Conspirituality podcast

Conspirituality

Dismantling New Age cults, wellness grifters, and conspiracy-mad yogis. 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.

Dismantling New Age cults, wellness grifters, and conspiracy-mad yogis. 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.

 

#500

Brief: Cult of the Lamb Anti-Cult School? (w/Riley MacLeod)

We cover conspiracy theories, spiritual abuse, and religious and right-wing extremism. We cover showmen and charismatics suffering from King Victim Complex. Last week we had to study a goddam assassination attempt.  But sometimes we get to peek into the worlds that younger people are making within our cursed digital environments, and we realize they might be laughing at some of the problems that fill us olds with despair right out of existence.  Gaming journalist and Master of Divinity Riley MacLeod joins Matthew to talk about whether the hit indie game Cult of the Lamb might be all the inoculation against cultic dynamics that generation Alpha ever needs.  Show Notes [Riley MacLeod - Aftermath] (https://aftermath.site/author/riley-macleod) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [megaphone.fm/adchoices] (https://megaphone.fm/adchoices) ... Read more

3 hrs Ago

46 MINS

46:59

3 hrs Ago


#499

215: Divinely Protected

Two landmark Supreme Court decisions—the Trump immunity case and the overturning of the Chevron doctrine—represent the legal institutionalization of the core values of conspirituality: self-sovereignty, natural immunity or divine protection, and “doing your own research.”  The attempted assassination on the former president forged the essence of these two rulings into a stunning still life of Trump’s image for those who love him and those he’s appointed to serve him.  Julian and Matthew wade into the flood, and what might happen at ground zero of conspiracy theory formation—this time veering left as well as right. Show Notes [Former classmate of Trump rally gunman says he was ‘bullied almost every day’] (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVMtQ4piGR8)   [The FBI Identifies Suspected Gunman in Trump Rally Shooting: What to Know - The New York Times] (https://www.nytimes.com/2024/07/14/us/politics/trump-gunman-thomas-crooks.html) [FBI identifies Thomas Crooks of Bethel Park as the suspect in Trump assassination attempt] (https://www.wesa.fm/politics-government/2024-07-14/fbi-identify-thomas-crooks-of-bethel-park-as-the-suspect-in-trump-assassination-attempt) [FBI probing motives, background of Thomas Matthew Crooks, the Western Pa. gunman behind Donald Trump assassination attempt] (https://www.inquirer.com/news/pennsylvania/thomas-matthew-crooks-trump-shooter-id-butler-20240714.html)   [A shooting range, a gun store, and a ladder purchase: Tracking the Trump rally gunman's movements leading up to his attack] (https://www.cnn.com/2024/07/15/us/thomas-crooks-trump-rally-shooting-invs/index.html)   [Trump rewrites Republican convention speech to focus on unity not Biden - Washington Examiner] (https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/campaigns/presidential/3082180/trump-rewrites-republican-convention-speech-focus-unity-not-biden/)    Vance shooting response: [https://x.com/JDVance1/status/1812280973628965109] (https://x.com/JDVance1/status/1812280973628965109)   Musk shooting response: [https://x.com/elonmusk/status/1812256998588662068] (https://x.com/elonmusk/status/1812256998588662068)   Rubio shooting response: [https://x.com/marcorubio/status/1812256529296613657] (https://x.com/marcorubio/status/1812256529296613657)   Boebert shooting response: [https://x.com/KyleClark/status/1812316469016846373] (https://x.com/KyleClark/status/1812316469016846373)   [Brief: The Theatre of Trump (w/Hank Willenbrink) — Conspirituality] (https://www.conspirituality.net/episodes/the-theatre-of-trump-hank-willenbrink)    [23-939 Trump v. United States (07/01/2024)] (https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/23pdf/23-939_e2pg.pdf) [Clarence Thomas Raised Another Issue: Was Jack Smith Legally Appointed? - The New York Times] (https://www.nytimes.com/2024/07/01/us/politics/clarence-thomas-special-counsel-appointment.html)   [22-451 Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo (06/28/2024)] (https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/23pdf/22-451_7m58.pdf) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [megaphone.fm/adchoices] (https://megaphone.fm/adchoices) ... Read more

18 Jul 2024

1 HR 06 MINS

1:06:59

18 Jul 2024


#498

Bonus Sample: Project 2025's Plan: Let It Burn

Project 2025's approach to environmental issues is pretty straightforward: deny climate science, dismantle the EPA, clear a path that prioritizes corporate profits, and let the world burn. Derek and Julian unpack the details on the chilling chapter from Project 2025's 920-page manifesto that outlines their plans for the Environmental Protection Agency. According to their own statements, a Trump presidency would set these and other disastrous plans in motion from day one. Show Notes [Conspirituality 187: Project 2025: An Authoritarian Conspiracy] (https://www.conspirituality.net/episodes/187-project-2025-authoritarian-conspiracy) [Project 2025's Disdain for Public Education] (https://www.patreon.com/posts/project-2025s-101246674) [The GOP Thinks Food Stamps Are the Real Problem] (https://www.patreon.com/posts/gop-thinks-food-101246201) [The GOP Takeover of Media] (https://www.patreon.com/posts/gop-takeover-of-97138834) [The Plan to Dismantle Health Care] (https://www.patreon.com/posts/plan-to-health-97137824) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [megaphone.fm/adchoices] (https://megaphone.fm/adchoices) ... Read more

