution. While cordial and apparently well-meaning, Setty’s essay failed to quote a single episode. Setty filled in his own blanks with outright misrepresentations, leading with: “Matthew, Derek and Julian… assume that there are no large conspiracies in play in our world at this time. To state it flatly, to them the idea of a large conspiracy is so preposterous that they cannot even see that they are making an assumption when dismissing the possibility.”There’s no planet on which any of our episodes have said anything of the kind. In fact, we’ve repeatedly affirmed the opposite: that conspiracy theories and conspiritualists that monetize them exist because real conspiracies traumatize people. Tuskegee happened. MKUltra was real. #savethechildren took hold in part because Jeffery Epstein’s network has not yet been fully understood or prosecuted.Setty is so well-mannered and convincing, however, that New Age influencers who might be feeling a little defensive about how the yoga and wellness world has shown its ass in 2020 have welcomed his dulcet tones with open arms. In one appearance, he guested on J. Brown’s Yoga Talks podcast, and provided a master class on how to lead an anxious and altruistic yoga devotee into conspirituality. We didn’t respond to Setty’s initial essay because there was nothing to respond to: he didn’t offer any data. But now we think it’s worth examining in detail how, in real time — and before he winds up on Joe Rogan — he seductively spins together theories about divine consciousness, 9/11, COVID, and how everything is not as it seems.In the Jab, Julian reviews the scare-mongering of the newest seemingly-qualified anti-vax doc, Geert Vanden Bossche. In the Ticker, Derek looks at the empty religions of Instagram and the truth seekers of tomorrow—and today.Show NotesWho is Geert Vanden Bossche?Dr. Mobeen Syed on Vanden Bossche.Dr. Zubin Damania on Vanden Bossche.America Without GodThe Empty Religions of InstagramThe Truth Seekers Are ComingMadhava Setty distorts our podcast contentMadhava Setty redpills J Brown i -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/19/20211 hour, 35 minutes, 16 seconds
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Bonus Sample: “CIS White Man” Means So Many Things

This episode follows up on earlier discussions on the podcast about how we manage privilege. Our exploration of cancel culture — specifically that part of it that is really a form of horizontal violence — isn’t motivated by any shift to the right, but by a desire to unpack the rhetoric, jargon, and performative behaviours, that, so often in the reductive rhythm of social media, serve to shut down learning, and polarize progressives that might otherwise work together.Here, Matthew focuses on how a rhetorical device in social justice relates to our project: what it means, in both helpful and unhelpful ways, to be named as or reduced to “cis white men”.Reduction and essentialism are key aspects of the meme-ification of our politics, and potent weapons in the arsenal of conspirituality. None of the influencers we study on this podcast would have gained their social power without labelling and essentializing their opponents in black-and-white terms, without taking black-and-white positions on things like vaccines, big Pharma, and whether or not a person is “awake”.Both conspirituality and social media influence are driven by the tag, the hot take, the keyword, the avatar, and the speed of emotional reactivity. And cults are glued together by intense, non-negotiable emotional demands on participants. So far we’ve shown how all of these elements degrade our chances to evaluate evidence and resist being conned by charismatics or cult leaders. Our hope is that we contribute to a slower and open-ended exploration of how to balance the rhetoric of crucial social change with the nuance of interpersonal empathy.Show NotesContraPoints on Cancelling Robin diAngelo defining “white fragility"“Peggy McIntosh’s White Privilege Knapsack“That time I didn’t get shotMinimization as a patriarchal reflexCedric Michael Williams on DiAngelo Daniel Bergner on DiAngelo Tada Hozumi, Selfish ActivistLog the Fuck Off, Jacobin -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/15/20218 minutes, 28 seconds
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42: Deradicalizing From Digital Hate (w/Caolan Robertson)

Imagine that you’re 25 years old. You grew up Irish, gay, and online. When the Orlando Pulse massacre explodes, you go to YouTube for the news. You watch Milo Yiannopolous and Gavin McInnes fake-kiss in front of the police-taped club and say that the Muslims are coming to kill all gay people. YouTube’s algorithm spins you downward into anti-Islamic content. Before long, you’ve left your marketing job with a mission: to make slick propaganda videos for some of the most despicable alt-right ghouls on the planet. You believe they’ll stand up for you.How did you get here at such a young age? What does it feel like? If you have a change of heart, if you want to fight back against your old life and its consequences, who will believe you? Should they believe you? How will you help them believe you?Today Matthew asks Caolan Robertson these difficult questions. After years of being the PR man for people like Tommy Robinson and Laura Southern, Robertson has shaken it off and started to collaborate with other ex-alt-right members on a deradicalization project called Future Freedom.In the Ticker, Julian reports on the new QAnon variant infecting telegram, Sabmyk. Matthew reviews how Christiane Northrup and a Gen Z priestess in a Greek eco-fascist group flip their positive orientalism on its head to diss the Dalai Lama for getting vaccinated. Derek looks at one of the strangest grifts around: pet psychics.Show NotesWhat Do Dogs Really Think? Pet Psychics Are Standing ByThe Sabmyk Network: How a mysterious disinformation network is hijacking QAnon – HOPE not hateWhat is Sabmyk? QAnon Followers Targeted By New Messianic MythologyAlso: QAnon was big in IranThe Dalai Lama Gets A COVID-19 Shot And Urges Others To Get VaccinatedAeifaron on InstagramSofia Katsaiti aka Sofia Tara on Instagram is very worried about the Dalai Lama’s vaccineAeifaron looks like a totally normal eco-fascist groupPfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine neutralizes Brazil variant in lab studyFuture Freedom project on -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/11/20212 hours, 19 minutes, 5 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Cats and the Meaning of Life

Humans will never be cats. In his new book, Feline Philosophy: Cats and the Meaning of Life, the philosopher John Gray argues that we can learn a lot about how to live from them—namely, how to calm our anxiety around existential distress. In this sample of a Patreon bonus episode, Derek shares what he’s learned from his three cats, as well as how Gray’s advice applies to the conspiratorial-minded (i.e. metacognition gone awry). -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/8/20218 minutes, 19 seconds
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41: Snark Tank

