250 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
    • 4.3 • 288 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

    The Courage to Heal Pt. 2

    The Courage to Heal Pt. 2

    Matthew and Julian sit down for the second of a two-part examination of the 1988 bestseller at the heart of the recovered memory movement. (Scroll down to November 7 for part 1.) This is episode 10 of the Swan Song Series.

    Show Notes

    Controversy Behind the False Memory Syndrome Foundation

    The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse — Goodreads

    Truth and reconciliation | Salon.com

    Cases That Have Resulted in Convictions - RA Info

    Why The Courage to Heal Isn't on My Recommended Reading List | HealthyPlace

    Creating Hysteria — NYT archive

    25 Years of Trauma Treatment Networker 2014

    Bonus Sample: The Super Best Most Pure Immune-Boosting Supplement Ever (Until Next Week)

    Bonus Sample: The Super Best Most Pure Immune-Boosting Supplement Ever (Until Next Week)

    Are you ready for the bestest, purest immunity-boosting supplement in the history of the world? No, not that one. Only I have discovered what really works, and I'll share it with you this week.

    Ok, not quite, but Derek looks at a recent JAMA study that found many of the top 30 supplements sold on Amazon don't contain what they claim. He opens by looking at Mikki Willis's latest best supplement ever, as well as a naturopath and her binder filled with detoxing supplement protocols.

    Show Notes

    Wellness influencers don't understand history

    Does Z-Stack multivitamin work to boost the immune system, and is it safe?

    Analysis of Select Dietary Supplement Products Marketed to Support or Boost the Immune System 


    -- -- --
    Support us on Patreon

    Pre-order our book

    Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | Julian

    Original music by EarthRise SoundSystem

    • 6 min
    The Super Best Most Pure Immune-Boosting Supplement Ever (Until Next Week)

    The Super Best Most Pure Immune-Boosting Supplement Ever (Until Next Week)

    Are you ready for the bestest, purest immunity-boosting supplement in the history of the world? No, not that one. Only I have discovered what really works, and I'll share it with you this week.

    Ok, not quite, but Derek looks at a recent JAMA study that found many of the top 30 supplements sold on Amazon don't contain what they claim. He opens by looking at Mikki Willis's latest best supplement ever, as well as a naturopath and her binder filled with detoxing supplement protocols.

    Show Notes

    Wellness influencers don't understand history (derekberes.substack.com)

    Does Z-Stack multivitamin work to boost the immune system, and is it safe? (consumerlab.com)

    Analysis of Select Dietary Supplement Products Marketed to Support or Boost the Immune System (jamanetwork.com)

    130: Can We Stop Abusing Fat People? (w/Aubrey Gordon)

    130: Can We Stop Abusing Fat People? (w/Aubrey Gordon)

    Well jeez. What can we say? We're totally honored to host and learn from Aubrey Gordon, author and co-host of Maintenance Phase. She gives us the rundown on anti-fat bias,  its links to racism, the soft eugenics of the BMI, the insincere "concern" of the slender, and the intellectual and moral dead end of "being fat is a choice." We also get into some psychothinalysis. Oh yes we do.

    It's super inspiring to interview someone with a deep command of crucial material, plus the ability to pivot in startling directions, plus the skill to listen as fluently as they speak, plus all that warmth and welcome and empathy and accessibility. Thanks Aubrey!

