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Conspirituality

Derek Beres, Matthew Remski, Julian Walker

Society & Culture, Science, Social Sciences, Philosophy, Religion & Spirituality, Spirituality

4.21.6K Ratings

Overview

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.

478 Episodes

Brief: Is God Necessary in Spiritual Practices?

There’s been a growing acceptance of religious belief from the previously religious-averse, especially in the Covid contrarian space. This comes in the wake of a number of recent high-profile conversions, most notably Russell Brand getting baptized. Why are the skeptical suddenly finding faith? Derek and Julian discuss their atheism in the context of these recent changes of heart—including Brand’s recent appearance on Bret Weinstein’s Dark Horse podcast. They share how their own skepticism has evolved and informs their work, debating on what value religion and, specifically, a belief in a god, holds for spiritual practices today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 25 May 2024

207: Gaming Realities (w/Thi Nguyen)

Philosopher Thi Nguyen first visited us 150 episodes ago (!!) to discuss how social media gamification exploded online conspiracy theories and audience capture drags content producers toward the seductions of premature clarity—and the ecstasy of fascism. Nguyen returns to discuss “value capture”: how simplified and portable metrics in institutions, technology, and media landscapes erode our moral capacities as we pursue goals we never signed up for. (We even consider this influence on podcasting!) Throughout, we also talk about the heart of Nguyen’s book, Games: Agency as Art, in which he explores the liberatory nature of games that offer the pleasures of striving and absorption. We wonder whether—if we valued and understood play for its own sake—we might not need to gamify the world. Show Notes Games: Agency as Art Games and the Art of Agency (Philosophical Review) (2020 APA Article Prize; selected for Philosopher Annual‘s “10 Best Philosophy Articles of 2019”) Value Capture (JESP) Trust as an Unquestioning Attitude (OSE) Transparency is Surveillance (Philosophy and Phenomenological Research) (short summary) Hostile Epistemology (keynote for the 2022 NASSP.) Autonomy and Aesthetic Engagement (Mind) (audio) Art as a Shelter from Science (Aristotelian Society Supplementary) The Arts of Action (Philosopher’s Imprint) Moral Outrage Porn with Bekka Williams (Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy) (selected for Philosopher Annual‘s “10 Best Philosophy Articles of 2020”) How Twitter Gamifies Communication (Applied Epistemology, OUP) (And a shortened version for students, with suggested classroom exercises.) Echo Chambers and Epistemic Bubbles (Episteme) The Seductions of Clarity (RIPS) Cultural Appropriation and the Intimacy of Groups, with Matt Strohl (Philosophical Studies) Trust and Antitrust — Annette Baier Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 23 May 2024

Bonus Sample: Russell Brand Is Christian Now?

Russell Brand has accepted Jesus into his heart and been baptized in the spirit. But does his conversion to Christianity make sense along the New Age rebel to right-wing, conspiracy-theorist radicalization pipeline? Is Brand seeking absolution for his sins, or recognizing that most of his audience are Christians “oppressed” by authoritarian libs? Julian explores how the “enlightened outsider” uses pseudoscience to justify spiritual beliefs that are actually connective tissue between conspiracism, New Age metaphysics, and faux Christian victimhood. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 20 May 2024

Brief: The Outside Agitator Conspiracy Trope (w/Dr. Peniel Joseph)

Two weeks ago, several university administrators asked militarized police units to smash pro-Palestinian encampment protests on quads and in occupied buildings. It happened at places like Columbia and CUNY, and the University of Texas in Austin where our guest today, Dr. Peniel Joseph, teaches on the history of the Black Power movement. In the midst of the news cycle frenzy, an old phrase began popping up in discussions of who the protestors were and whether the police actions were justified. Authorities said (and media figureheads repeated uncritically) that protestors were infiltrated and influenced by “outside agitators.” It’s a phrase with a long history to it. Joining Matthew to unpack it is Dr. Peniel Joseph, a historian of the Civil Rights era, during which time the trope reached peak exposure, when it was lobbed at Martin Luther King Jr., as he sat in Birmingham Jail. Show Notes Peniel E. Joseph NYPD Chief of Patrol on the “unknown entity” Thursday's Headlines: NYPD Discovers Chained Bike Locks Edition Nearly all Gaza campus protests in the US have been peaceful, study finds Unmasking The 'Outside Agitator' Debunking the “Outside Agitator” Trope amid pro-Palestinian campus protests Cost of repairing occupation damage at Portland State library estimated at $750K Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 18 May 2024

206: Surviving Modern Yoga (w/ Matthew Remski)

Matthew is in the guest seat today! Why? Because in 2019—just months before the pandemic and this podcast kicked off—he published a book titled Practice and All is Coming: Abuse, Cult Dynamics and Healing in Yoga and Beyond. It focused on survivor stories of assault and abuse within the cultic mechanisms of Pattabhi Jois' Ashtanga Yoga community. The book also proposed a path into co-creating safer yoga communities via enhanced critical thinking, self-and-other-care, student empowerment, and community resilience. In many ways, this book holds the keys to how one-third of the team has tackled the conspirituality era. Derek and Julian interview their colleague about it all on the occasion of the release of a second edition, now titled: Surviving Modern Yoga: Cult Dynamics, Charismatic Leaders, and What Survivors Can Teach Us (North Atlantic Books). Show Notes Surviving Modern Yoga by Matthew Remski | PenguinRandomHouse.com Yoga’s Culture of Sexual Abuse: Nine Women Tell Their Stories | The Walrus Survivors of an International Buddhist Cult Share Their Stories | The Walrus How a #MeToo Facebook Post Toppled a Yoga Icon | by Matthew Remski | GEN Shielded for Decades, A Yoga Leader's Alleged Sexual Abuse Finally Comes Under Fire How to Respond to Sexual Abuse Within a Yoga or Spiritual Community—Jubilee Cooke, Karen Rain Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 16 May 2024