Two episodes in our catalog haunt this podcast. In episode 6, Steve Hassan advised listeners to treat people under the undue influence of QAnon and conspirituality with welcome and respect. Castigation won’t work. Shame will make things worse. He told this story about how his elderly neighbor brought him homemade cookies when he finally returned home after years in the cult of Rev. Moon. No questions asked—just cookies.But in episode 10, Imran Ahmed pointed out that any engagement of disinformation peddlers is actually a win for them because it boosts their visibility. His strategy—and he has the data to prove it works—is to block, isolate, and clear the public space for content that is actually helpful. Where Hassan offers an open hand, Ahmed says, “Talk to the hand.”We’re nine months on from those interviews. Are we living up to either of them? Are we isolating and deplatforming propagandists? Are we adding good vibes to the scene and leaving the door open for earnest people to be forgiven? Or does the frustration of the content trend us towards cynicism and snark? A recent Instagram thread by dedicated listeners really brought the point home for discussion.In the Ticker, we cover the whitewashing of global cuisine by wellness influencers, bauhauswife’s upleveling of COVID denialism with yellow journalism, and Target-store QAnon vandal Melissa Lively trying to make amends-with-benefits for past outbursts. In the Jab, Julian looks at the facts around the PCR test. (Hint: it works.)Show NotesLost in the BrineA Death in Yolande Norris-Clarke’s Free Birth WorldKelly Brogan ditches her psychiatry cred with COVID-denialismWho wants to eat magic dirt from a COVID minimizer?Melissa Lively un-cancels herself from QAnonBauhauswife free births the news in Canada, from Costa Rica (video)Bauhauswife free births the news in Canada, from Costa Rica -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/5/20211 hour, 26 minutes, 7 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Stranded On The Lifeboat: Escaping The Large Group Awareness Cult

One-hundred-and-twenty seekers filled the LA hotel ballroom. We sought the life-changing experience that could only happen by holding in our pee, being religiously on-time, and taking full responsibility for creating the lives we said we wanted, but hadn’t achieved… yet. -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/1/20215 minutes, 4 seconds
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40: White Supremacy: Grift and Gravity (w/Michelle Cassandra Johnson & Daniel Lombroso)

Around 2015, the alt-right movement erupted online to both provoke and monetize MAGA momentum and distort and defame the real-world progress symbolized in Barack Obama and agitated by Black Lives Matter. Young white supremacist poster-boy Richard Spencer and edgy internet crypto-racists like Lauren Southern, Mark Cernovich, and Gavin McInnes led the viral charge, racking up subscribers while lining their pockets on the side. Daniel Lombroso of The Atlantic embedded with their ilk from 2016-18, collecting enough footage to release the award-winning documentary, White Noise. Julian sat down to talk with him about the movement, and about making this film while Jewish.Was any of this a surprise to anti-oppression activists on the ground? Not according to Michelle Cassandra Johnson, author of Skill in Action: Radicalizing Your Yoga Practice to Create a Just World. While the white supremacy Lombroso whistleblows is spectacular and absurd, the white supremacy Johnson and other justice activists feel in their bones has been a centuries-long war of attrition against equality. Matthew sits down with Johnson to discuss how the yoga and wellness worlds in particular are (and are not) responding to the intensification of both calls to justice, as well as the blowback.In the Ticker, we wonder if Gwyneth Paltrow’s new long-COVID Goop merch—and her “longer-term detox” that includes selling Goop-approved $500 blankets and $8,000 necklaces—heralds a dawning era in high-end disability consumerism.Show NotesIt took a year, but Gwyneth Paltrow figured out how to exploit the pandemicGwyneth Paltrow Is Selling VibratorsHealing My Body with a Longer-Term DetoxThe NHS dings Gwyneth’s long COVID curesLauren Southern hides the face of her biracial babyDaniel Lombroso’s White NoiseSouthern Poverty Law on CernovichSouthern Poverty Law on SouthernRichard Spencer, white subsidy suckerMichelle Cassandra Johnson’s websiteMichelle Cassandra Johnson’s -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/25/20212 hours, 8 minutes, 42 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Anti-Masker at the Skating Trail

One of the precious bright spots for our family in this long dark winter of COVID has been outdoor skating. Other than the walking trails, it’s the only thing that the city has kept open. I take our boys, 4 and 8, while my partner is working. The older one has developed a speed-skater’s stride. He’s not crossing over yet as he turns, but he’s close to it. The younger one has amazed us all with learning to glide easily in this, his first winter on skates…As per the city regulations, we stay masked and distanced as we’re lacing up, and while skating. But two weeks ago, an anti-masker started showing up, and openly ignored the attendants who asked him to comply.This audio essay is about all of the feelings that came up for me as I a watched this unfold, tried to intervene, and tried to make sense of it all for myself, and the boys. -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/22/20219 minutes, 51 seconds
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39: How to Talk about Conspiracy Theories (w/Anna Merlan)

What are we learning about conspiracies, conspiracy theories, and those who hold them? How are we maintaining our optimism that facts are real, that they can be discovered, and shared? How will we continue to communicate with those who are confused? In this episode, we continue our rich conversation on the proximity of conspiracism and spiritual paths and the ways in which we fall into and climb out of fever dreams. In the Jab, Julian looks at concerns about vaccines and pregnancy. In a Ticker segment, Matthew ponders the British Wheel of Yoga’s “neutral” stance towards the COVID vaccine, and how it unintentionally welcomes conspiratorial thinking. Republic of Lies author Anna Merlan sits down with Derek to discuss the process of embedding with conspiracy consumers and peddlers, and the challenges faced when reporting on them. Discussing the interview, Julian uses the ideas of George Lakoff to think about containment and reframing. Matthew looks at how yoga and wellness influencers can play both sides of the consumer/peddler coin through the paradoxical private spectacle of social media.Show Notes‘I Miss My Mom’: Children Of QAnon Believers Are Desperately Trying To Deradicalize Their Own ParentsBritish Wheel of Yoga indulges vaccine “neutrality”Dr. Victoria Male on vaccines and pregnancyAnna Merlan on the Austin Influencer MovementAnna Merlan on PBS’s Open MindYoga podcaster J. Brown expresses doubts about COVID and the vaccinesCharles Eisenstein is turning to fictionAbbie Richards and her Conspiracy Chart -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/18/20211 hour, 58 minutes, 47 seconds
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Bonus Sample: How to Debate on Social Media