15 Jul 2024

06 MINS

06:59

15 Jul 2024


#497

Brief: Project 2025’s “Bloodless” Coup

While speaking on Steve Bannon’s podcast, The War Room, Heritage Foundation president Kevin Roberts recently stated, “We are in the process of the second American Revolution, which will remain bloodless—if the left allows it to be.”  Roberts is the mastermind behind Project 2025, Heritage’s 920-page “presidential transition” agenda that seeks to implement authoritarian power in America. The text combines the anti-regulatory stance of libertarianism, laissez faire capitalism on steroids as espoused by conservatives, and the heinous and anti-democratic religious dogma of Christian nationalists, and it’s finally receiving a lot of attention. Derek and Julian look beyond the “bloodless” comment to hear what else Roberts and crew have in store for America should Donald Trump regain the presidency. As you might imagine, it has nothing to do with democracy. Show Notes [Taraji P Henson Calls Out Project 2025 at BET Awards] (https://www.youtube.com/shorts/bnbFmG_uAdM) [‘Complete and utter B.S.’: Trump DEFINITELY knows his own team authoring Project 2025] (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPN0rd7L0vE&t) [Kevin Roberts on The War Room] (https://rumble.com/v553eq0-heritage-foundation-president-dr.-kevin-roberts-on-recent-court-ruling.html) [Conspirituality 187: Project 2025: An Authoritarian Conspiracy] (https://www.conspirituality.net/episodes/187-project-2025-authoritarian-conspiracy) [Project 2025's Disdain for Public Education] (https://www.patreon.com/posts/project-2025s-101246674) [The GOP Thinks Food Stamps Are the Real Problem] (https://www.patreon.com/posts/gop-thinks-food-101246201) [The GOP Takeover of Media] (https://www.patreon.com/posts/gop-takeover-of-97138834) [The Plan to Dismantle Health Care] (https://www.patreon.com/posts/plan-to-health-97137824) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [megaphone.fm/adchoices] (https://megaphone.fm/adchoices) ... Read more

13 Jul 2024

26 MINS

26:50

13 Jul 2024


#496

214: Aubrey Marcus is Totally Not a Cult Leader

Today we’re looking at a lavish infomercial put out by New Age oligarch and RFK Jr superfan Aubrey Marcus, in which he tries to show the world that his very expensive encounter group, Fit For Service, is definitely not a cult. And at how Matthew got quoted in the opening montage as though he endorsed FFS as an “anti-cult.” He hasn’t. Marcus might be protesting too much. Because no one with any credibility has actually called FFS a cult, and they couldn’t, because no one has done the investigative work that would take. In a lot of ways, that question is beside the point. It’s not the ‘70s anymore. If you have 604K YouTube subscribers, and millions in the bank from oil money and supplement sales, you don’t need to coerce anyone into staying on your ashram compound and working on your spiritual ideas for free. You too can have an unlimited supply of well-heeled seekers cycling through your coaching encounter group. So the real questions are: what is it really worth, and what does it really serve? Show Notes [87: The Aubrey Marcus Spectacle] (https://www.conspirituality.net/episodes/87-the-aubrey-marcus-spectacle) [Brief: The New Age Origin Story of RFK Jr’s Campaign] (https://www.conspirituality.net/episodes/brief-the-new-age-origin-story-of-rfk-jrs-campaign) [107: An Open Letter to Aubrey Marcu] (https://www.conspirituality.net/episodes/107-an-open-letter-to-aubrey-marcus) [86: Charles Eisenstein, New Age Q ] (https://www.conspirituality.net/episodes/86-charles-eisenstein-new-age-q) [Why Kyle Kingsbury Quit The UFC] (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KFKq5Zdinc)   [Myths That Make Us | Godsey Montana Summit talk ] (https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/shimmer-series-part-6/id1455569633?i=1000660155012)   [The music festival that wants to know your deepest secrets] (https://derekberes.substack.com/p/the-music-festival-that-wants-to) [[Annihilation] Can someone explain the shimmer from the movie scientifically?] (https://www.reddit.com/r/AskScienceFiction/comments/lj7kcl/annihilation_can_someone_explain_the_shimmer_from/) [Dharma Artist Collective] (https://www.skool.com/lucid-university/about) —Godsey’s online community   [The Poet Queen] (https://www.poetqueen.com/poetry/arcadia) ['I Was 13 When Marc Gafni's Abuse Began'] (https://forward.com/opinion/329620/i-was-13-when-marc-gafnis-abuse-began/) [Former Rabbi Accused of Improper Sexual Conduct Now Rising Star in U.S. Spiritual Movement] (https://www.haaretz.com/jewish/2015-12-27/ty-article/.premium/former-rabbi-accused-of-improper-sexual-conduct-now-spiritual-guru/0000017f-f4c8-d460-afff-ffeea81b0000) [Gafni Faces Fallout From New Age Community] (https://www.jta.org/2016/01/05/ny/gafni-faces-fallout-from-new-age-community) [Marc Gafni Named In Latest Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Against Yeshiva University] (https://forward.com/fast-forward/430202/marc-gafni-sexual-abuse-lawsuit-yeshiva-university/)   [Popular New Age author Marc Gafni molested 13-year-old girl in 1980, lawsuit says] (https://nypost.com/2020/03/04/popular-new-age-author-marc-gafni-molested-13-year-old-girl-in-1980-lawsuit-says/)   Sara Kabakov [lawsuit docket] (https://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/nyscef/DocumentList?docketId=cex6znF/WwMltOFuiAu6iA==&display=all&courtType=New%20York%20County%20Supreme%20Court&resultsPageNum=1)   [Aaron Rogers in Marc Gafni’s library] (https://x.com/Yair_Rosenberg/status/1745593251959120192?lang=en) [Has Aaron Rodgers been learning Torah at his offseason retreat?] (https://forward.com/news/sports/576016/aaron-rodgers-pat-mcafee-show-torah-background/) [My Dad Died: The Blessings Of The Father Pt 1 w/ Dr. Marc Gafni] (https://www.aubreymarcus.com/blogs/aubrey-marcus-podcast/my-dad-died-the-blessings-of-the-father-pt-1-w-dr-marc-gafni) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [megaphone.fm/adchoices] (https://megaphone.fm/adchoices) ... Read more