Bonus Sample: The Force That Divides Us All

In 2020, former NY Times journalist Isabel Wilkerson published Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents. The book tells a compelling story: that the root of our social divisions is the invented hierarchical structure of castes, not, as we often assume in America, race. Race, she writes, is only another manifestation of caste. While it’s certainly an important topic here in America, Wilkerson shows, by investigating the longstanding caste system in India, the social divisions in Nazi Germany, and America’s founding and expansion through chattel slavery, that caste is a universal phenomenon. Derek discusses his thoughts on this powerful and important book. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 13 May 2024

Brief: An Honest Discussion About Food (w/Dr Sarah Ballantyne)

Dr Sarah Ballantyne forged a career in science communication and health education advocating for autoimmune solutions in food and the paleo diet. In 2014, she began questioning her approach. Shortly after, she realized she was spreading nutrition misinformation and has dedicated her career to correcting those errors. Derek talks to Sarah about the dangers of diet and nutrition misinformation, dealing with obesity and eating disorders, and the challenges of talking about food in public. Her new book is Nutrivore: The Radical New Science for Getting the Nutrients You Need From the Food You Eat. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 11 May 2024

205: Dismantling Movement Dogmas (w/Laurel Beversdorf & Sarah Court)

We have a real treat today for listeners who love all forms of movement, especially yoga and strength training. Derek and Julian talk to Movement Logic hosts, Laurel Beversdorf and Sarah Court, who navigate the curvilinear path of creating irreverent yet high quality science-based movement content that sets teachers and students free from dogma and fear-mongering. Our two podcasts intersect by looking into fallen gurus, pseudoscience health claims, dodgy alignment dogmas, and cults of personality susceptible to the dangers of conspiracism. And this week we’re diving into a recent Movement Logic episode on back pain specialist, Stuart McGill. Yet, as this conversation shows, all hope is not lost, and all physical culture is not a pipeline into body fascism, or worse—multi-level marketing. There are still intelligent and grounded educators who share the love of movement, infused with the logic and humility of science. Laurel Beversdorf is an international yoga educator, a certified kettlebell specialist, and a strength coach. Sarah Court is a Doctor of Physical Therapy, movement mentor, and yoga teacher trainer. Show Notes Movement Logic Episode 62: Make McGill Make Sense Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 9 May 2024

Bonus Sample: Imaginary Children #1: Fetal Remains

In the first full episode of this ongoing series, Matthew looks at the anti-abortion arcs of two men: Rob Schenck and Frank Pavone. Both leaders invested the images and remains of the unborn with passionate but imaginary desires that obscured from them how much harm they were causing. One of them exited that highway, but the other is still burning it up. Includes the story of Kermit Gosnell, and how his Philadelphia abortion abattoir exemplified a political and moral disaster worthy of Naomi Klein. An obvious, organized crime, something that everyone could see but some tried to paper over, aided and abetted by the dominant order and progressive hypocrisy. Something that becomes the focal point of reasonable rage, but then leads to twisted conclusions. Content warning: abortion details. Full Show Notes available on Patreon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 6 May 2024

Brief: Religion is Not Belief? (w/Blair Hodges)

The late historian of religion James Carse (1932-2020) made a radical proposal in his 2012 book, The Religious Case Against Belief. He argued that beliefs, far from being central to or definitive of religion, are actually antithetical to religious community. A religion’s historical longevity, he argued, depends on its ability to absorb and neutralize beliefs—epistemological dead ends built on willful ignorance. “The challenge to religion,” Carse says, “is not its opponents from without, but its believers from within, and the real enemy of religion is belief itself.” What does this mean for a project like Conspirituality and other projects of disillusionment carried out in the shadow of New Atheism and other modern skeptical movements? Blair Hodges of the Fireside and Family Proclamations podcasts joins Matthew to discuss a potential casualty of the battle against religious extremism: a nuanced understanding of religion itself. Show Notes The Religious Case Against Belief by James P. Carse Fireside with Blair Hodges Family Proclamations w/ Blair Hodges Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 4 May 2024

204: What the Hell is RFK Jr Doing?

Robert F Kennedy, Jr isn’t backing down. You can’t get away from his voice or his endless content stream. He’s banked on tech world oligarch anti-vax mom, Nicole Shanahan, to nail down the VP slot. His Children’s Health Defense charity is casting doubt on whether polio was even a virus. And he keeps claiming he’s not against vaccines himself, but his messaging around it tells a different story. It’s been a few months since we’ve checked up on Chaos Kennedy, so it’s high time we did: to look at polling, rhetoric, and charismatic technique. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 2 May 2024

Bonus Sample: Let's Talk About Gary Brecka

"Human Biologist" and life coach Gary Brecka's star rose after biohacking UFC President Dana White's health. Yet Derek has a few questions this week: Is someone with a degree from a chiropractic college qualified to talk about seed oils, GMOs, depression, tinnitus, fluoride, detoxifying through water fasts, and diet plans? Is it concerning that his 10X Health System cofounder is a fervent Scientologist? And what happens when you actually read the science Brecka is linking to? Show Notes Worst U.S. cities for air pollution ranked in new American Lung Association report GMO Foods: How Genetically Modified Foods Sabotage Your Health | Ultimate Human with Gary Brecka Are children and pregnant women risking their health by eating “GMO” foods? The American Association of Pediatrics controversially says ‘yes’. The real question: Is the AAP endangering the food vulnerable? Organic foods are not healthier...or pesticide free. A Comprehensive Review of Health-Benefiting Components in Rapeseed Oil Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 29 April 2024

Deep Cut: On Belief

A Deep Cut from our Patreon archive (July 2023) What do we mean when we say that we believe something? When the QAnon Shaman got dressed on the morning of January 6, he put on his red, white, and blue face paint, his postmodern quasi-Native American horned fur hat, and grabbed the spear to which he had attached an American flag. In performance mode, this cosplay persona had already garnered him a taste of the attention that would soon increase exponentially as he became the most recognizable figure of the Capitol Riot. In today’s Bonus, Julian argues that his costume, as well as his ritual actions on that day were also an expression of a political worldview, run through with deeply held spiritual beliefs about the world and his role in it. The history of political religion, propagandistic conspiracies, and progressive spiritual convictions may show that—far from being trivial—belief is at the heart of the American, and perhaps the human, story. Intro music: Single Origins—Luz Cafe Interstitial: Silent Song—Eccodek (EarthRise SoundSystem Remix) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 27 April 2024