The medium of social media is both relatively new and socially challenging. But this doesn’t mean we can’t have healthy debates. In this sample from our Monday Patreon bonus episode, Derek investigates three areas of research about how—and why—we need robust and progressive debates on our platforms.1. Your brain on political arguments.2. How to become a master negotiator.3. Can social media be fact-checked? A new study offers one way of doing so. -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/15/20216 minutes, 38 seconds
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38: Natural Hopes, Natural Fallacies (w/Drs Juniper Martin & Adriana Berusch)

Many of us came to yoga and wellness spaces to heal or flee from the alienation of modernity. We wanted something untouched by our cities and factories and labs; something that reminded us of a world we never really knew. “Nature” was in such short supply that we had to invent it to colonize it anew, in exotic lands and mystical beasts: the deer whose antler gave longevity, the cow whose milk strengthened our family bonds. How many of us knew that our fetish for the “natural” could lead towards a consumerist cul-de-sac or fascist ideology?In this episode we contemplate the meaning, practice, delusions, and hypocrisies of the “natural.” Derek talks to “Sea of Shadows” director Richard Ladkani about how the hunt for Traditional Chinese Medicine remedies has devastated the ecology of Baja California. Julian thinks about the disenchantment of the lab coat and how it drives so many to the warm regard of the “natural healer.”To find out more about how some practitioners of complementary medicine are attempting to bridge the evidence and ideological gap with conventional care, Matthew interviews Naturopathic Doctor Juniper Martin and fourth-year student Adriana Berusch Gerardino about their efforts with the Naturopathic Alliance to dispel COVID misinformation and to challenge racism in their profession.Show NotesGina Carano fired by Lucasfilm (and publicist and agent) for antisemitic Q-Trump social activityRFK finally gets deleted by IGTurn Off Your Mind, Relax—and Float Right-Wing?Chairman Mao Invented Traditional Chinese MedicineQAA shines on with Episode 128Dale Beran’s extraordinary book It Came from Something AwfulDecoding the Gurus launches the GurometerShouting out to Katya Weiss-Anderson of Kumbaya ConfessionalChinese gov and state media boost TCM COVID treatments at home and abroadArticle: Acupuncture Doesn’t WorkDr. Lad’s kindly but rather banal Ayurveda advice re: COVID (August) -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/11/20212 hours, 15 minutes, 18 seconds
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Bonus Sample: The Devil & The Arrow of Time

In this sample of our weekly Patreon bonus episode, Julian travels back in time to the 80s. He finds that when it comes to the fear of diabolical evil, the appeal of conspiracy patterns, and the missionary zeal of cults, everything old is new again. *Content Warning: Briefly contains one disturbing account of ritual abuse and one reference to suicide. -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/8/20216 minutes, 40 seconds
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37: Guru Jagat Cultjacks Kundalini Yoga (w/Philip Deslippe & Stacie Stukin)

Today we forge ahead with part 2 of Matthew’s interview with Kundalini Yoga scholar Philip Deslippe and journalist Stacie Stukin on the tragic past, chaotic present, and future relevance of the cult of Yogi Bhajan. Matthew looks at Guru Jagat’s (Katie Griggs’s) pseudo-Tibetan mystical poem dedicated to her ex-con mentor, Harijiwan (Stephen Hartzell), whose current wife, Mandev, is about 30 years his junior and makes RA MA propaganda films. Will RA MA survive lockdown with COVID-busting mantras? Will Yogi Bhajan’s crimes be washed away by the ringing of the RA MA gong?We know by now that cults never let a good crisis go to waste. We’ll also examine how, when there are no global panics for cults to monetize, it’s up to the leader to create one. With RA MA we see the cycle go intergenerational as it cultjacks Yogi Bhajan’s legacy of fantasy and paranoia.For the Ticker this week, Derek and Julian review Bill Maher’s platforming of Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying as they trot out vax-doubt and the Wuhan lab conspiracy. Julian will cover breaking vaccine news — especially on Phase III data! — to keep you inoculated against your alt-wellness news feed.Show NotesA Campus Argument Goes Viral. Now the College Is Under SiegeThe Campus Mob Came for Me—and You, Professor, Could Be NextDecoding Bret and Eric Weinstein via Decoding the GurusModerna vaccine complications are rareAstrazeneca Phase III looks goodPfizer and BioNtech Phase III resultsAdenoviral vectorsNYT on Astrozeneca CDC Vaccine contrast/compare The Pfizer recipeAP on the “lab release” theoryFauci dunks on Trump’s lab release babble -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/4/20212 hours, 25 minutes, 11 seconds
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Bonus Sample: Michael Roach Meditates COVID Away

Episodes 36 & 37 cover how Guru Jagat (Katie Griggs) and her Venice Beach RAMA Institute have pivoted in the COVID era to a new area of focus: anti-lockdown, anti-“woke” rhetoric, anti-masking, and anti-vax propaganda. As the center of her own weather system in the wider Kundalini Yoga / 3HO cult, this serves Griggs in a number of ways, from driving engagement to obscuring 2020’s revelations of just how criminal her umbrella organization is.Cults will never let a good crisis go to waste. Back in the summer, Matthew noticed that Michael Roach, who led the cult he was recruited into from 1996-99, also pivoted to COVID content. He does it with a lot more credibility than Griggs does, but in some ways, this makes it even more obnoxious. In this bonus episode, Matthew analyzes his late-summer “Love in the Time of the Virus” content as a retread of what he’s put out there for more than 20 years now.Sinking into Michael’s vibe again after all these years brings up old questions for Matthew around earnestness and delusion, altruism and manipulation. It makes him wonder whether a cult’s dogged fixation on doctrine can sometimes be an artifact of the leader’s arrested development.Show NotesNina Burleigh’s profile in Rolling StoneScott Carney’s investigation of the death of Ian Thorson (originally in Playboy)My own somewhat cranky review of Carney’s work -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/1/202112 minutes, 13 seconds
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36: Guru Jagat’s Pandemic Brandwash (w/Philip Deslippe & Stacie Stukin)