11 Jul 2024

1 HR 16 MINS

1:16:55

11 Jul 2024


#495

Bonus Sample: You Can’t Do Religion on the Internet

Back in 2011, Ward and Voas wrote that conspirituality was a mainly-online movement, and they were right about that. They didn’t do fieldwork at events. They didn’t attend trainings and rituals. They combed the internet for evidence of what they were looking for.  They found strange and anxious spiritual themes. But they also found evidence of what the internet does in all of its speed and dissociation, in its invitation to seize attention through contrarianism and amplify jagged anxieties and glittering pieties.  In finding conspirituality, they may have proven that you can’t do religion on the internet. And maybe, that’s part of why conspirituality exists.  Religious impulses are ancient and primal, centering communities as campfires do. But they also throw off sparks of narcissism and extremism, which the algorithms must capture to drive engagement.  Show Notes [MMMEATTT] (https://www.mmmeattt.com/) — “A newsletter about things that can’t exist on the internet” by Beau Brink Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [megaphone.fm/adchoices] (https://megaphone.fm/adchoices) ... Read more

08 Jul 2024

05 MINS

05:48

08 Jul 2024


#494

Brief: The Freebirth to Born-Again Pipeline

The stress of influencing in the New Age / alt-med world is rough. You have to pretend to know everything, from vaccine science to the origins of autism, to how feminism has desecrated the sanctity of motherhood. It’s not surprising that a growing number of the conspirituality influencers we know and love are all tuckered out, and now choosing to let Jesus take the wheel.  Freebirth mogul Yolande Norris Clark now joins the growing ranks of converts from conspirituality to Orthodox Christianity. How will she square her politics of the divine feminine with a hyper-patriarchal tradition? Or is it really such a stretch?  Show Notes ["Giving Birth in Yogaland"] (https://web.archive.org/web/20200109111647/http://yogadork.com/2017/07/11/giving-birth-in-yogaland/) [She wanted a 'freebirth' with no doctors. Online groups convinced her it would be OK.] (https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/she-wanted-freebirth-no-doctors-online-groups-convinced-her-it-n1140096) [From Costa Rica, Yolande Norris-Clark Free-Births COVID News About “Hellscape” of Canada] (https://www.conspirituality.net/transmissions/from-costa-rica-yolande-norris-clarke-free-births-covid-news-about-hellscape-of-canada) [Free-Birther Yolande Norris-Clark Promotes “The Secret Covenant”] (https://matthewremski.medium.com/free-birther-yolande-norris-clark-promotes-the-secret-covenant-73561fa4078) [COVID-Denialist: “Rona Is as Real as You Want it To Be”] (https://matthewremski.medium.com/covid-denialist-rona-is-as-real-as-you-want-it-to-be-f8ed91922b95) [Argentino on Pastel Q — Twitter] (https://twitter.com/_MAArgentino/status/1300974361491406849) [Pastel QAnon] (https://gnet-research.org/2021/03/17/pastel-qanon/) [The Women Making Conspiracy Theories Beautiful] (https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2020/08/how-instagram-aesthetics-repackage-qanon/615364/)   [The Instagram aesthetic that made QAnon mainstream] (https://www.vox.com/videos/2020/10/28/21538763/save-the-children-qanon-instagram) [The Conspiracy Theory to Rule Them All ] (https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2020/08/conspiracy-theory-rule-them-all/615550/) ['Pastel QAnon' Is Infiltrating the Natural Parenting Community] (https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/qanon-pastel-antivax-natural-parenting-community-freebirth-1098518/)   [First appearance of "The Secret Covenant" online] (https://web.archive.org/web/20020712004551/http://www.bankindex.com/read.asp?ID=861)   [Secret Covenant: Freedom-Force (2004)] (http://www.freedom-force.org/freedomcontent.cfm?fuseaction=secretcovenant&refpage=issues)   [Secret Covenant boosted on a QAnon channel, 2020] (https://odysee.com/@Qanon:9/THE-SECRET-COVENANT--Demonic-Manifesto--FACTORFICTION:b)   [PolitiFact | John D. Rockefeller did not write a ‘secret covenant’ about world domination] (https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2023/dec/01/facebook-posts/john-d-rockefeller-did-not-write-a-secret-covenant/) [Transphobia in the Midwifery Community] (https://www.huffpost.com/entry/transphobia-in-the-midwif_b_8131520) [Yolande Norris-Clark: Transgenderism, Feminism & C0Vid] (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-o5V-PCH1E) (Content warning: transphobic creator)  [Orthodox Christian churches are drawing in far-right American converts] (https://www.npr.org/2022/05/10/1096741988/orthodox-christian-churches-are-drawing-in-far-right-american-converts) [Matthew Heimbach excommunicated] (https://web.archive.org/web/20140504002703/http://www.allsaintsbloomington.org/important-message/)   [Justin Trudeau & The Misuse Of Words] (https://www.theamericanconservative.com/justin-trudeau-the-misuse-of-words/) [Giving Birth in the Church] (https://www.saintandrew.net/givingbirthinthechurch) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [megaphone.fm/adchoices] (https://megaphone.fm/adchoices) ... Read more