203: Is This a Joke? (w/Neal Brennan)

Neal Brennan has upped the artistic ante in stand-up comedy. In Netflix specials like "3 Mics and Blocks" he’s explored loneliness, isolation, and the mental health fallout of growing up the youngest of 10 in a Catholic family with an extremely unwell father. In the process he’s made some of the great mysteries of family pain and inner turmoil more tolerable. And—he’s a fan of our podcast, because in his search for relief, he’s tripped through the land of psychedelics, where conspirituality can sour the active ingredients. Neal joins us today to talk about his weird journey through the plant medicine scene, to wonder whether emotional and spiritual healing makes him funnier, and to answer our questions about how today’s comics are dealing—or not—with their supersized role as political pundits. His new special is called Crazy Good. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 25 April 2024

Bonus Sample: The Dark Sun, The Red Cow, and The End of Days

Tensions between Israel and Iran escalated as supernaturally-charged conspiracy theories about the solar eclipse flooded the internet. And so Julian searched for answers about the mysterious “red heifer.” What is so special about a red cow? Might its discovery and ensuing journey from Texas to Jerusalem have played a role in the October 7 attacks? Why are zealots from all three Abrahamic religions so focused on one piece of holy real estate? Could apocalyptic prophecies actually be self-fulfilling, even when the metaphysics are make-believe? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 22 April 2024

Brief: Yoga Teacher’s Survival Guide (w/Theo Wildcroft & Harriet McAtee)

Matthew is joined by Theo Wildcroft and Harriet McAtee, co-editors of The Yoga Teacher's Survival Guide: Social Justice, Science, Politics, and Power (Singing Dragon Publications), a volume of essays from 16 yoga world contributors. Three yoga culture critic nerds get into the weeds of how wellness workers and yoga teachers survive and navigate a post-pandemic world that exists at the crossroads of: capitalism and spirituality medicine and religion modern therapeutics and precolonial philosophy and caregiving gigwork and care work Theo is a yoga scholar. Harriet has been training yoga teachers for seven years in a little school in Oxford, UK. Show Notes The Yoga Teacher's Survival Guide | Singing Dragon - US Theo Wildcroft Harriet McAtee Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 20 April 2024

202: Steve Hassan and the Trans Cult Conspiracy Theory

“Cult expert” Steve Hassan has been publicly concerned with the complex sociology of trans youth since 2020. We track that interest back to his communications with gender critical activists in 2017, who reached out to him because they believed that his cult theory could shed light on what they believed were nefarious aspects of the trans awareness movement. In the spirit of helpfulness, but without any chops in the subject, he stepped up to the plate and started swinging. Regardless of how earnest or paranoid his concern is, his access to this landscape has been bought with his intellectual legacy, and been filtered through networks that question trans identity altogether. His most inflammatory (but also silly) claim is that many young people are being hypnotized by online pornography and influenced by social media groups to the extent they inexorably choose medical transition. We investigate and analyze this unfortunate skid into the culture war mud. Hassan has stated at length his opposition to the “cancel culture” he believes is directed at Rowling and himself. This episode is not that. It’s a sober evaluation of legacy, disciplinary overreach, and what better public intellectual engagement would look like. Show Notes Full show notes posted to our website and Patreon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 18 April 2024

Bonus Sample: Long Haul Stories: Matthew Stillman

Following up on our Long COVID episode with Tara Haelle, Matthew will be expanding the Listener Stories portfolio with stories from listeners about navigating Long COVID. Why? Because there’s nothing like a mysterious disease, denied by some, stigmatized by others, and politicized by multiple interests, that will bring a person closer to the appeal of alt-med conspirituality. Matthew Stillman is our guest today. Author, documentary filmmaker, and lifelong New Yorker, Stillman grew up in an eccentric family of spiritualism and alternative medicine, but which also fostered a healthy respect for evidence-based medicine. So what happens when experts at Mt. Sinai Center for Post-COVID care reach the end of their capacity to help him with not one but two strains of Long COVID? Red light therapy! Chinese herbs! And a bracing contemplation of what it means to explore the tension between hope and knowledge. Show Notes Matthew Stillman The major genetic risk factor for severe COVID-19 is inherited from Neanderthals | Nature How Genes from Neanderthals Predispose People to Severe COVID-19 | The Scientist Magazine Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 15 April 2024

Brief: A History of the Gay Right (w/Neil Young)

Matthew is joined by historian Neil J. Young, co-host of the excellent Past Present Podcast, to talk about his new book: Coming Out Republican: a History of the Gay Right. Young’s riveting storytelling shows how, beginning in the aftermath of WWII, many American gay men—born into socially conservative and religious families from which they had struggled to individuate—hitched the wagon of their political hopes to a Republican party they believed would champion their privacy and individual civil rights. Ground zero for their fiercely libertarian clubs and action committees was San Francisco, where a culture of rugged entrepreneurship fostered the slogan “Keep the government out of our bedrooms, and out of our wallets.” It was an individualist politics that looked to Civil Rights and women’s rights movements for inspiration, but not allyship. In time that same GOP would lead a culture war against everything queer—paradoxically led by closeted gay politicians who, with deeply conflicted motives, legislated against their fellows. But even as the tide turned, many gay Republicans kept their shoulders to the unforgiving wheel of respectability politics. Young illuminates the flashes of bravery and self-reliance in these men’s stories, but also shows what happens when a marginalized group seeks acceptance and political power—instead of liberation—within a culture built on exclusion. Neil writes for WaPo, the Atlantic, CNN, the Los Angeles Times, Vox, Politico, Slate, and the New York Times. Show Notes Coming Out Republican: A History of the Gay Right, Young Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 13 April 2024

201: Librarians Are Not Groomers (w/Heath Umbreit)