What happens when a charismatic yogalebrity rises to prominence in LA’s fashion and wellness scene, gets exposed as an inheritor of a notorious cult, and then gets sideswiped by a pandemic? Meet Katie Griggs, aka “Guru Jagat,” who, instead of reassessing her channelled “downloads” from the charlatan rapist Yogi Bhajan and lending a hand to public health, has chosen to boost her online game with COVID contrarianism and by platforming David Icke.Our guests this week are Philip Deslippe and journalist Stacie Stukin. Philip’s penetrating and bulletproof research into the dodgy history of Kundalini Yoga and its criminal founder Yogi Bhajan shook the modern yoga world in 2012. Stacie’s 2020 LA Magazine feature investigation into Kundalini corruption and abuse gathered decades of buried evidence. Together they paint a lucid, non-sensationalized picture of how a high-demand religious group navigates new opportunities for manipulation.The larger picture is that COVID has been a challenge for the brick-and-mortar assets of cults, which, like every other business, rely on pedestrian traffic and the “retail space” of ritual conversion. But in other ways, COVID is the best thing that could have happened to cults. Kundalini Yoga was built on promising perfect health, the conversion of fear into love, and a golden age free from atheistic biotech. For people like Griggs—and her ex-con mentor Harijiwan—COVID is an opportunity to hide dirty laundry and market the same empty promises with heightened panic and passion.Show Notes“From Maharaj to Mahan Tantric: The Construction of Yogi Bhajan’s Kundalini Yoga” for Sikh Formations by Philip Deslippe (2012)“Yogi Bhajan Turned an L.A. Yoga Studio into a Juggernaut, and Left Two Generations of Followers Reeling from Alleged Abuse” by Stacie Stukin for Los Angeles Magazine (2020)“Yogi Bhajan, yoga guru and founder of 3HO, ‘more likely than not’ sexually abused followers, says report” by Philip Deslippe and Stacie Stukin for Religion News Service (2020)Text of Katherine Felt’s 1986 lawsuit against Bhajan for assault, battery, false imprisonment and moreText of Pamela Dyson’s 1986 lawsuit against Bhajan for assault, battery, false imprisonment and more“Wacko World of Yogi Bhajan” archived hereBe Scofield’s -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/29/20212 hours, 18 minutes, 22 seconds
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Hearing Voices, Seeing Colors, & Fighting Phantoms

We decided to release this Monday patron bonus episode publicly after receiving a great response on Patreon. Julian draws heavily on the work of neurologist and author V.S. Ramachandran in an attempt to explore Conspirituality after the Capitol insurrection. How might an understanding of synesthesia, epilepsy, super-stimuli, hyper-reality, and fascism help us make sense of the overlap between the QAnon fantasy timeline and real world blood and guts? -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/26/202143 minutes, 30 seconds
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35: Séance Science (w/Susannah Crockford)

Joe Biden was inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States yesterday, proving the long-awaited QAnon prophecy false. It’s the perfect time to talk about where mystical or deceptive knowledge comes from, how it works, and what happens when it fails. We may never know who Q was, but we can take a close look at a core feature of conspirituality technique: the transmission of secret knowledge. Welcome to our channeling episode.Today we discuss three Q-adjacent channellers: JZ Knight, Lorie Ladd, Elizabeth April, and also Paul Selig. What do they say they’re doing? What does it sound like? And where can we go to figure it out? Derek looks at consciousness studies through the lens of Rodolfo Llinas, Stanislas Dehaene, Michael Gazzaniga, and other renowned researchers. Julian reviews the philosophical arguments of Daniel Dennett and Susan Blackmore. Matthew plays angel’s advocate and interviews Professor Susannah Crockford about her anthropological fieldwork amongst the New Agers and channelers of Sedona. TL;DR: “There’s never a single answer for anything.”In the Ticker we look at a tragic anti-vax related father-son murder-suicide in California, anti-vax groups grifting PPP money from the feds, and the Anons, exiled even from Parler, suffering from the collapse of their dream of a Great Awakening. Show NotesFather-son murder-suicide over anti-vax stressThe Trump administration bailed out prominent anti-vaccine groups during a pandemicScientists Investigate Spiritualist Mediums: Why Some People Report “Hearing the Dead”Hydroxy-pusher Simone Gold arrested for part in Capitol SiegeQAnon will be scrutinized by National Intel AgenciesParler refugees prepped for DoomsdayQAnon implodes onlineQAnon admins nuke then restore threadsQAnauguration meltdownArg -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/22/20212 hours, 42 minutes, 37 seconds
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34: Insurrectionist Influencers (w/RP Eddy)

It’s been eight days since the Capitol was ransacked by a mob of MAGA supporters, Proud Boys, ex-military with tactical gear, and Nazis wearing disgustingly anti-Semitic t-shirts. The death count is six (for now), with a second police officer dying by duty-related suicide on Saturday. As more footage streams in—and the FBI says there’s still more to come—it will get uglier.So what have our conspiritualists been up to? We’ll run it down this week. Quick story: not a single one has walked back any of their bullshit in the aftermath of the Capitol siege. Some have doubled down.An unmasked Mikki Willis was involved in the siege as a “journalist,” giving an impassioned anti-vax, pro-liberty speech at a sideshow MAGA event in which he called the ransack that he had just taken part in “beautiful.” Christiane Northrup cheered on the alt-health berserkers during the end of her water fast. Zach Bush took to Instagram to sermonize, saying, “Just as viruses do not take down healthy humans, revolutions do not take down healthy governance.” Lori Ladd spoke in radiant non-sequiturs.Amber Sears announced she was “preparing for civil war” while her husband JP whined about free speech as his Parler account got nuked and Trump got booted off of Twitter. Meanwhile, Kelly Brogan said nothing publicly about the Capitol siege that we could find, but cashed in on the vibes with a bloated essay on “spiritual warfare.”We also learned a lot about Jacob Anthony Chansley nee Angeli, the Q-shaman, and his interdimensional conspirituality performance art—as well as his three-day jail fast that was resolved after a sympathetic judge guaranteed a Whole Foods delivery.Derek interviews RP Eddy, CEO of strategy and geopolitical intelligence firm, Ergo. Eddy previously served as Director at the White House National Security Council under Bill Clinton, Chief of Staff to US Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, and Senior Policy Officer to UN Secretary Kofi Annan. He shares his thoughts about the current state of national security.Show NotesSusannah Crockford on the Q-Shaman’s spiritual potpourriMatthew’s Twitter thread on Q-Shaman fastingCOVID and tribal eldersEugene Goodman’s fateful geniusChristiane Northrup’s prosperity gospel affiliateNorthrup as Auntie Good DeathLorie Ladd everything i -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/15/20211 hour, 55 minutes, 17 seconds
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33: Manipulating the Hero’s Journey