06 Jul 2024

37 MINS

37:29

06 Jul 2024


#493

213: Yoga for Gaza, Yoga for Israel

Can yoga bring hostages home? No. Can yoga stop a genocide? Also no. But this won’t stop earnest practitioners from instrumentalizing practice for both purposes.  For supporters of Israel, practice is dedicated to the protection of land, the return of hostages, and to uphold the spiritual valor of soldiers. Among supporters of Palestine and a ceasefire, yoga practice and community is an organizing principle for decrying genocide, building mutual aid, and resisting global colonialism. Both factions cite the Bhagavad Gita. Does yoga support nationalistic violence and body fascism? Isn’t that where its modern origins lie? Or does it have deeper, intersectional roots in universal liberation?  The interpretive war, articulated and inflamed online, only accelerates the material war.  But there is a third space we examine today: the gap between how spiritual aspirations appear and are praised or condemned in the world of the spectacle, and how they play out in the flesh. Show Notes [Tel Aviv Yoga Event ] (https://www.instagram.com/p/CzgG2Ato2AJ/) [About : Israeli hostages taken by Hamas] (https://stories.bringthemhomenow.net/about)    [We Are Still Standing handstand event] (https://www.instagram.com/p/Cy_Zx6vtUpN/) [Carmel Gat | Yoga in captivity] (https://www.facebook.com/maayan.shavit.1/posts/pfbid02TrFwiBniw3SE8CJkmhdHSRXqhPqRoaa2gg3CdtxoHLWAakgrWBkKo3Zx7tLFQ12Kl) [Taken captive: Carmel Gat, seen doing yoga with hostage children] (https://www.timesofisrael.com/taken-captive-carmel-gat-seen-doing-yoga-with-hostage-children/) [Initial Twitter posting of Alfie's yoga class in Gaza] (https://x.com/DanelBenNamer/status/1749806294805123501/photo/2)   [Reserve combat engineer practices yoga with soldiers in a house in Gaza] (https://www.ynetnews.com/article/s1s5e5bca) [IG post | criticism of Yoga Journal cover] (https://www.instagram.com/p/C61JadmrcZ_/) [In Israel, Chanting 'Om' Between Missiles] (https://www.hadassahmagazine.org/2023/06/28/in-israel-chanting-om-between-missiles/) [What does Israel's rescue of 4 captives, and the killing of 274 Palestinians, mean for truce talks?] (https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/prospects-cease-fire-deal-after-israel-rescued-4-110974479) [AP: Calculating death numbers in Gaza] (https://apnews.com/article/israel-hamas-war-gaza-deaths-women-children-360c6aabc03421c718d4a8452cec2c67)   [Sarah Martin Little Rock yoga benefit event] (https://www.facebook.com/yitrAR/posts/pfbid0i33mEJrvheutLeDC3UGiJd4p6frZKabvMhHQWKNVtgu7kfo9ZaLRoiggd5rZGCAYl) [Rasha Madkour fundraiser for The Longhorn Muslim Alumni Network] (https://www.facebook.com/groups/MuslimLonghorns/posts/7797778500242557/) [UK yoga event for the Palestine Children's Relief Fund] (https://www.facebook.com/namilauramcneill/posts/pfbid02oo1eNqwaDvaPqxqXG95Wkb4F74VKqzSMpnAHMsJtoVfA7n6E43ZUqZSsQvCTEfUQl) [Hot Yoga Glasgow yogathon for the International Rescue Committee] (https://www.facebook.com/HotYogaGgow/posts/pfbid0LFNtoEpiYCvs6PYTwLZfL8uawzBq9dXpnDBtRMmiZ6pLPbehFBQzwGhSn5UuXLz4l) [A look inside the growing Pro-Palestine student solidarity encampment at UCSB] (https://www.ksby.com/santa-barbara-south-coast/a-look-inside-the-growing-pro-palestine-student-solidarity-encampment-at-ucsb) [Pro-Palestinian Demonstrators At USC Join Camp-In Movement On Heels Of Valedictorian Controversy] (https://laist.com/news/education/pro-palestinian-demonstrators-usc-campus-israel-hamas-protest) [Sheena Sood's Yoga for Palestine series at Bhakti Yoga Movement in Portland] (https://www.facebook.com/TheBhaktiYogaMovementCenter/posts/pfbid02nFgzrt7rAYSsoNMiE4c7f49gt2Cnt5ewV9qQnms8p51LACB9ZFDj72K5sAahZwFul) [50. Sellouts & Zealots (w/Sheena Sood)] (https://www.conspirituality.net/episodes/50-sellouts-amp-zealots-sheena-sood) [Samson's Foxes insignia] (https://www.facebook.com/243894462476473/photos/a.258197597712826/1587194038146502/?type=3) [Reserve combat engineer practices yoga with soldiers in a house in Gaza] (https://www.ynetnews.com/article/s1s5e5bca)   [The Dangerous History Behind Netanyahu’s Amalek Rhetoric] (https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2023/11/benjamin-netanyahu-amalek-israel-palestine-gaza-saul-samuel-old-testament/) [Dark Mirror: A Torah View of Revenge, and its Reflection in Israeli Media During Operation Iron Swords] (https://www.academia.edu/resource/work/113533744) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [megaphone.fm/adchoices] (https://megaphone.fm/adchoices) ... Read more