When Moms For Liberty attacks libraries with demands to ban books about MLK Jr and age-appropriate sex education, and claims that librarians are grooming their children into the trans agenda, they’re enacting the worst forms of neo-fascist bullying. But they’re also paradoxically defending a troubled American legacy against a librarian culture attempting to course-correct towards greater inclusion. To discuss this problem, Matthew talks to Heath Umbreit, a reference librarian who works at a public library in the northeastern U.S. Mis- and disinformation has been a professional and personal interest of theirs for several years; Heath's study of the phenomenon focuses on a critical examination of popular narratives about disinformation, the concept of epistemic supremacy, and the ways in which information and disinformation intersect with systemic power differentials in American society. Show Notes Derek gives the Keynote Address at the 2023 Oregon Library Association's Annual Conference Library Bill of Rights | Advocacy, Legislation & Issues Students, authors fight censorship in PA schools Kuo & Marwick, "Critical Disinformation Studies" Morales & Williams, "Moving Toward Transformative Librarianship: Naming and Identifying Epistemic Supremacy" danah boyd, "You Think You Want Media Literacy... Do You?" PEN America, 2023 Banned Books Update: Banned in the USA Kelly Jensen, Trauma, Book Bans, and Libraries: A Resource Guide for Library Workers, Library Supporters, and Beyond Kristen Browde, Who's Making News for Sex Crimes Involving Children? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 11 April 2024

Bonus Sample: Project 2025's Disdain for Public Education

Project 2025 is the libertarian conservative Heritage Foundation’s systematic governance plan for the next Republican president. The 920-page plan aims to implement the "unitary executive theory," which would give all of the power of the US government to the executive branch—Donald Trump, if he wins in November. Derek and Julian read the chapter on the Department of Education, which focuses on unlocking public funds for Christian schools while banning any discussion on DEI, CRT, or gender theory. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 8 April 2024

Brief: The High Cost of Wellness

A common sentiment in wellness spaces is that people turn to alt-med practices due to the exorbitant costs of American healthcare. While the latter is certainly true, Derek and Julian discuss why a lot of products and services in wellness land is really just another form of extractive capitalism. Head to factormeals.com/conspirituality50 and use code conspirituality50 to get 50% off your first month plus 20% off your next month! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 6 April 2024

200: Rogan-Rufo Reality Check

This week we take stock of the full entrenchment of the Mirror World, where conspirituality influencers bask in the rays of confident delusion. After a little stage-setting on the heterodox mediasphere, we open with a snapshot of conspirituality Valhalla as we listen in on Joe Rogan and Chris Rufo talking about unhoused people as though they are children who haven’t been given good boundaries. Then we’ll look at four instances in which the spectacle brokers meet reality. What happens when Chaya Raichik gets bodied by Taylor Lorenz? What happens when the Moms for Liberty have to explain themselves on 60 minutes? What happens when Destiny rejects Jordan Peterson’s bullshit? And what happens when the mack daddy of it all, Alex Jones, gets confronted by Sandy Hook parents, face to face? Does reality break through? Head to factormeals.com/conspirituality50 and use code conspirituality50 to get 50% off your first month plus 20% off your next month! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 4 April 2024

Bonus Sample: The GOP Thinks Food Stamps Are the Real Problem

Project 2025 is the libertarian conservative Heritage Foundation’s systematic governance plan for the next Republican president. The 920-page plan aims to implement the "unitary executive theory," which would give all of the power of the US government to the executive branch—Donald Trump, if he wins in November. This week, Derek and Julian investigate the chapter on the Department of Agriculture, which aims to strip funding for food stamps and welfare programs and further deregulate Big Ag. And if you think the author is part of a climate change denial think tank, you'd be correct. Head to factormeals.com/conspirituality50 and use code conspirituality50 to get 50% off your first month plus 20% off your next month! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 1 April 2024

Brief: Woman, Life, Freedom (w/Negin Shiraghaei)

The death of Mahsa Jina Amini at the hands of the Islamic Republic’s “morality police” in September 2022 lit a fuse on a fervent global protest movement. Jina’s crime was wearing an “improper” headscarf in public. The slogan, “Woman, Life, Freedom,” which first emerged in the fight for Kurdish equality, was used by thousands of brave, defiant women in Iran (along with male supporters), who called for an end to oppression, discrimination, tyranny, and dictatorship. Eighteen months later, the Iranian government has increased video surveillance and morality police patrols, imposed even harsher penalties for female disobedience, and leaned even further into brutal torture methods and daily executions. Meanwhile, Ali Khamenei’s administration floods the population with propaganda and conspiracy theories. Julian talks to Iranian human rights activist and former BBC World Service reporter, Negin Shiraghaei, about the Woman, Life, Freedom movement, which she says remains active and unstoppable. Show Notes Iran one year after Woman, Life, Freedom Iran: Alarming Surge in Executions Khamenei Refuses US Help, Citing COVID Conspiracy Theory Iran’s Supreme Leader Calls Gender Equality a Zionist Plot Iranian Singer Sentenced to 3 years in Jail for Mahsa Amini Protest Anthem Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 30 March 2024

Brief: Yes, Huberman’s Behavior Matters

In response to Kerry Howley’s meticulous reporting on the deceptions of Andrew Huberman in New York Magazine, Huberstans around the world are braying that the man’s private life has nothing to do with his virtue as a science communicator. Not so, we argue in this brief. Deception in one mirrors deception in the other, and there is no private life for the influencer who wants to influence your private life. Beyond shilling for Athletic Greens and saying that sunscreen winds up in your brain, Huberman opines on relationships, sex, and addiction issues as if he is an expert—instead of (an alleged) hot mess. Pseudoscience and pseudotherapy are parallel harms—both using manipulative jargon to convince consumers or women respectively that the influencer is well-researched and using best practices to be of service. So we advise all Huberstans to view their hero… holistically. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 30 March 2024

199: Inside Anti-Abortion Christian Nationalism (w/Rob Schenck)

Reverend Rob Schenck spent 30 years on the front lines of the Evangelical war against Roe V. Wade. He blockaded abortion clinics, screamed at women in crisis, used fetal remains as political props, and helped wage a covert war of moneyed influence over federal officials to end abortion access. Now, in a return to his deeper religious commitments, he is repenting his past. In an interview with Matthew, he discusses his blissful conversion experience as a teenager rooted in what he believed was a radical social justice movement. And he describes what he now sees: an anti-abortion movement helping to galvanize the Christian Nationalism poised to wreak havoc on American politics, and what we can do to push back against its aggression. Show Notes Fresh Air for July 11, 2018: An Evangelical Minister's Change Of Heart On Abortion Former Anti-Abortion Leader Alleges Another Supreme Court Breach Former Anti-Abortion Lobbyist Rev Robert Schenck Statement on "Operation Higher Court" Robert "Rob" L. Schenck About - Truth Revealed — Rob Schenck’s blog Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 28 March 2024

