I think a lot about how Mikki Willis, the director of the pseudo-documentary Plandemic, went on Facebook the day after its release, and cried crocodile tears to bond with his shaken followers.
Make that trauma-bond: he terrified them, and then played the saviour. This is what domestic abusers and cult leaders do.
I think about Kelly Brogan, haloed by the Miami sky in her breakout COVID-denialism selfie-sermon, declaring that lockdown measures are like the “dehumanization agenda that preceded the Holocaust”. She carried it off with Mona Lisa equanimity. Her wellness porn really pops.
Zach Bush starts almost every podcast appearance with a plausible critique of Big Ag, or a poetic description of our interconnected microbiome. But before long he is speaking in New Age tongues about the beauty of death, blue eyes flashing.
Christiane Northrup plays her harp for a half-million followers red-pilled on her Great Awakening videos. Yolande Norris-Clarke caresses the microphone with her silky voice as she reads a Protocols of the Elders of Zion knock-off. Katie Griggs is dead, but the ghost of Guru Jagat will continue to preach COVID-contrarian sermons from the mortuary sector of the internet.
Willis, Brogan, Northrup and the gang have amplified vaccine hesitancy, mistrust of public health, and populist contempt for expertise. But they did not create their followers’ disillusionment with science or the state, with modernity, or the poisoned chalice of techno-capitalism. They exploited a reasonable disenchantment.
All of these figures produce COVID misinformation so toxic that people who consume it wind up hospitalized, with COVID, denying they have COVID.
Many are veterans in New Age or yoga organizations, or MLM pyramids where cultic techniques are the norm. When the pandemic hit, they were ready…