03 Jul 2024

1 HR 09 MINS

1:09:13

03 Jul 2024


#492

Bonus Sample: The Prophet & the Electrical Storm

What does it really mean to be a prophet, found a religion, and persuade millions of people that god speaks directly to you?  And what does this god tell you? How to live morally. What kinds of sex are forbidden. How to avoid death and live forever. When the end of the world is coming, and which messiah will bring it. In this latest installment on the history of the intersection of spirituality and pseudoscience, Julian looks at the story of a prophet named Ellen G. White and what she may have in common with historical figures as diverse as Gopi Krishna, Dostoevsky, and Joan of Arc. Show Notes [Christian Experiences and Teachings of Ellen G White] (https://cdn.centrowhite.org.br/home/uploads/2022/12/Christian-Experience-and-Teachings-of-Ellen-G.-White.pdf) [Phantoms in the Brain] (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjQp2iJDdvE) Sam Kean: [Heaven is for Neuroscience] (https://www.salon.com/2014/05/11/heaven_is_for_neuroscience_how_the_brain_creates_visions_of_god/) [Neuroscience for the soul] (https://www.bps.org.uk/psychologist/neuroscience-soul) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [megaphone.fm/adchoices] (https://megaphone.fm/adchoices) ... Read more

01 Jul 2024

06 MINS

06:30

01 Jul 2024


#491

Brief: Jordan Peterson Teaches Russell Brand Theology

Last month, Russell Brand visited Jordan Peterson's podcast for “The Evolution of Theology.” Which, given these two figures, had to focus on topics like the unreligious impulsivity of gay people and why slaves should “just not be slaves.” Derek and Julian discuss. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [megaphone.fm/adchoices] (https://megaphone.fm/adchoices) ... Read more