    Show Notes

    Your Fat Friend website

    What We Don't Talk About When We Talk About Fat

    “You Just Need to Lose Weight” AND 19 OTHER MYTHS ABOUT FAT PEOPLE—Preorder

    Maintenance Phase

    Correction section: The NHS was limiting care for fat people and smokers *before* the pandemic (The Guardian), but backed off of that stance *during* the pandemic (NYT) before naming weight loss as one of its primary COVID strategies (Time Magazine).
    -- -- --
    Support us on Patreon

    Pre-order our book

    Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | Julian

    Original music by EarthRise SoundSystem

    • 1 hr 10 min
    Bonus Sample: The Courage to Heal Pt. 2

    Bonus Sample: The Courage to Heal Pt. 2

    Matthew and Julian sit down for the second of a two-part examination of the 1988 bestseller at the heart of the recovered memory movement.  This is episode 10 of the Swan Song Series.
    Show Notes

    Controversy Behind the False Memory Syndrome Foundation

    The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse

    Truth and reconciliation

    Cases That Have Resulted in Convictions

    Why The Courage to Heal Isn't on My Recommended Reading List

    Creating Hysteria

    25 Years of Trauma Treatment Networker 2014
    -- -- --
    Support us on Patreon

    Pre-order our book

    Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | Julian

    Original music by EarthRise SoundSystem

    • 9 min
    UNLOCKED: Michelle Remembers: Literal Symbols

    UNLOCKED: Michelle Remembers: Literal Symbols

    The homestretch of our study of Michelle Remembers zeroes in on the literal symbols—and symbols gone literal—of the Satanic Panic. (This is episode 6 of  the Swan Song Series.)

    Archetypes, gore, anxieties about sex and babies and filth: Lawrence Pazder mined it all, using modes of abstraction and dehumanization as old as religion itself to weave a story he claimed was all about Michelle—but was really an exercise of his own fetishes.

    Michelle Smith could have received proper care for her understandable stresses. She could have offered up her feelings and sensations and images from dreams for discussion and contemplation, and an actual therapist would have held that material safely for her to explore. But in Pazder, Smith found someone who wasn’t interested in common human complexity. He was interested in cosmic warfare, and the role he could LARP within it.

    But Pazder was so blind to his craven narcissism that he couldn’t help but tell on himself. In the final passage we analyze, Pazder records Smith demanding to end therapy. “If I could tear out my tongue,” she says, “I would never have to speak again.” But in the very next paragraph, the man who is forcing her to “remember” symbolically tears out her tongue, rejecting her plea to end the sessions, interpreting her demand as though it were coming from Satan himself.

    She imagines herself getting in a car and driving and driving, anywhere. Away from this psychiatrist who wanted to be an exorcist, away from his story, perhaps to find her own.

    Show Notes

    HIGHEST GAME IN TOWN

    ‘I See His Blood Upon the Rose’

    How to Lose Weight (Weight Loss and Obesity) - Teal Swan

    The Cause of Obesity - Teal Swan Articles


    -- -- --
    Support us on Patreon

    Pre-order our book

    Follow us on Instagram | Twitter: Derek | Matthew | Julian

    Original music by EarthRise SoundSystem

    • 1 hr 45 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
288 Ratings

288 Ratings

Spanish students ,

Incredibly helpful and….

I was pleased to hear Jessica Malaty Rivera featured on one of your episodes but I am disappointed that you didn’t provide links to her work in the show notes. There were plenty of links to your own (the hosts’s) work but none to this incredibly important guest’s work. This shows a lack of humility. Please use your platform to make it easier for your audience to access the expertise of more diverse voices.

juliagee ,

In depth

Kathleen Hale is extraordinary. I didn’t know her work, and this was an eye-opening interview. I look forward to reading Slenderman. This was a rewarding episode, and I’ve enjoyed this podcast series.

maisouibutnon ,

A great example of nuance

This is my favourite podcast. It is well researched and thoughtfully crafted. I think they do a great job of being transparent in terms of talking about and questioning how their biases creep into their conversations, which adds a depth and nuance that I don’t really see in other media working with this subject matter. I also really appreciate the empathy and compassion with which they approach a subject that is often talked about with a lot of smugness and/or a sort of pornification. I find the research and reporting on this podcast to be super responsible - they never punch down, and we get to see them questioning their own assumptions and beliefs in real time. I wish there was more media out there with such high ethical standards. Really looking forward to the book!

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