Bonus Sample: Conspirituality and the Imaginary Children (Series Intro)

In this series of audio essays, Matthew will examine how children as symbols—but not persons with their own internal lives—are at the center of conspirituality anxiety and discourse. There are two types of imaginary child in conspirituality. One is an object of dread. The other is an idol of aspiration. In the realm of dread we have fetuses murdered by late term abortion, children who are trafficked, made autistic by vaccines, sexualized by pornography in elementary school, or mutilated by trans activist doctors. In the realm of idols we have newborn babies sliding like dolphins into warm birthing tubs after a mere hour of ecstatic, medically-unassisted home births. We have little girls in prairie dresses or first communion veils who must be protected from library drag queens or woke grade school teachers. We have starseeds and indigo children who carry prophecies from the great beyond. We often reflect on the problem of authority on this podcast. Who are our leaders, and what gives them power? Why do conspiracists default to God to corroborate fantasies? What gap in cultural fatherhood is Jordan Peterson trying to fill? With this series, Matthew looks in the other direction: what does the conspirituality crowd do with its own authority? How do misgivings, regrets and shame in relation to children get inflated and projected into moral panics? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 25 March 2024

Brief: Unmasking Jay Shetty (w/John McDermott)

Former monk turned spiritual influencer to the stars, Jay Shetty, has amassed 15 million followers on Instagram. He’s interviewed Michelle Obama, Kim Kardashian, and Kobe Bryant on his popular podcast. Shetty has received accolades from Gwenyth Paltrow and Ellen Degeneres. He even officiated J Lo and Ben Affleck’s wedding. Yet when LA-based writer John McDermott was assigned to cover Shetty for Esquire, something seemed…off. When he started pulling at some threads, Esquire pulled out of the feature. Fortunately, The Guardian agreed to publish McDermott’s investigative reporting, in which he found little of Shetty’s origin story holds up to scrutiny. John joins Derek and Matthew to discuss. Show Notes Uncovering the higher truth of Jay Shetty ‘Very few have balls’: How American news lost its nerve Jay Shetty Is Full Of SH*T! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 23 March 2024

198: Holy Food (w/Christina Ward)

Does God have a recipe? That’s the first line of the blurb of Holy Food: How Cults, Communes, and Religious Movements Influenced What We Eat: An American History by independent food historian, Christina Ward. Ward’s survey of American religious groups and cults through the foods they grow, source, and prepare leads into an in-depth discussion about cults and high-demand groups that use food, and food restrictions, as a method for control. That’s not all she tells Derek—they also discuss the ritual of sharing a meal. Matthew and Julian offer their own reflections on food in high-demand settings before Christina joins to discuss her excellent book. Show Notes Holy Food Christina Ward Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 21 March 2024

Bonus Sample: Ketamine Soul Mates

Dolphins, drugs, new age music. Isolation tanks as a portal into other dimensions. True love and fake aliens. Julian shares a personal love story from the nineties that intersects with the work of prolific scientist, inventor, and psychonaut, John C. Lilly. The belief that we can contact extraterrestrial civilizations, which are waiting to usher humanity into a golden age of light and love, is now a hugely profitable and popular commodity. Apparently these extraterrestrials also want to help us vanquish the forces of Deep State darkness. This is evidenced by the QAnon-and-alien-disclosure-style of programming on Gaia’s spiritual subscription platform (which brings in roughly $80 million annually). Yet: Gaia is currently embroiled in a legal battle with a former host who claims that his stories about secret space programs and eight-foot tall “blue avian” aliens are actually part of his trademarked creative IP. When it comes down to dollars, he admits it’s all make-believe. Has he really ever dropped acid in a flotation tank though?! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 18 March 2024

Brief: RFK Jr Hijacks the “Crisis in Masculinity” (w/Natalia Petrzela)

Masculinity, in all its wounded and preening anxiety, is the perennial currency of American populism. America’s foremost public historian on fitness and education, Natalia Petrzela, returns to the pod to discuss her recent study, with Ilyse Hogue, of the appeal RFK Jr. has with young men, and what progressives can learn from it. Show Notes Bio – Natalia Petrzela RFK Jr. has a distinct appeal when it comes to young male voters — Petrzela and Hogue Robert F. Kennedy Jr | "My Plan To Heal Addiction" | News Nation Prior coverage of RFK Jr. Brief: RFK Jr Flirts with Body Fascism (w/Natalia Petrzela) — Conspirituality 164: The Two Faces of Robert Francis Kennedy Jr. — Conspirituality Brief: The New Age Origin Story of RFK Jr’s Campaign — Conspirituality Brief: RFK Jr’s New Director of Propaganda — Conspirituality Special Report: RFK Jr.’s Independence Day — Conspirituality Brief: RFK's Health Propaganda Roundtable — Conspirituality Brief: RFK Jr., The Anti-Vax Candidate — Conspirituality Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 16 March 2024

197: Psychic Surgery (feat Brad Abrahams)

The “healer” mutters prayers, flutters his hands over the patient’s belly, then rubs his fingers close to her navel. A stream of what looks like blood shoots out from between his fingers. After a few more finger wiggles, he appears to pull several bloody cocktail shrimp out of an invisible incision. The patient is healed. Of something. Welcome to “psychic surgery.” Documentarian of the uncanny, Brad Abrahams, takes our correspondent seat this week to explain how Shirley MacLaine, Burt Lancaster, Andy Kaufman, Charlie Mingus, and tens of thousands of Americans got drawn into the morbid healing craze that kicked off in the 1970s, and which may have seen its last hurrah with the imprisonment of Brazil’s John of God. Centuries of colonization in Brazil and the Philippines, Brad explains, made conventional medical care basically unavailable for anyone poor or outside of major cities. This left a void for traditional and alternative healing to fill as the only real options, as well as provide a connection to a cultural identity that had been systematically repressed. And of course, charlatans rode the wave. Brad brings his characteristic curiosity, empathy, and cultural competence, holding the door open for us to imagine why this abject form of medical and spiritual fraud speaks so deeply to so many. Show Notes Brad Abrahams Love And Saucers — Brad Abrahams Do you see what I see? | Short Doc about Controversial Conspiracy Theorist Artist David Dees — Brad Abrahams 72: John of Fraud (w/Lisa Braun Dubbels & Mirna Wabi-Sabi) — Conspirituality Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 14 March 2024