29 Jun 2024

35 MINS

35:04

29 Jun 2024


#490

212: US Military Tells RFK Jr-Style Lies

On June 14, Reuters published an article about the US Military’s clandestine program to discredit China’s Sinovac vaccine during the early days of Covid-19. Turns out the Pentagon hired an outside agency to purposefully spread FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) about the Chinese inoculation program by flooding social media with anti-vax propaganda. It was a smack in the face for anyone—including us—who’s been calling for sound public health measures over the last four years. And it very likely killed people in Southeast Asia. This week, we look at the harrowing reporting that revealed a shameful, interventionary program that began under the Trump administration and persisted at least a few months into the Biden presidency. We’ll also review the very few conspiritualists that have even covered the story—somewhat surprising, given that a good ol’ government conspiracy is their bread and butter. But what happens when anti-vaxxers are confronted with a government-led anti-vax program, enacted by the same military that some of them, like RFK Jr, want to drastically reduce? Let’s find out. Show Notes [Pentagon ran secret anti-vax campaign to undermine China during pandemic] (https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-covid-propaganda/) (Reuters) [Pentagon Ran Secret Anti-Vax Campaign in Philippines, While Censoring Americans Who Criticized COVID Shots] (https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/pentagon-anti-vax-campaign-philippines-censoring-americans-covid-shots/) (Children’s Health Defense)  [Supporting military missions overseas] (https://www.gdit.com/careers/featured-opportunities/supporting-military-missions-overseas/) (GDIT “Careers” page) [Companies Profiting from the Gaza Genocide] (https://afsc.org/gaza-genocide-companies) [CONTRACT to GENERAL DYNAMICS INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, INC.] (https://www.usaspending.gov/award/CONT_AWD_70FB8021F00000016_7022_GS35F393CA_4732) [DynPort Vaccine Company] (https://www.gdit.com/dvc/) [Public Health] (https://www.gdit.com/industries/health/publichealth/) [Vaccine Diplomacy in the Wake of COVID-19] (https://www.wilsoncenter.org/blog-post/vaccine-diplomacy-wake-covid-19#) [Pentagon Orders Sweeping Review] (https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/09/19/pentagon-psychological-operations-facebook-twitter/) [Martin Luther King Jr.’s moral stance against Vietnam War offers lessons for the Middle East] (https://indianacapitalchronicle.com/2024/01/15/martin-luther-king-jr-s-moral-stance-against-vietnam-war-offers-lessons-for-the-middle-east/) [Exclusive: Inside the S--tshow That Was the Trump-Biden Transition] (https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2022/10/exclusive-inside-the-shtshow-that-was-the-trump-biden-transition) [The Scam at the Heart of the Mysterious Epoch Times] (https://nymag.com/intelligencer/article/inside-bill-guans-alleged-laundering-at-the-epoch-times.html)   [End The Forever Wars | Kennedy24] (https://www.kennedy24.com/peace)   [EXPOSED: Secret Pentagon MISINFO Campaign Spread LIES About COVID Vaccines] (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pim65Kohz-0) (The Hill) [DISGUSTING! Glenn Greenwald GOES OFF On Pentagon Anti-Vax Psyop] (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fisj692-7Po) (Breaking Points) [Pentagon Opens Sweeping Review of Clandestine Psychological Operations] (https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/09/19/pentagon-psychological-operations-facebook-twitter/) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [megaphone.fm/adchoices] (https://megaphone.fm/adchoices) ... Read more

27 Jun 2024

1 HR 12 MINS

1:12:39

27 Jun 2024


#489

Bonus Sample: Sanctimonious Spirituality

What is the distance between spiritual practice and social action? Derek has weighed this question for decades. This unscripted meditation on the topic uses Aubrey Marcus's new "documentary," Anti-Cult, as a jump-off point.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [megaphone.fm/adchoices] (https://megaphone.fm/adchoices) ... Read more

24 Jun 2024

06 MINS

06:14

24 Jun 2024


#488

Deep Cut: Leonard Leo, Judicial Kingmaker

A Deep Cut from January's [Patreon] (https://www.patreon.com/conspirituality) . Control the Court. Overturn Roe. Funnel anonymous donations and shady gifts. Deregulate for Jesus. Roll back the cultural clock. Celebrate. Rinse and Repeat. Leonard Leo’s libertarian Catholic agenda has made him a preeminent power-broker in right-wing American politics. He’s reshaping society while enjoying the pipeline of cash and influence that connects billionaire GOP mega-donors and the SCOTUS judges he helped install. Julian tracks how Leo’s Federalist Society used Trump as part of a decades-long systematic takeover of the judicial system that culminated in the current ethics and corruption scandal in the SCOTUS. Show Notes ProPublica [“Friends of the Court” ] (https://www.propublica.org/series/supreme-court-scotus) investigative journalism series The Guardian [Club For Growth GOP Insurectionist Support] (https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jan/15/trump-republicans-election-defeat-club-for-growth) Open Secret [2022 Donor List] (https://www.opensecrets.org/elections-overview/biggest-donors?cycle=2022&view=om) [Dark Money Spending After Citizen’s United] (https://www.opensecrets.org/news/reports/a-decade-under-citizens-united) Senator Sheldon Whitehouse [ “The Front Group Swarms”] (https://www.whitehouse.senate.gov/news/speeches/the-scheme-25-the-front-group-swarms) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [megaphone.fm/adchoices] (https://megaphone.fm/adchoices) ... Read more

