20 episodes

An exiled Northern Irish anthropologist and a hitchhiking Australian psychologist take a close look at the contemporary crop of 'secular gurus', iconoclasts, and other exiles from the mainstream, offering their own brands of unique takes and special insights.

Leveraging two of the most diverse accents in modern podcasting, Chris and Matt dig deep into the claims, peek behind the psychological curtains, and try to figure out once and for all... What's it all About?

Join us, as we try to puzzle our way through and talk some smart-sounding smack about the intellectual giants of our age, from Jordan Peterson to Robin DiAngelo. Are they revolutionary thinkers or just grifters with delusions of grandeur?

Join us and let's find out!

Decoding the Guru‪s‬ Christopher Kavanagh and Matthew Browne

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.6 • 101 Ratings

An exiled Northern Irish anthropologist and a hitchhiking Australian psychologist take a close look at the contemporary crop of 'secular gurus', iconoclasts, and other exiles from the mainstream, offering their own brands of unique takes and special insights.

Leveraging two of the most diverse accents in modern podcasting, Chris and Matt dig deep into the claims, peek behind the psychological curtains, and try to figure out once and for all... What's it all About?

Join us, as we try to puzzle our way through and talk some smart-sounding smack about the intellectual giants of our age, from Jordan Peterson to Robin DiAngelo. Are they revolutionary thinkers or just grifters with delusions of grandeur?

Join us and let's find out!

    Gwyneth Paltrow: Crawling with parasites and in need of a cleanse

    Gwyneth Paltrow: Crawling with parasites and in need of a cleanse

    Who would have thought it, the Hollywood A-lister and founder of the luxury lifestyle brand 'Goop', Gwyneth Paltrow also finds time to host a podcast. Making her a prime target for Matt and Chris, who simply cannot stomach the competition!
    Fans have the option to join Paltrow in questing for the eternal and well-guarded secrets of health and wellness. But unless you're only after some lip-balm, this total holistic and integrative lifestyle is not going to come cheap! As we learn from her special guest Kristine Gedroic you are also going to need some precision medical diagnostics to balance with your biome, cleanse your cell membranes, and undo the horrors of 5G. And that isn't even addressing the panoply of parasites that we are all (apparently) infested with. So this is why Matt and Chris haven't been actualising their spiritual selves recently.
    In some ways, this health and wellness space is familiar stomping ground for Matt and Chris (and maybe for many listeners too). However, the duo reckon that Paltrow, Goop, and the whole industry is very 'Now' and might even hint at some exciting new directions elite culture is taking.
    Check it out! And get yourself checked for bespoke parasites while you're at it. Seriously... we are all riddled with them.
    Links
    https://goop.com/the-goop-podcast/how-do-we-heal-and-prevent-chronic-illness/ (How do we deal with- and prevent- chronic illness? Goop Podcast with Kristine Gedroic)
    https://goop.com/the-goop-podcast/gwyneth-paltrow-ask-me-anything/ (Gwyneth Paltrow: Ask Me Anything)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKD5nwcteBM (Hard Talk interview with Gwyneth Paltrow)

    • 2 hr 29 min
    Special Episode: Sam Harris & Meditation is all you need

    Special Episode: Sam Harris & Meditation is all you need

    Sam Harris is a public intellectual who inspires strong reactions both positive and negative. Here, Matt and Chris dip their toes into Sam's introspective universe by analysing a recent 9 minute mini-episode of his Making Sense podcast titled 'Some Points of Confusion'. Sam intended to clear up some recurrent misunderstandings he has observed with maybe as much as 99% audience with this episode. What could be causing such a fundamental error and does he succeed in resolving the confusion? Join us to find out.
    In the episode you will learn about the true teachings of Jesus, how incredibly niche Chris' undergraduate degree was, the introspective case for social welfare, and why all meditators inevitably deny the existence of free will.
    This is an interesting one. And whether you love or hate Sam, we hope you find some value in our non-enlightened ejected introspections.
    Links
    https://samharris.org/podcasts/243-points-confusion/ (Making Sense Episode 243: Some Points of Confusion)

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Special Episode: Interview with Phrost on Bullshido

    Special Episode: Interview with Phrost on Bullshido

    Matt and Chris are helped again by a guest in their endless quest to get the bottom of what the Hell is Going On and What It's All About.
    Phrost describes himself as "the world's most dangeous nerd" and is not only an expert in the fighting arts (like, actual real fighting) but is also no slouch when it comes to combatting b******t.
    He identifies as a soldier, a scientist, and as a shill for "Big Reality".
    And his site bullshido.net as well as his podcast https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-art-of-fighting-bs/id1465330459 (The Art of Fighting BS) comes up with the reality-based goods. Not only in debunking b******t in martial arts but also with regard to miracle health cures, supplements, pop psychology, COVID and many other honey traps for the curious and the unwary.
    Tune in as Matt and Chris compares notes with Phrost on how and why people delude themselves. Marvel at Phrost's offers to fight Alex Jones, Steven Seagal, and (gasp) Gwenyth Paltrow (for Science!). Matt himself accepts the the offer to fight Phrost, conditional on him being ensconced comfortably within a properly equipped Armoured Fighting Vehincle.