Christiane Northrup addresses her followers as “angel warriors.” JP Sears counsels his supplement customers to never “outsource their own truth.” Mikki Willis says he was once a “hero of the left”, and now tells audiences that he’s willing to die for the truth of his message. It’s all very grand, and it doesn’t come from nowhere. Trendy spiritualities of the privileged and disconnected have always focused on the heroic triumph of the individual, which has made them easily co-optable by the right.But what is a real hero? Joseph Campbell contextualized their journey as a ritual of selfless wandering, undertaken on behalf of the community. The concept of the monomyth, which Campbell defined as the Hero’s Journey, has stages, and they have influenced popular culture in profound and, at times, troubling ways.In this episode, we’ll look at how certain influencers confuse heroism for megalomania and forget that heroes and their societies are interdependent. Derek and Julian measure some of the usual suspects against Campbell’s ruler while Matthew asks questions about what makes a theory vulnerable to distortion. In The Jab, Julian looks at the three top questions vaccine-hesitant folks have about the mRNA vaccines currently approved for COVID. In a closing essay, Matthew reflects on a space where the painful splits of conspirituality might be calmed: how the home hospice can bring together public health and private spirituality.Show NotesJake Angeli, “Q-Shaman”, describing his New-Age servicesCNN on Angeli, “Baked Alaska” and BarnettThe Q shaman — conspirituality runs riot on Capitol HillBarnett and “Save Our Children” event in AR in OctoberJP Sears echoes a justification for ransacking Pelosi’s officeAnti-maskers Storm California Mall, Harass Shoppers and Refuse to LeaveWhy Lisa Guerrero Abruptly Ended Interview With Anti-Mask WearerTommy John Sr. hospitalized for COVIDDr. Tommy John denies his father hospitalized with COVID has COVID(Tommy’s follow-up post shows his son (?) playing a video game in a COVID-denyi -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/8/20212 hours, 23 minutes, 56 seconds
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32: Both Sides Pt 2: Healing & Sense-making in the New Year (w/Charles Eisenstein)

A rough tally of our labor from the inception of this podcast in May puts us at over 1,100 hours of treading water in the content sea of JP Sears, Mikki Willis, Christiane Northrup, and the rest of the gang. Are we getting our bearings yet? Will we see land soon?This episode is centered on Part 2 of Matthew’s discussion with Charles Eisenstein — a bellwether for the possibility that wellness and spirituality culture can communicate clearly about conspirituality. In the discussion and analysis that follows the interview, we look at who gets to say what and from which platform, what it means to be brave versus what it means to be evidence-based, and whether South Park really did predict the Trump-Biden choice.In the Ticker, we’ll peek into the bizarro world of Guru Jagat, run down what anti-vaxxers believe about ingredients, ogle at Michael Flynn’s QAnon merch shop, and dive into Lori Ladd’s recent video where she rallies the troops after a revelatory nap. In The Jab, Julian unravels the facts around the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Finally, in a New Year’s Eve closer, Matthew wonders, from the quietude of a recent home hospice experience, about how we might be able to slow down.Show NotesGuru Jagat camp grace talkWeaving Dharma Art: Guru Jagat x MandevMandev’s Yogi Bhajan propaganda film put out to counter abuse testimonyHarper’s profile on Jagat (pre abuse scandal)Deslippe rocks the Kundalini backstoryAn Olive Branch’s independent investigation into KY and 3HO historical abuse (an initial effort)Harijiwan’s hagiography of Bhajan via Mandev’s video skillz (one example)Harijiwan, “toner bandit”@ramawrong’s excellent IG feedPhil Good Life discloses three mental health related hospitalizationsHere’s How the Anti-Vaxxers’ Strongest Argument Falls ApartWhy the Government Pays Billions to People Who Claim Injury by VaccinesVaccine Court: The Law an -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/31/20202 hours, 51 minutes, 17 seconds
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31: Bro Science: Anti-Vaxxers (w/Jonathan Berman)

As two coronavirus vaccines roll out we’re being flooded with more disinformation than ever. Wellness gurus are cashing in on home-made “natural” remedies by spreading unjustified fears about this vaccine, and vaccines in general.This week, we look at Dr. Christiane Northrup’s “line in the sand,” Mikki Willis revealing that he recently helped out the kids of Covington High and Kyle Rittenhouse, JP Sears getting retweeted by Donald Trump, and the QAnon breeding ground that is the MMA. During The Jab, Julian looks at the newly emerged Covid mutation and investigates whether it nullifies the vaccines.For the main discussion, Julian and Derek sift through the piles of vaccine and health propaganda spread by Robert F Kennedy, Jr and Zach Bush on a recent Instagram Live. Derek interviews Jonathan Berman, author of Anti-Vaxxers: How to Challenge a Misinformed Movement, about trying to build a bridge. Finally, Matthew reports from a family hospice experience on the generosity, discipline, and grace of frontline health care workers.Show NotesThe Coronavirus Is Mutating. What Does That Mean for Us?The Duesberg PhenomenonMikki Willis at the Red Pill ExpoMy Polio Story is an Inconvenient Truth to Those Who Refuse VaccinesHistory of PolioThe Denialist PlaybookPharmacies Partner With HHS to Provide COVID-19 Vaccines -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/24/20202 hours, 41 minutes, 55 seconds
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Bonus: Solstice Light in the Man Cave