22 Jun 2024

47 MINS

47:36

22 Jun 2024


#487

211: Terrence Howard Solves Science

Acclaimed actor Terrence Howard has a new role playing a heroic Galileo-like character on the YouTube and podcast stage, where he fearlessly points out the flaws in mainstream math and science. Howard's recent appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience gave him three hours to explain how his dreams and spiritual visions, along with his own research and deep study of maverick experts, have revealed unique answers to the deepest unsolved mysteries of physics. Turns out that none of this is new, the actor actually unveiled his discoveries in a surprising lecture at the Oxford Union in 2017. Today we'll break down these two cosmic events in space-time and discuss what it all means, and whether it's just a bit of fun or something more dangerous. Show Notes [5 Craziest Moments from Terrence Howard on Rogan] (https://www.mediaite.com/entertainment/5-most-insane-moments-from-joe-rogans-wild-interview-with-terrence-howard-were-about-to-kill-gravity/) [Prophetic Charisma By Len Oakes: A Brief Overview] (https://jonestown.sdsu.edu/?page_id=30340)   [Terrence Howard's Dangerous Mind] (https://www.rollingstone.com/tv-movies/tv-movie-features/terrence-howards-dangerous-mind-37057/)   [Terrence Howard Patents Debunked] (https://www.reddit.com/r/JoeRogan/comments/1cx9omc/terrence_howard_patents_debunked/) [Howard Virtual reality Patent Claim] (https://ca.news.yahoo.com/fact-check-looked-actor-terrence-110000401.html) John Keeley and [The Etheric Force Machine] (https://www.neh.gov/humanities/2010/mayjune/curio/the-etheric-force-machine) Walter Russell Society, now named The [University of Science and Philosophy] (https://www.philosophy.org/home.html#/) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [megaphone.fm/adchoices] (https://megaphone.fm/adchoices) ... Read more

20 Jun 2024

1 HR 09 MINS

1:09:52

20 Jun 2024


#486

Bonus Sample: 6 Chapters on Prospirituality

Six chapters on approaches to prospirituality, now that we know (or think we know) what the hell conspirtuality is. This is a long episode, but there are evenly-placed breaks for you all to pause on! Chapter 1: Positions After 4 years, we’ve come to a natural question at the end of defining the problem of conspirituality. How do we orient ourselves towards possible answers? Chapter 2: The Prospirituality Challenge If you’re clear on how spirituality—including beliefs in the supernatural—can be medicine, you can be clearer on where it becomes poison. Chapter 3: I did not expect to be friends with Joseph Baker I never thought I would be friends with a student of A Course in Miracles: maybe my judgments about its inevitably bad impacts are misplaced. Also: it’s not a good idea to dismiss anyone on the basis of religious belief if you don’t know how that belief actually operates, and you won’t unless you talk to them.  Chapter 4: Buddhist Tolerance, Buddhist Repair Conspirituality is right at home within high-demand groups or cults. Paranoid and controlling social structures feed on paranoid and dissociative emotions and ideas. For members and observers alike, it can become difficult to tell whether the content of the religious group is intrinsic to its cruelty, or whether these can be separated. Surprisingly, some high-demand groups can foster reforms from within, with members reframing the very concepts that had been weaponized against them to liberate themselves. In that sense, the doctrines and beliefs can be part of the problem, but also part of the solution.  Chapter 5: Eve Sedgwick Cynicism about religion is an occupational hazard of this beat. It’s also popular. At times it’s worth questioning the critical economy focused more on deconstruction than on generating ideas and solidarity.  Chapter 6: The Trouble and Joy of Belief and Silence “You will know them by their fruits. Do we gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?” Matthew 7:16 Show Notes [Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People] (https://www.usccb.org/offices/child-and-youth-protection/charter-protection-children-and-young-people) [Survivors of an International Buddhist Cult Share Their Stories] (https://thewalrus.ca/survivors-of-an-international-buddhist-cult-share-their-stories/) [Paranoid Reading, Reparative Reading] (https://www.bu.edu/honoringeve/files/2009/09/paranoid-reading-and-reparative-reading.pdf) [Baylor Religion Survey: 3 graphs] (https://baylorreligionsurvey.research.baylor.edu/sites/g/files/ecbvkj1931/files/2023-09/wave_6_-_conspiratorial_beliefs_2021.pdf) [On the Relation Between Religiosity and the Endorsement of Conspiracy Theories: The Role of Political Orientation] (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/pops.12822) [Anxious attachment and belief in conspiracy theories] (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0191886917307377) [There are higher levels of conspiracy beliefs in more corrupt countries] (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ejsp.2919) [The impact of economic inequality on conspiracy beliefs] (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022103121001487) [To trust or not to trust in the thrall of the COVID-19 pandemic: Conspiracy endorsement and the role of adverse childhood experiences, epistemic trust, and personality functioning] (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953623008833) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [megaphone.fm/adchoices] (https://megaphone.fm/adchoices) ... Read more

17 Jun 2024

06 MINS

06:21

17 Jun 2024


#485

Brief: Math Class with Terrence Howard & Eric Weinstein

Terrence Howard recently made waves (again) when appearing on Joe Rogan’s podcast to discuss “Terryology,” a language of logic which he claims proves one times one equals two. Since he announced his theory in 2015 (and published it on Twitter in 2017), he’s been repeatedly criticized. In this latest round, that criticism is coming from Eric Weinstein, who appeared on physicist Brian Keating’s podcast to discuss Howard’s math. As usual with Weinstein, the conversation went in a million directions. Derek and Julian discuss. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [megaphone.fm/adchoices] (https://megaphone.fm/adchoices) ... Read more

