Spirituality and wellness, refracted through the pinhole of American exceptionalism and capitalism, were always bound to wind up here.
If not QAnon, it would have been some other kind of delusion.
Since the 1960s, Americans have steadily been drawn towards Eastern wellness and spirituality practices and global ancient traditions. Yoga, once an unheard-of practice exclusively for monks, has become widespread. Meditation apps are everywhere. We are more moisturized, therapized, and indoctrinated than ever.
This should, by all counts, be a good thing. But if you look closer, you can clearly see the way that American traditions like exceptionalism, individualism, and capitalism have damaged these traditions beyond all recognizability.
Meditation, once a way of exiting the self and the mind, has now become a way to optimize oneself for working. Yoga is now synonymous with wealthy white women, fitness, and the holy grail of weight loss. Self-care, a phrase coined by Audre Lorde, a chronically ill Black woman who dedicated her life to activism, has become an excuse for not caring about anyone else.
The wellness community has become more and more skeptical of modern medicine and modern science while still remaining completely immersed in the world, exposing the bulk of civilization to their dangerous conspiracies, unsafe action, and compassion. First it was disbelief in COVID-19. Then, for many, it was QAnon.
How QAnon's Unfounded Conspiracy Theories Spread In The Suburbs | NBC Nightly News www.youtube.com
QAnon is a prime example of how fringe spirituality mixed with capitalism and a whole lot of false information can generate a truly radical conspiracy. QAnon first came about when Q, a mysterious 8chan poster, started dropping information about Donald Trump and proposing that the government is comprised of a bunch of child-abusers. Fueled by the fires of Jeffrey Epstein, the movement grew more and more radical, and soon moved from a fringe movement to something your quirky, essential oil-loving neighbor might secretly be in.
"There's a spectrum of connections and overlaps. For those devoted to a wellness paradigm that is proudly allergic to conventional medicine and big tech, QAnon provides a mythological framework for understanding what they're up against, how they feel their bodies are controlled by nefarious forces, and how crucial it is for them to regain autonomy," says Matthew Remski. "For those who feel spiritually attracted to QAnon, the appeal might be related to the intersection between spiritual beliefs and the three rules of conspiracism. Researchers generally agree that the first rule is to believe that the world is like a dream or a mirage, and that nothing is as it seems. According to this rule, Bill Gates only appears to be a philanthropist, just as Jeffery Epstein only appeared to be a hedge-fund manager. The second rule is that nothing happens by accident. Typos in Donald Trump's tweets are a sign that he's battling the Deep State; and COVID only breaks out in countries with 5G technology. (Both are false of course.) Thirdly: Everything is connected."
These tenants of sacred spirituality might seem profound, but in the realm of QAnon they are actually dangerous. When a belief that nothing is real makes you question the reality of basic facts, then you've probably gone too far — but a wellness community that is mostly built on thin air rather than actual connection and spiritual growth wouldn't see it that way.
Today's wellness community exists in isolated pockets, detached from science and more importantly, detached from genuine community and compassion. The fact that QAnon and wellness communities have become entangled only serves to prove just how far off base some modern wellness sects have gone. And it's only going to get worse as things get worse from a climate change standpoint as things grow unstable.