Bonus Sample: How to Stamp Out Racists (and more)

At what point do you tune someone out and no longer consider them worth considering? Is their entire catalog of thought defined by one encounter you don’t like? Multiple encounters? If you disagree with someone on one point, do you write them off entirely, or can you consider other points of agreement? What if your initial encounter with a thinker is disagreeable? What if you really like someone and then find them increasingly disagreeable over time? Have they really changed that much? Or have you? And would you know it if you did? Derek meditates on these questions while working through his own process of consideration. Most importantly, he lands on one certainty: racists, bigots, transphobes, and misogynists need to be stamped out. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 11 March 2024

Brief: The God Pivot: Rogan, Brand, & Huberman

Being a chaos agent is exhausting. The internet never ends. It’s so abstract, groundless. At some point, all of your content seems stale and redundant. All the conspiracy theories, outrage farming, and dietary supplements seem boring; your manic salesmanship starts to feel hollow. Maybe you’re also wondering about whether you’ve sold your soul, or who you may have hurt along the way. What will you turn to? Who will help you? What will your ultimate piece of content be? From time out of mind, there’s only ever been one answer: GOD. Russell Brand, Joe Rogan, and Andrew Huberman have all recently made such confessions of faith. Derek and Matthew discuss. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 9 March 2024

196: Julian Goes to the New Age Expo!

For 22 years, astrologers, channelers, and UFO enthusiasts have run booths next to crystal healers, purveyors of esoteric books and pseudoscience products, and paranormal enthusiasts at Los Angeles’s Airport Hilton. More recently, this event—the Conscious Life Expo—has increasingly featured speakers spouting red-pilled conspiracy theories about COVID, vaccines, and the Satanic alien reptilian cabal coming for your children. To get an insider’s view, Julian donned his gray baseball camp and grabbed his recorder to do his own research on the latest iteration of conference room conspirituality. Show Notes Introduction to CymaTones cymatic sound therapy Activate your Pineal Gland: An introduction to your third eye and exercises to awaken the higher mind: Ruehlig, Bianca Shawn Buckley, Trucker Lawyer Ottawa's use of Emergencies Act against convoy protests was unreasonable, violated Charter, court rules Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 7 March 2024

Bonus Sample: “There Are Worse Things Than Dying”

This is a newly favorite mantra that RFK Jr is using on the presidential stump. The subtext, uttered in the shadow of a pandemic that this guy did what he could to minimize and bypass, carries a lot of American spiritual—or maybe pseudospiritual—baggage. Digging into what he means and what his demographic hears when he says “There are worse things than dying,” can tell us a lot about the status of Death, Grief and Belief in the American psyche—and even global capitalism—in this volatile time. This episode is a recording of a talk Matthew gave at the 2024 Symposium on Death and Bereavement Studies in January, organized online by Terri Daniel of Portland, OR. Show Notes 2024 Symposium - Death, Grief, and Belief Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 4 March 2024

Brief: The CPAC Pope and the Icicle Babies (w/ Brad Onishi)

Brad Onishi of Straight White American Jesus sits down with Matthew to analyze the debut of “America’s Bishop,” Joseph Strickland, on the CPAC stage, where he blessed MAGA Christian Nationalism with his purple finery and endless torrent of anti-choice bafflegab. Strickland—removed as Archbishop of Tyler, Texas in November by the ultra-woke Pope Francis—has hit the influencer circuit to firm up the sometimes-precarious Evangelical-Catholic alliance on the backs of women. His aw-shucks “humility” and East Texas drawl offers this reactionary movement genteel cover for its aggressive fever dreams. He is, as Onishi puts it, the Catholic Ned Flanders who conspires with Mr. Burns at night. Butcherbox promo: Sign up today at butcherbox.com/conspirituality and use code conspirituality to choose your free offer and get $20 off. Show Notes Brad Onishi Conspirituality 183: Woke Pope Cancels America's Bishop w/Mike Lewis Weekly Roundup: Embryos are People Now? — Straight White American Jesus Nazis mingle openly at CPAC, spreading antisemitic conspiracy theories and finding allies Bishop Strickland at CPAC — LIfesite News (redpill site warning!) The making of Bishop Strickland - Where Peter Is Strickland's Adventurous Online Legacy - Mike Lewis Extra Bishop Strickland's "Letter from a Friend" Twitter photo: Strickland with Fournier and Pavone Catholic Priest Uses Aborted Fetus On Altar In Appeal For Donald Trump (Trigger warning. Image blurred, but still, JFC.) Fr. Frank Pavone uses aborted fetus in message for Election Day | National Catholic Reporter Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 2 March 2024

195: Long COVID (w/Tara Haelle)

In the early days of the pandemic, most of the cultural focus was on the necessity of quarantine measures and the distinction between mild and severe COVID infections. Yet by May 2020, some were experiencing the phenomenon of long COVID. Now understood as a post-acute infection syndrome, patients suffering from it have endured mockery, stigmatization, and accusations of lying. Nonetheless, support and patient advocacy groups have led the way, first in demanding medical and social recognition, and now in consulting with receptive researchers on diagnosis and treatment. We’re joined by science journalist Tara Haelle, whose work has appeared in Scientific American, NY Times, Washington Post, and more. She’s also the Infectious Disease Core Topic Leader at the Association of Health Journalists. Her work covering the pandemic, vaccines, and the Long COVID connection, which combines reporting on the latest science as well as writing from patients and patient advocates, has been indispensable in understanding this spectrum of diseases. Show Notes Possible contender for a Long COVID blood test RECOVER trial for Long COVID Treatments New Yorker on the Yale LISTEN Study LISTEN Study website 50% average lower prevalence in vaccinated people. Tara Haelle’s Long COVID Connection project. Opinion | Ed Yong: Reporting on Long Covid Taught Me to Be a Better Journalist - The New York Times Six Ways of Looking at Crip Time | Disability Studies Quarterly COVERING LONG COVID | Lygia Navarro The Sick Times Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 29 February 2024