15 Jun 2024

34 MINS

34:19

15 Jun 2024


#484

210: Bioquacking Bro Science (feat Mallory DeMille)

Are you ready to “live beyond 180? That’s the tagline of the 10th Annual Biohacking Conference, which went down in Dallas two weeks ago. The brainchild of Dave Asprey, the conference focused on numerous “hacks” to help you live not only longer, but better and longer. This has been a decades-long goal of Asprey, who you might know as the founder of Bulletproof Coffee—you know, despite mountains of clinical evidence stating otherwise, this tech entrepreneur is certain that melting a stick of butter in your coffee every morning is the key to longevity. Was the key, that is. Dave is now behind the supposed “mold-free” coffee company, Danger Coffee, alongside a whole bunch of other sciencey gimmicks, like his “Wasabi Method,” which was launched at the conference. The key to longevity, it seems, is knowing that your sales funnel always depends on there being another key. That’s the vibe our returning correspondent, Mallory DeMille, got when reviewing the many reels and videos that surfaced from the conference rooms at the Fairmont Hotel. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [megaphone.fm/adchoices] (https://megaphone.fm/adchoices) ... Read more

13 Jun 2024

1 HR 06 MINS

1:06:46

13 Jun 2024


#483

Bonus Sample: Speak Through Me

QAnon’s “Great Awakening,” influencers claiming to channel spirits or aliens, prophecies of a glorious Christian apocalypse—all aspects of the modern phenomenon that we call “conspirituality.” A sign of our crazy times?! Not quite. The roots of this passionate delusion can be traced to an eventful time in American history: the mid-1800’s. In this episode of his pseudoscience series, Julian covers the relationship between famous Spiritualists who talked to the dead on stage, the emerging science of parapsychology, early formulations of New Age beliefs, and the passionate Christian revivalism centered in New York State’s “burned-over district.”  Show Notes [Doomsday Prophecy and Spiritual Porn] (https://www.patreon.com/posts/doomsday-porn-52457102) (earlier episode on 19th century Great Awakening) [Hearing Voices, Seeing Colors, & Fighting Phantoms] (https://www.patreon.com/posts/hearing-voices-46336546) (earlier episode on temporal lobe epilepsy) New Yorker: [Why Did So Many Victorians Try To Talk To The Dead ] (https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/05/31/why-did-so-many-victorians-try-to-speak-with-the-dead) PBS: [William Miller and The Second Great Awakening] (https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/apocalypse/explanation/amprophesy.html) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [megaphone.fm/adchoices] (https://megaphone.fm/adchoices) ... Read more

10 Jun 2024

05 MINS

05:55

10 Jun 2024


#482

Brief: The Theatre of Trump (w/Hank Willenbrink)

It’s all just a show, and sometimes that makes it all the more real. Playwright and theater scholar Hank Willenbrink joins Matthew to look at the spectacle of Trump through the lens of performance studies.  From his childhood listening to Norman Vincent Peale, to his lifelong fascination with Broadway, to his TV celebrity, to the tableau vivants of evangelicals gathered round him to sanctify his holy mission, Trump hits his marks so well he doesn’t even need to remember his lines. Now he has a new role to play: the framed felon.  Show Notes [Performing for the Don: Theaters of Faith in the Trump Era] (https://www.routledge.com/Performing-for-the-Don-Theaters-of-Faith-in-the-Trump-Era/Willenbrink/p/book/9781032302898) [About Me – Hank Willenbrink] (https://hankwillenbrink.wordpress.com/about/)   [Bread and Puppet Theater] (https://breadandpuppet.org/) — Glover, VT Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [megaphone.fm/adchoices] (https://megaphone.fm/adchoices) ... Read more

08 Jun 2024

43 MINS

43:51

08 Jun 2024


#481

209: The Right’s Fantasy Super-Villain (w/Renee Diresta)

We talked to Renee Diresta, when she in the middle of a life-changing crisis. Elon Musk’s hand-picked "journalists" were testifying in front of Congress as part of the “Twitter Files.” Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger sounded the alarm about a supposedly vast conspiracy between think tanks, big tech companies, and government intelligence agencies to censor the free speech of conservative Americans. They referred to that conspiracy as the “Censorship Industry Complex," identifying its leader as a shadowy former CIA intern named Renee Diresta. The reality is that Diresta was involved in a 2020 academic project called the Election Integrity Partnership, which studied then gave reports on viral social media content steeped in misinformation. She joins us to discuss her new book, Invisible Rulers: The People Who Turn Lies Into Reality. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [megaphone.fm/adchoices] (https://megaphone.fm/adchoices) ... Read more

06 Jun 2024

1 HR 25 MINS

1:25:11

06 Jun 2024