This episode dropped for our Patreon supporters on the darkest day of the year. We’re unlocking it as a holiday gift to all of our listeners.In this meditation, Matthew reflects on the roots and implications of “blazes of light” that punctuate the speech of both spiritualists and conspiritualists, from the spaces of patriarchal religious ritual to the claustrophobia of the manosphere. One key question: How does the manosphere shape conspirituality and its emotional disorders?This is a tour through the trance states that charismatic men love and manipulate—how they carry streams of emotion that can never be transparently shared. Matthew investigates the means by which the podcast format squeezes entranced speech into a man-cave so that the speaker can be endlessly extroverted, but also self-protected, and mostly unaccountable.It is an ethereal and frictionless technology, imposing no limits on the impulse to hold court or to dominate. It allows Alex Jones, Jordan Peterson, Dr. Tommy John, JP Sears, and many others to create limitless self-centered content with almost no feedback. The lack of reality-checking makes their discourse aggressive, but it’s also tragic to watch men believe they are forming relationships while they talk into the void.No solstice bonus wouldn’t be complete without a nod to the light, however. Matthew climbs back out of this episode with some good man-news about his podcast colleagues, the Mandolorian, and the possibility that his own boys might grow up differently.Show NotesJordan Peterson weeps over individualismInstagram isolation curated by Dr. Tommy JohnJP Sears plays toady to Tim Kennedy’s alpha-fashy rantKennedy implies he’s helping disappear protestors in Portland -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/22/20201 hour, 6 minutes, 16 seconds
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30: Are There Really Two Sides? (w/Charles Eisenstein)

Who gets to take up space in critical times? How do we orient ourselves toward expertise? In a culture dominated by “experts” on social media, do charismatics outperform fact-checkers?This episode marks a milestone for our podcast, as Matthew interviews Charles Eisenstein, whose essay “The Coronation” has cast a long shadow on our ongoing critique of how New Age and spiritual spaces interact with public health. It’s a respectful but robust conversation about the limits of what laypeople can know about science and journalism, the intersection between conspiracy theory and myth, what the word “narrative” really means, and whether activism on the left and conspiracy theories on the right can be equally misguided. The conversation ran long: we dish up and comment on the first hour here.In the Ticker, we cover Gaiam TV—Netflix for the Q-adjacent—and JP Sears keeping it classy by using the birth announcement of his son to punch down at trans people. On The Jab, Julian reports on Robert F Kennedy Jr’s role in flooding social media with anti-vax ads, and targeting propaganda at minority and immigrant communities, to their detriment.Show NotesSuzanne Humphries on Rational WikiWhy Dr Suzanne Humphries, an anti-vaccine activist, is lying to you about measlesJP Sears’s transphobic postJP Sears’s squat workout / Bill Gates postOverlap between conspirituality and anti-trans politicsInvite from the “Awarehouse”, oh and this one tooWhy this mainstream yoga site is now a hub for QAnon influencersA Thrive interviewee regrets his participationBell’s Palsy, Allergic Reactions, and Deaths in Covid Vaccine TrialsFunding for anti-vax ads on FacebookRFK is -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/17/20202 hours, 11 minutes, 8 seconds
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29: Bro Science (w/Dr. Dan Wilson)

Here’s an episode that’s been micro-brewing for a while: Bro Science: where conspirituality meets the manosphere. We’ve even got a working definition! Here’s a taste.Bro Science is junk science spewed by men who believe their charisma is a substitute for training. It brags, mocks, overreaches. It’s self-serving and self-interested. It can carry hints of toxic masculinity: entitlement, unearned confidence, no qualms about taking up space, repressing emotion or hiding it behind humour or grandiosity. It preaches individualism and self-sufficiency from the lonely triumph of Bro.We’ll listen to some top “Bro scientists” to see how bro-ness reduces, minimizes, and mocks science. We’ll listen to pearls of bro-dom from JP Sears, Kyle Kingsbury, Aubrey Marcus, Sayer Ji, Toronto’s very own BBQAnon, Adam Skelly, and Zach Bush, doctor to the bros. Dear listeners: you might feel at the end of our tour like you need a coffee colon cleanse or testosterone nootropic. But we’ve got something better: an interview with Dr. Dan Wilson, who does the opposite of Bro Science. He’s a molecular biologist who by day works in the lab at Carnegie Mellon University, but by night crushes out Dr. Wilson Debunks the Funk videos, cutting conspiritualists down to size. Show NotesThe Lonely Descent into QAnon, Pt 1Analysts create AI tool that can distinguish between conspiracy theories and real conspiraciesFormer Israeli space security chief says aliens exist, humanity not readyIn 2020, Disinformation Broke the USBBQAnon thinks he knows something about PCR testsPublic Health Ontario: false positivity rate is 0.01%,Sayer Ji geeks out with Michael SandlerSayer Ji’s GreenMedInfo cherry-picks a vaccine study reportHere’s the actual source that GMI distortedDr. Maria Sundaram Twitter thread on how to talk with vaccine-hesitant people.Covid-19, Remote Work -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/11/20202 hours, 24 minutes, 54 seconds
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28: Resurrection of Jordan Peterson (w/Jeff Brown)

This week we inaugurate “The Conspirituality Ticker,” a weekly bullet-point rundown on the ongoing pandemic of influencers who spread medical misinformation to sell disaster spirituality. We’ll also continue with “The Jab”, our segment on conspirituality-driven vaccine hesitancy.The big news this week is the resurrection of Jordan Peterson. After surviving a medically-induced coma in a Russian rehab facility, and then COVID on top of that, Peterson has re-emerged, weakened but resolute, as both hero and provocateur. The announcement from Penguin Canada that his new book of another dozen self-help rules prompted Penguin employees to protest their involvement in an emotional town hall.In this episode, we’ll dive into Peterson’s imaginarium. We won’t totally discount his button-down commonsensical advice, but we will explore how it has lent intellectual support to the alt-right. Is he a conspiritualist pioneer as he wars against the Neo-Marxist Cabal and dreams of a Jungian promised land? Matthew will add a view from Peterson’s hometown of Toronto, where the messianic prof has been open about his ambitions in right-wing Ontario politics. Julian interviews dissociation debunker Jeff Brown, who champions “enrealment,” and has a heartfelt critique of what he calls the “new cage” movement.Show NotesJZ Knight Called for ‘Military Coup’ After Biden Took Lead in Presidential BidDefiant Night: Hundreds Gather at Pier Bowl for Mask-Burning RallyToronto public health shuts down Etobicoke restaurant for allowing indoor dining in defiance of COVID-19 measuresAdam Skelly’s GoFundMeSkelly hauled off by the po-po$15,000 Fine After Secret Hasidic Wedding Draws Thousands of GuestsSplitting 5 to 4, Supreme Court Backs Religious Challenge to Cuomo’s Virus Shutdown OrderSupremes’ opinionsCanadian Bar Association on c16, which Peterson didn’t understandPeterson co-presents with Proud Boy founder Gavin McInnes -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/4/20201 hour, 55 minutes, 16 seconds
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Bonus: Yoga Teachers Are Not Doctors, Doctors Are Not Priests