Bonus Sample: Through the Looking-Glass

After going undercover at the Conscious Life Expo, Julian examines the weird synchronicities between himself and his mirror-world doppelganger, the eccentric Rhodesian conspiritualist, Sacha Stone. Close in age and born in the same African country, both white men got involved in New Age spirituality as aspiring rock musicians in their twenties. How then did their paths diverge so radically, even as they converged in Los Angeles? Stone invokes a fantastical millenia-long cosmic holy war, claims the pyramids were charging stations for UFOs, and praises Vladamir Putin. Julian gives a brief real world history of the British Empire, South African Apartheid, and the legendary Zulu and Ndbele nations—and wonders, how much of Sacha’s macabre preoccupations are just white guilt? Stay tuned for a cameo from Julian’s Dad. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 26 February 2024

Brief: The “Super Reasonable” Dr. Vinay Prasad

A contrarian doctor “just asking questions.” Super reasonable. Certainly not anti-vax, just a regular guy who grievance-mongers about quarantine measures and mocks people afraid of long Covid. Vinay Prasad cuts a different type of figure on the conspiracy-influencer stage. He fits right in with his pal, the charismatic guru-esque Dr. Zubin Damania, and might just pop up in your YouTube feed alongside Andrew Huberman and Peter Attia. Prasad demands unrealistic randomized controlled trial data for everything on his podcast, including protecting ICU patients from Covid via visiting restrictions. Who’s volunteering for that control group?! Julian sits down with returning guest, Dr. Jonathan Howard, the author of We Want Them Infected. They talk about Prasad (among others) who play a sensationalist science-distortion role in the digital economy and their connections to libertarian think tanks like AIER (architects of the Great Barrington Declaration) and Brownstone Institute—who’s founder, Jeffrey Tucker, wants to repeal laws around child labor and underage smoking. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 24 February 2024

194: The Power Worshippers (w/Katherine Stewart)

January 6, 2021. MAGA hats, tactical gear, American flags, poles turned into clubs. Another flag appears: white, with a blue corner square containing a red Latin cross. Another that proclaims “Jesus is King.” If you’re agnostic or atheist, you might get that old familiar feeling. Horror at the irrational devotion, nausea at the toxic masculine violence that justifies itself as holy. But what if you recognize that Protestant flag from your own church sanctuary? What if you recognize in that mob people from your church choir? Will you wonder how their faith was replaced by conspiracy theories, and how their Jesus turned into Trump? That’s the question posed by “God & Country,” a new documentary by Dan Partland and produced by Rob Reiner, based on the book The Power Worshippers by Katherine Stewart. Stewart is an investigative reporter and author who has covered religious liberty, politics, policy, and education for over a decade. Her journalism appears in the NY Times, NBC, the New Republic, and the New York Review of Books. She joins us today to discuss the dangers of growing Christian Nationalism in America. Butcherbox promo: Sign up today at butcherbox.com/conspirituality and use code conspirituality to choose your free offer and get $20 off. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 22 February 2024

Bonus Sample: Your Gut Isn't Leaking

The Cleveland Clinic's website states that leaky gut is a "hypothetical condition." Yet Cleveland Clinic physician, Mark Hyman, claims that leaky gut is at the foundation of autism, depression, cancer, diabetes, and much, much more—and has solutions to sell you. Derek investigates the manipulative and contradictory world of functional medicine. Butcherbox promo: Sign up today at butcherbox.com/conspirituality and use code conspirituality to choose your free offer and get $20 off. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 19 February 2024

Brief: Plandemic Takes the Promenade

An anti-vax, COVID-grievance, climate-science denying, communism panic-generating film by Mikki Willis just won “Best Documentary Feature” at the Santa Monica International Film Festival. Julian attended the festival in order to track how Willis’s latest paranoid pseudomentary, “Plandemic 3: The Great Awakening,” was platformed at this annual fete held in affluent Santa Monica alongside two other conspiracy films: “Shot Dead” and “We Will Not Be Silenced.” These three films include a who’s-who of conspiritualists: David Icke, JP Sears, Alex Jones, Joe Rogan, Brian Rose, Peter McCullough, and newer “medical whistle-blowers.” This is the on-the-ground story about how a 30-year-old normie independent film festival got red-pilled into platforming such dangerous misinformation. Butcherbox promo: Sign up today at butcherbox.com/conspirituality and use code conspirituality to choose your free offer and get $20 off. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 17 February 2024

193: Speaking Truth to GOOP (w/Dr Jen Gunter)

When she’s not talking to her angel guides, Christiane Northrup says that taking Vitamin D is better than the HPV vaccine for preventing cervical cancer. When Kelly Brogan isn’t denying germ theory, she’s telling thousands of women in her online programmes to stop taking not only their SSRIs, but also birth control and Tylenol. When Naomi Wolf isn’t explaining to Steve Bannon where women’s liberation went wrong, she’s worried that vaccinated women are poisoning non-vaccinated women just by walking past them. The train of messianic women wellness influencers rumbles on and on. But their pseudoscience claims and twisted forms of spiritualized feminism meet a brick wall in the work and advocacy of our guest today, Dr. Jen Gunter. Hailing from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Dr. Gunter is an OB/GYN who has been offering actual women’s health information through a solidly feminist lens for decades as the author of several books, including 2019’s The Vagina Bible, 2021’s The Menopause Manifesto, and her newest book, which dropped just 3 weeks ago: Blood: The science, medicine, and mythology of menstruation. Butcherbox promo: Sign up today at butcherbox.com/conspirituality and use code conspirituality to choose your free offer and get $20 off. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 15 February 2024