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Ibram X. Kendi: Gurometer Rating (Patreon Preview)

    Ibram X. Kendi: Gurometer Rating (Patreon Preview)

    In this episode we provide a special preview of our usual Patreon content with the follow up discussion and our Gurometer™ scores for Ibram X. Kendi.
    You can find a summary of all our Gurometer scores thus far https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Oe-af4_OmzLJavktcSKGfP0wmxCX0ppP8n_Tvi9l_yc/edit?usp=sharing (available here).
    Our new subreddit can also be found https://www.reddit.com/r/DecodingTheGurus/ (here).

    • 46 min
    Ibram X. Kendi: Inside you are two wolves. One of them is racist.

    Ibram X. Kendi: Inside you are two wolves. One of them is racist.

    Ibram X. Kendi is a Professor of history, director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research, and a research fellow at Harvard University. He is also the author of several best-selling and highly influential books on race in America.
    It seems like everybody has an opinion of Kendi, and when it comes to the online commentariat, those opinions can get pretty hostile.
    Even among activists and anti-racists, he seems to spark division, with some grouping Kendi together with other controversial writers like Robin Di Angelo. Kendi is often accused of peddling a pop 'anti-racism' which is at best devoid of substance and at worst toying with totalitalitarianism. With his infamous proposal for a 'Department of Antiracism' that would have power over all aspects of governance, and recent illustrated children's book titled 'Anti-racist Baby', these criticisms are perhaps understandable.
    But what about the man himself, who in his lectures and interviews, comes across as something of a calm and reasonable voice amongst the culture war maelstrom?
    In this episode, Matt and Chris, until now famed for being not racist (honestly), courageously hurl themselves onto the pyre of American racial politics. Will they reveal their total lack of understanding of critical race theory and are they racist or anti-racist according to Kendi? Listen and find out.
    Links
    https://www.oneyoufeed.net/being-antiracist/ (Short interview with Kendi from 'The One You Feed' Podcast)
    https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/ibram-x-kendi-wants-to-redefine-racism/id1081584611?i=1000452609664 (Interview of Kendi by Ezra Klein for Vox Conversations)
    https://www.politico.com/interactives/2019/how-to-fix-politics-in-america/inequality/pass-an-anti-racist-constitutional-amendment/ (Kendi's article advocating for an Anti-Racist constitutional amendment)
    https://timothynguyen.files.wordpress.com/2021/02/geometric_unity.pdf ('A Response to (Eric Weinstein's) Geometric Unity' Paper)

    • 2 hr 43 min
    Special Episode: Interview with Matthew Remski on Conspirituality

    Special Episode: Interview with Matthew Remski on Conspirituality

    Today we talk to Matthew Remski, co-host of the Conspirituality podcast, writer, yoga practitioner, and independent journalist.
    Matthew is a font of information on the alternative spirituality and health and wellness spheres and he gives Matt and Chris a crash course on the dynamics of those spheres.
    We discuss a range of topics including the growing overlap between spirituality and right wing politics, the enlightened locker room dynamics of male influencers, the role of invented traditions and the spirituality sphere and why Matt should grovel at the feet of his muscle master.
    Matthew provides a wealth of insight into the gurus we've examined as well as an entire host of new characters. As ever, we greatly enjoyed the chat and hope you do too!
    --------------------------------
    More from Matthew Remski:
    http://matthewremski.com/wordpress/ (Matthew's Personal Website)
    https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/conspirituality/id1515827446 (The Conspirituality Podcast)
    https://medium.com/@matthewremski (Matthew's work on Medium)
    https://matthewremski.com/wordpress/books/wawadia-main/ (His investigative book on Pattabhi Jois’s Ashtanga community)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJDjyVphhGc (Another great interview with Matthew by Stephen Kesting)

    • 1 hr 40 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
101 Ratings

101 Ratings

Onlyinaeiou ,

Pleasantly Surprised

I was brought here by VBW and have been enjoying the few episodes I’ve heard. (Btw, I’m a huge Sam Harris fan, and while uncomfortable with the mini episode they did on him, I don’t think they were unfair.)

Anyway, I recommend this podcast for people who are baffled by the following of anyone discussed on the show, and by anyone who is an avid fan of someone discussed on the show.

Queen_of_Sheba ,

Great work! Love the podcast

I love all the episodes (except a couple covering gurus that I’ve never heard of and therefore didn’t bother to listen).

I think you have great chemistry (although y’all are way too polite with each other)and I’m glad you’ve cut down on the long banter at the beginning. I prefer getting right into it and weave the banter in between. I enjoy Chris’s sarcasm - it doesn’t feel forced, a lot of people end up being annoying with their sarcasm. And I love Matt’s more gentle humor.

I was cringing for you guys when I heard you were gonna cover Kendi (2 white guys critiquing a black guy on race issues, what could go wrong), but you were phenomenal with it.

I am impressed by how knowledgeable you two seem on the nuances of American politics.

One technical thing on that Kendi episode, the volume especially Matt’s was way too low. Please fix that and you’ll be golden.

Keep going!

(ps. hope you plan to do Ken Wilber, Tony Robbins, Sam Harris).

Dan29472 ,

Petty & Disjointed

Decided to give these guys a listen due to VBW recommendation. Their recent podcast on Harris is essentially an hour of surprisingly personal evisceration over a few minutes of Harris soundbites. Fairly ridiculous set up, and this is coming from someone who generally agrees that the Harris podcast they’re discussing was one of his worst. Additionally ironic when they preceded the episode saying they wanted Harris on their podcast as a guest, and then proceed to name and number all his personal character flaws.

And just aesthetically, the podcast is not enjoyable to listen to due to the very disjointed way of speaking. Needs more chill to be enjoyable.

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