Do famous people become famous for staying in their lane? Do some find fame by carving out a lane that never existed before? What is the disruptive promise of charisma in this wellness space, which draws consumers burdened by a double disillusionment? They arrive, disillusioned by conventional medicine and conventional religion. What can the charismatic influencer offer them, and how do they do it?In this last free bonus episode, Matthew explores the charismatic logic of wellness, in which yoga teachers can become famous by playing at being doctors,  and doctors can become famous by playing at being priests. Starting with the strange tale of BKS Iyengar (and how he stretched his way into all three roles through sheer will), this journey will lay out how the basic schtick of the 20th-century the wellness personality has primed the ground for our current explosion in conspirituality.Matthew will look at how MDs like Tom Cowan, Kelly Brogan, Christiane Northrup, and Zach Bush all run the “Iyengar Arc” in reverse. Where the yoga master was unschooled in medicine, these doctors are unschooled in spirituality. But that doesn’t stop them from pretending to be experts in a weird cocktail that fails both. In their aspirations to spiritual leadership, they each screw the pooch. Cowan ends up shilling for Rudolf Steiner, who knew nothing about viruses, and even less about how not to be a racist. Brogan thinks that Kundalini Yoga is “thousands of years old” even though it was invented by a sociopath in the 1970s. Northrup seems to think that angel channelers are qualified to tell people how to live. And Zach Bush recounts a mystical experience to a group of retreatants in Italy, in which he became a sardine, and realized he wasn’t afraid to die—partly why he uses Reiki instead of pain medication when he’s on the hospice shift.Ultimately, the “charismatic collapse” between doctor and priest distorts medicine and makes spirituality banal. Perhaps if we see this clearly, we’ll look for better leaders.Show NotesIyengar’s Light on Yoga wikiFoucault’s Les Mots et Les Choses wikiBrogan’s Vital Life ProjectAnne Cushman interviews BKS Iyengar for Yoga Journal, 1997 About Siddha Yoga Tom Cowan’s disciplinary rap sheetCowan’s disinfo vidCBC debunks CowanDr. Wilson -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/30/20201 hour, 16 minutes, 9 seconds
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27: Finding Meaning (and Laughs) in Crisis (w/Alex Auder)

Though we’re all staying put this holiday season, we continue to super-spread our conspirituality vibes. This week we’re fielding listener questions for our first-ever non-Patreon AMA. During this episode, we’ll be talking about our own spiritual beliefs, finding meaning in crisis, Matthew being canceled, and more.For a holiday treat, Matthew interviews friend of the pod, the fabulous Alex Auder, about what it means to satirize free-birth influencer @bauhauswife, who’s putting the fash back into fashion.Show NotesFour Quartets — TS EliotIs Stephen Mitchell a translator? He “translates” so many languages!Then there’s Jan Van Buitenen, the unknownMatthew’s elegy for Michael Stone -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/26/20202 hours, 8 minutes, 37 seconds
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Bonus: Diversity Has Always Mattered

Diversity has lost some of its strength as a term in our bifurcated world, and yet in nature diversity has always mattered. Our apprehension of using the word points to our further alienation of nature—and ourselves. Derek discusses the power of diversity in three realms he has spent decades studying: international music, fitness, and psychedelics. He also contemplates why diversity matters when considering the growing influence of conspiritualists. -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/23/202045 minutes, 25 seconds
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26: Return of the Repressed, Or The Drugs Paula White is Not On (w/Brian Muraresku)

Trump’s personal pastor Paula White seizes the podium to speak in tongues and prophesize that angels from Africa will certify her master’s electoral victory. Evangelical Kenneth Copeland laughs maniacally at the devilish proposition that Biden has won. They both yearn to squeeze some drop of ecstasy from the husk of conservative politics. How much of the emotional terrorism rolling through these times is the return of the repressed? In our weekly reporting, Derek looks at Australian chef Pete Evans and his nostalgia for fascist mysticism, hidden beneath green shakes and doTerra downlines. Julian covers Dr. Northrup’s latest viral science fictions, as well as the bizarre Nazi comparisons trending on conspiritualist pages. Matthew looks at nested repressions returning with a vengeance: QAnon resurrecting the Satanic Panic, Bill Gates as the return of the vampire, and the strange new phenomenon of the Aggro-Spiritual Boss Babe Rage Witch, whose coin seems to be on the rise just as the Mark Walsh Spiritual Pick-Up Artist currency tanks. He also considers distinctions between canceling and punching sideways, picking up from last week’s episode. Then, in a rich interview with author of The Immortality Key, Brian Muraresku, Derek explores the ancient psychedelia of Christianity, both forgotten and repressed, and hopes for its return, as it would probably make Paula White and Kenneth Copeland chill TF out. Show Notes Pete Evans says COVID-19 isn’t contagious Pete Evans fined $25,000 by Therapeutic Goods Administration over coronavirus claims relating to BioCharger Controversial celebrity chef Pete Evans canned by Seven Network Healing hubs, a ‘sacred geometry hub’ and solar-powered cabins: Inside the new hippy commune promoted by Pete Evans where people pay to live off the grid in ‘earth ships’ Pete Evans, Truthseeker Pete Evans shares the Nazi symbol, Black Sun Christiane Northrup’s Nazi tweet Northrup’s COVID vaccine interview COVID-19 Vaccine To Alter DNA? 5 False Claims By Christiane Northrup Nazi comparison -- -- -- Support us on Patreon Pre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | Julian Original music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/20/20202 hours, 17 minutes, 57 seconds
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Bonus: Digital Soldiers, Purity Tests, & Word Magic

As more of the world has gained access to mobile internet, populism, and the perception (rightly or wrongly) of government, corruption has steadily increased. But what is “populism?” How do populist ideas on both the Right and Left identify “the people” and their enemies? With the size of the online megaphone and Balkanized social media audiences, what role does the word magic of emotionally-manipulative language play in perpetuating division, even when claiming to do otherwise?Show NotesVox Eu on mobile internet, populism and government confidenceSteve Bannon’s far right “school of gladiators“ for young populists in ItalyPopulism is Morphing in Insidious Ways via The AtlanticColeman Hughes review of “How To Be An Anti-Racist” and open letter To Ibrahim X. KendiJohn McWhorter’s review of White FragilityIn Defense of Looting —one author’s controversial opinion via NPR -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/16/202028 minutes, 6 seconds
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25: Waking Up from Cancel Culture (w/Clementine Morrigan & Jay from F*cking Cancelled)

