In January of 2018, Shannon Roche, current CEO of Yoga Alliance said the following in a video announcement of YA’s updated sexual misconduct policy:
There’s a deeply troubling pattern of sexual misconduct within our community, a pattern that touches almost every tradition in modern yoga.
Every human being deserves to practice yoga free from abuse, harassment and manipulation.
In honour of those who have spoken up, and in honour of those who have been too hurt to speak, we have to start somewhere, and we have to start now.
“Almost every tradition.” Did she really say that? Yes she did…
I’ll preface this post by saying that, in accordance with the clinical research, I do not believe there are strong correlations between prior life experience and the likelihood that a person will join or stay in a cult (or “totalist”, or “high-demand” group.) What follows is a speculation, based on memory and anecdote, on why people who are already inside such a group may be more prone to the kind of enabling and moral harm that Facebook friend Joseph Teskey has described to me as “I Got Mine-ism”.
I Got Mine-ism is a defensive strategy by which a member who…
So. You love the New Age. All of it. Yoga, mindfulness, crystals, essential oils, vegan/keto/fasting diets. Channeling Source. The Law of Attraction. The Power of Now. The Secret. You’ve woken up.
The “pandemic” has the potential to clear a LOT of negative energy out of your way, and release you from the limitations of 3D employment. You’re ready to live your best life, and help others do the same. It’s time to take this paradigm to the parasocial.
But Who are You, and What is Your Why? How should you think about your story, your brand, your Big Ask? What…
Over the next months and years, there will be many people exiting cultic bonds and beginning the often torturous process of healing their brains, hearts, and relationships. Some will have the resources to become activists who can reach out to their former communities.
They’ll be exiting QAnon, alt-right groups, anti-vax mom groups, anti-lockdown rally groups, anti-mask groups, and the online subscription communities of narcissistic messianic wellness influencers who offer love in one hand and terror in the other.
In my previous study of the grammar of popular spiritual literature, I proposed that the “First Person Plural Omniscient” is a hallmark of charismatic speech, which tends to assume an unearned universality. I showed that when the FPPO is substituted for the first person singular in passages from Chogyam Trungpa and Pema Chodron, a hidden vulnerability and anxiousness is revealed.
The other grammatical tic that is prominent in this literature is a form of second person address I’ll call Second Person Intrusive Omniscient (SPIO). It flexes harder than the FPPO.
Here are some characteristics of the SPIO:
In a recent mini-episode of his Making Sense podcast, intellectual influencer Sam Harris explains to his large listenership that:
This elegant experiment — and its haunting consequences — arose out of a conversation I had with my partner and a mutual friend (both psychotherapists) after the death of our late friend Michael Stone, a young Buddhism and yoga teacher who died suddenly of a fentanyl overdose, while struggling with mental health challenges.
At that time, we were all contemplating the paradox of how he had been so adept at speaking to and for the spiritual relief that he himself, in hindsight, so desperately needed. …
Former model and New Age filmmaker Mikki Willis published his disinfo-mentary, Plandemic, on May 4th, 2020. As reported in the New York Times, the 26-minute anti-vax video was shared in a large QAnon Facebook group the following day. Just over five hours later, Christiane Northrup, a retired OB-GYN, shared Plandemic to her Facebook following of 500K. (For decades Northrup was celebrated as a hero of women’s alternative health, but in the COVID era she has emerged as a grande dame of pseudoscience.)
The misinformation of Plandemic has been thoroughly debunked. Snopes reviewed star interviewee Judy Mikovits’s work and criminal controversy…
We’re living in the attention economy, where a lot of eyeballs translates to dollars, and a career. And the problem with QAnon is that it allows you to tap into an instant, massive audience that will worship at your feet if you’re an attractive woman.
So says journalist Travis View, reporting on Q-pilled wellness influencer Krystal Tini, who exploded her social media engagement in March of 2020 when she started sharing QAnon-related horrors and hashtags.
In May, yoga influencer Bizzie Gold posted a video to a private subscription group in which she spoke about “the transhumanist agenda,” and “the satanic…
I first published this 18 months ago, when QAnon wasn’t even on my radar. I’m reposting now, with some additional notes for this strange new time.
I started writing about cults in 2012 when a group I’d been recruited into more than a decade before began to implode, after the partner of one of the group’s leaders died of exposure in the Arizona desert.
In the ensuing nine years, I’ve weathered a broad spectrum of blowback from loyalists to the groups I’ve written about critically. The responses express a spectrum of defences: from primitive-enraged to sophisticated-subtle. …