Bonus Sample: Living in the Enema Times

Selling enemas to replace psych meds, or treat cancer, or cure autism is some dangerous shit. But Matthew has a tingling sense that the wellness enema craze promises more than false health benefits. Perhaps the coffee might be an artisanal distraction from a more existential promise: a ritual of cleansing and muscular control for a world that feels filthy, guilty, and in absolute chaos. A way of returning to a crucially innocent time when you learned to hold it all in, then given permission to let it all out, and then lovingly cleaned up when you did. Today, Instagram gives us permission to show it to the world: look at what I made! Look at how fresh and pure I am! Look at how I am polishing my innermost self. Look at this magic of making the invisible visible. Welcome to your 50-minute analysis session to process Mallory’s brilliant reporting on Thursday: a tour through a labyrinth of dirt, control, differentiation, exhibitionism, shame—and possibly reclamation and integration. Chapters: How to Read an Enema Managing Filth with Freud Winnicott’s the Best The Abject Political Shit Dear Kyah Butcherbox promo: Sign up today at butcherbox.com/conspirituality and use code conspirituality to choose your free offer and get $20 off. Show Notes Conspirituality 192: Coffee is Your Friend, Not Your Enema Paranoid Reading, Reparative Reading — Sedgwick Know Your Enemy: UNLOCKED: Freud and Politics (w/ Pat Blanchfield) on Apple Podcasts Freud, "Character and Anal Eroticism" | PDF THE SEMINAR OF JACQUES LACAN BOOK X ANXIETY 1962 - 1963 The child, the family, and the outside world : Winnicott, D. W. (Donald Woods), 1896-1971 : Internet Archive Kristeva, Julia. Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection. New York: Columbia University Press, 1982. Pro-Trump rioters smeared poop in US Capitol hallways during belligerent attack Are Anti-Vaxers Really Pooping Themselves Because of Ivermectin? What Donald Trump Actually Smells Like, According to Ex-GOP Congressman Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 12 February 2024

Brief: The Culture Warrior to Wellness Pipeline (w/Dax-Devlon Ross)

Wellness influencers are quite capable of inventing and spreading health misinformation. When it comes to culture war issues, however, they're incapable of generating original thoughts. So it shouldn't surprise anyone that they simply parrot talking points created by the likes of Chris Rufo and Bari Weiss, especially when it comes to their uninformed critiques of DEI and CRT efforts. Author, lawyer, and social impact consultant Dax-Devlon Ross takes Derek on a journey through the life of a DEI facilitator—and corrects the bias and misinformation pundits like Rufo and Weiss spread as gospel. Head to factormeals.com/conspirituality50 and use code conspirituality50 to get 50% off your first box and 2 free wellness shots per box while subscription is active! Sign up today at butcherbox.com/conspirituality and use code conspirituality to choose your free offer and get $20 off. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 10 February 2024

192: Coffee is Your Friend, Not Your Enema (feat Mallory DeMille)

This episode has been brewing for some time. This week we ask: which hole is coffee really supposed to go in? Because, in the contrarian and conspiratorial wellness world, a growing number of influencers advocate for your morning java to go where the sun doesn't shine. If that's not alarming enough, they claim coffee enemas will treat autism, cancer, parasites, and much more. Mallory DeMille is here to finally flush out this nonsense. Head to factormeals.com/conspirituality50 and use code conspirituality50 to get 50% off your first box and 2 free wellness shots per box while subscription is active! Sign up today at butcherbox.com/conspirituality and use code conspirituality to choose your free offer and get $20 off. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 8 February 2024

Bonus Sample: The GOP Takeover of Media

Project 2025 is the libertarian conservative Heritage Foundation’s systematic governance plan for the next Republican president. The 920-page plan aims to implement the "unitary executive theory," which would give all of the power of the US government to the executive branch. This week, Derek and Julian investigate the chapter on US media agencies and the GOP's plan to create a true state-sponsored media beholden exclusively to the president. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 5 February 2024

Brief: Deep Church Conspiracy (w/David Lafferty)

From the Supreme Court to Project 2025, reactionary Catholics are on the frontlines of this year’s war on democracy. Many of them bend the knee to an Italian redpilled Vatican diplomat: Cardinal Carlo Maria Viganò. Who is this guy, and who let him onto the internet? In 2018, Viganò rebranded Pizzagate for Catholics, by accusing Pope Francis and his progressive allies of supporting “homosexual networks, which are now widespread in many dioceses, seminaries, religious orders,” and “act under the concealment of secrecy and lies with the power of octopus tentacles, and strangle innocent victims and priestly vocations.” Viganò went on to pen an open letter to Trump—in the style of one spiritual leader to another—in which he spoke of the great war between the “children of light and the children of darkness.” His 19th century flair, boosted by Trump himself, was such a hit it got featured in a Qdrop, got echoed by Mike Flynn, and won him an invite into the world of Steve Bannon. Catholic political commentator Dr. David Lafferty has been following Viganò for years. He walks Matthew through how the Cardinal Catholicized MAGA fever dreams to discredit the progressive administration of Pope Francis—going so far as to wish death upon him—while inspiring a generation of TradCath crusaders. Show Notes Puccini meets Watergate in 'Vatileaks' scandal Former ambassador Vigano accuses Vatican of covering up McCarrick scandal for years The Man Who Took On Pope Francis: The Story Behind the Viganò Letter The (Growing) List of Catholic Prelates and Other Notable Catholics Supporting Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò. : r/Catholicism ‘It Is Not a Closet. It Is a Cage.’ Gay Catholic Priests Speak Out Open Letter to President Donald Trump from the Carlo Maria Vigano, Archbishop of Ulpiana Vigano's most pilled tweet Viganò, QAnon, and the 'Deep Church' explained Another Viganò Wake-Up Call “An infamous betrayal of the mission of the Church”: Interview with Archbishop Viganò - Crisis Magazine (CW: Steve Bannon BS ahead) Americans, including Catholics, continue to have favorable views of Pope Francis — Pew Research The Silence of Sodom: Homosexuality in Modern Catholicism, Jordan Decadence and Catholicism — Hanson The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, 1950-2010 John Jay Report: On Not Blaming Homosexual Priests Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 3 February 2024

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