On Election night, Mikki Willis, JP Sears, Del Bigtree, and the conspirituality glitterati gathered in Austin for a prayer meeting for Donald Trump. Willis pitched his new documentary and complained about Marxist professors pied-pipering children towards BLM before a new-age preacher sold allotments in a new alt-health ranch community in Texas. Derek covers this ultimate reveal of the conspirituality grift: predict the apocalypse, then sell off-grid cribs on a five-acre manmade lagoon. Fill the swamp, indeed. Meanwhile, Julian covers the election of Marjorie Taylor Greene and Madison Cawthorn, QAnon arrests in Philly, and the shitstorm of irate comments against YogaGirl as she stands up for decency. The election over, our critical work continues. How do we keep it on target? How do we make sure that we don’t become so cynical—or so attached to the process of criticism itself—that we can’t find solidarity? And how do we look for solutions while enthralled by social media, as opposed to being invested in society? Our guests this week are Clementine Morrigan and Jay from Fucking Cancelled. Matthew will be asking them about the work that the digital Left can do to foster solidarity, loyalty, and freedom. It’s an important conversation because we have to assume that some of the redpilled were already being pushed out the door. Why? Because among the woke-ish, it can be easier to fight each other than to punch up and get things done. Show Notes Yoga Girl boosts Black girls as President on Instagram My Dark Journey Into the Soul of a Model Young Republican Candidate QAnon goes to Washington: two supporters win seats in Congress Armed QAnon follower arrested in alleged Philly convention center threat linked to far-right Va. senator Karl Marx: The Fiddler Why Silicon Valley billionaires are prepping for the apocalypse in New Zealand Clementine Morrigan on Instagram and her website and Patreon -- -- -- Support us on Patreon Pre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | Julian Original music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/13/20202 hours, 41 minutes, 16 seconds
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Bonus: Sh*tposting and The Embodiment Conference

Mark Walsh, the proprietor of The Embodiment Conference, was recently challenged by cultural somaticist Tada Hozumi in an Open Letter, penned by Hozumi in lieu of accepting the invitation to speak at the Conference. Hozumi proposed that Walsh look more closely at the exclusionary economy of his ambitious project — specifically, at how it centers white men as the heroes of the somatic techniques that colonialism handed them. The letter, dignified and sincere, offered a concise and workable framing of a fraught issue. Walsh did not respond directly, but on his personal Facebook shitposted about being oppressed by “c*ntery” of social justice “twats.”Those familiar with this aspect of Walsh’s online persona were not surprised. He has openly risen to market dominance in the online somatasphere as a kind of Black Belt culture warrior, a Jordan Peterson in a jock-strap. In this bonus episode, Matthew reviews some of Walsh’s past online hits as a case study of how the wellness world can confuse acting out for freedom, somatic dominance for discipline, and allow charismatic men to weaponize unhealed wounds in the name of authenticity.Show NotesOpen Letter to Mark Walsh and The Embodiment ConferenceThe Embodiment Conference and “somafascism”: commentary from Ben SpatzMark Walsh to 2020 TEC invited presenter (the audio is from 2019)Statement: We need to divest from Mark Walsh and The Embodiment ConferenceYes, Mr. Walsh, there are Black people in Hungary. One of them was born there, in 1980, and is now an MP.Mark Walsh documentation -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/9/202046 minutes, 26 seconds
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24: Body Politic Recovery (w/Tada Hozumi)

This week could have been worse; what comes now must get better. If we’ve learned anything over these six months, it’s that QAnon is to conspirituality as Trump is to the political status quo. We can debunk or vote out the fever dream, but the virus will remain. In our first post-election episode we take stock of work yet to do. Derek checks in on QAnon mysticism. Julian speaks on the populism and language games that horseshoe right and left together, and how strong communities cannot afford horizontal violence anymore. We review a new podcast out of Montreal that studies “The Nexus” — the toxic intersection between identitarian activism, social media, and cancel culture. Matthew crystal-balls the precarious future of post-COVID yoga, and interviews cultural somaticist Tada Hozumi on why Andrew Yang offered attachment politics, decolonizing wellness, and WTF is going on at The Embodiment Conference. “The future of global embodiment,” Hozumi says, “is also the future of global politics. Because the mind always follows the body.” Show Notes Sapolsky: Religious Ritual is OCD Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst — Robert Sapolsky Most Yoga Teachers are Not Online Producers. They Have a Deeper Gift, and Now Is the Time to Trust It. Dr. Northrup continues: now the conspiracy is electoral fraud Fucking Cancelled podcast Molly Meehan’s 5-part “zine”. Molly’s podcast: “Out of the Woods”. Exiting the Vampire Castle by Mark Fisher (who tragically died by suicide after a lifelong struggle with depression). Open Letter to Mark Walsh and The Embodiment Conference Why I, as a therapist, support Andrew Yang The Ritual As Justice School Whiteness as trauma in the body -- -- -- Support us on Patreon Pre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | Julian Original music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/6/20202 hours, 6 minutes, 42 seconds
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Bonus: COVID Fatigue & Empathy (w/Dr. Ali Haider)

Derek talks with Dr. Ali Haider about being on the frontlines of COVID-19.Dr. Haider is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Tufts University Medical School. He received his medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. Dr. Haider is board-certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Diseases, Echocardiography, Nuclear Cardiology, Interventional Cardiology, and vascular ultrasound. He is well versed in all aspects of cardiology, and his areas of interest include coronary angioplasty and interventions, and the treatment of peripheral vascular disease as well as structural heart disease.Show NotesDoctor Responds to COVID Over-Diagnosis Claims by White HouseAli Haider on YouTube and Instagram -- -- --Support us on PatreonPre-order Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat: America | Canada Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | JulianOriginal music by EarthRise SoundSystem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/2/202032 minutes, 34 seconds
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23: Election Resilience (w/Hala Khouri, Lissa Rankin,