568 episodes

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.

Conspirituality Awakener

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 4.2 • 393 Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

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.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    210: Bioquacking Bro Science (feat Mallory DeMille)

    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.
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    • 1 hr 6 min
    Bonus Sample: Speak Through Me

    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 (earlier episode on 19th century Great Awakening)
    Hearing Voices, Seeing Colors, & Fighting Phantoms (earlier episode on temporal lobe epilepsy)
    New Yorker: Why Did So Many Victorians Try To Talk To The Dead 
    PBS: William Miller and The Second Great Awakening
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    • 5 min
    Speak Through Me

    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.”

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

    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
    About Me – Hank Willenbrink 
    Bread and Puppet Theater — Glover, VT
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    • 43 min
    209: The Right’s Fantasy Super-Villain (w/Renee Diresta)

    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.
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    • 1 hr 25 min
    Bonus Sample: Nicole Shanahan Talks DEI with Scott Adams

    Bonus Sample: Nicole Shanahan Talks DEI with Scott Adams

    Nicole Shanahan, RFK Jr's VP pick, has recently started her own podcast. Dilbert creator Scott Adams joined. The conversation quickly turned into a conspiracy free-for-all, starting with DEI, then swerving into fertility, vaccines, transgender people, EMFs, and much more. Derek responds.
    Show Notes
    Inside the fringe worldview of RFK Jr.’s VP pick
    A Running Mate’s History: $1 Billion, Cocaine, a Fling With Elon Musk
    Back to the People: Reframing Our Brains on Food, Debt, and DEI (full episode)
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    • 6 min

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5
393 Ratings

393 Ratings

CHRISTOPHERmightSTUTTer ,

Ep 203 superb

Hands down the best episode aside from the Joe Despnza ep. Such a great dialog between you all and Niel. Please invite him on to be a guest every so often.

ecullingham ,

I guess our options are “conspiracies” or “snark”

It’s scarily easy to find yourself sucked into a filter bubble these days, and pretty soon you think that everything the algorithm is feeding you is true. Whenever I get a grifter vibe from someone I’m following — or notice in myself that I am behaving a little bit like a “brainwashed disciple” — I will go out of my way to find an opposing viewpoint, or to listen to a debunking, to help neutralize my confirmation bias. Which is why I started listening to select episodes of this show. But the vibes here are very “schoolyard bully.” The hosts and guests snicker and hurl cheap insults at the person or ideology they’re trying to bring to light. It feels like a whole podcast of trolling. It feels …conspiratorial! Which is the literal opposite of what I’m looking for. I’m looking for discourse that skews more neutral so I can feel like I’m learning. I’ll keep looking. This podcast is just *more* wellness industry in-fighting.

Halmos ,

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More ads on this podcast by magnitudes more than any other podcast I subscribe to.

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