Conspirituality: converging right-wing conspiracy theories and faux-progressive wellness utopianism

An awesome resource for understanding the seductive nightmare of irrationality that infects much of modern “spirituality”.


This reminded me of a study I came upon a while back:

"Narcissism was surprisingly the strongest predictor, and intelligence showed a negative relationship with belief in astrology. "

A single study like this is to be taken with a grain of salt, of course.

There is also a stream of research on pseudo-profound bullshit (PPBS) and who falls for it:

"The association with intelligence generally reflected a greater ability to discriminate the profound from the pseudo–profound, whereas the association with apophenia [observing patterns or causal connections were none exist] reflected poorer discrimination in Study 1, with less conclusive results in Study 2.

In both studies, the O/I simplex was closely replicated. The results suggest a link between the O/I domain and perceiving PPBS as profound and tentatively support the theory that intelligence may protect against apophenia."

I hope this post doesn’t inspire resentment towards people who are stereotypically spiritual people, or whatever.

When I read this stuff, I find it easier to have compassion for, e.g., anti-vaxxers, who are probably literally not able to perceive the qualitative difference between peer-reviewed medical research and their own youtube “research”.




I love this term. I’m totally using it from now on.

Yes, Bill Gates is Mara, who is penetrating into your brain waves through signals guided there by your mobile phone.

I think that we’ll soon see intelligence (or lack thereof) as the next frontier of discrimination; and to call someone “dumb” will seem as offensive as calling them racist or ableist slurs does today. And this will come with a reckoning as to the role of intelligence, in all its complexity, in the unraveling of the world as we knew it.

You’ve got to wonder how many people have been caught up in all this. It seems like a lot!

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This is something I’ve long thought about. For example the mix of hereditary and early environmental factors that go into being intelligent seem similar to the ones that go into being considered good looking. Obviously, not a perfect analogy, but enough overlap that it is interesting to think about how we value intelligence vs how we value attractiveness.

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The article on Trungpa was interesting to me since I was living in Boulder in 1974 when The Naropa Institute opened and i knew some of the folks who attended (and had a surreal experience with one member that I think I’ve already talked about here). His abuse was known back then, in fact poet Ed Sanders, who taught there that first year, had his students write an investigative “Poem” about the abuses which included people hauling Trump around on their shoulders. This was the time of the “13 year old master” who also set up shop along with Scientology in Boulder at that time.

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Right, and these are so interconnected.

Oh really, you were part of history. Well, a sort of history I guess.

Do you know if this is available anywhere?

I am praying you mean “Trungpa”!


Yes typo. Actually I think Ed Sanders was person non grata there. He was heavily into poetry being political and more like reportage. I wasn’t there but my understanding was, when his students were concerned about all the corruption, he assigned them to investigate Naropa. Don’t think it went down particularly well with Trungpa. I also met Ginsberg years later and he struck me as incredibly pretentious as well. It was the opening of my first one man show in the east village and I ran into Ginsberg on the street. I went up to him to invite him to the opening and said something like " You are Allen Ginsberg, aren’t you?" His reply was along the lines of “That is what some people know me as in this incarnation.” or something equally as absurd.

I think I mentioned this before but it is a good story of Naropa. One of the students was a guy from Boston and he would come in to the record store I worked at in Boulder and we would talk music. Later that fall I decided to apply to Berklee school of music and actually drove from Boulder to Boston to apply in person. When I got to Cambridge, I pulled my car over. I hadn’t really planned beyond just driving there. I had no money and no place to stay. I was literally standing there for 30 seconds on the sidewalk, when the guy from Naropa appeared and let me stay at his place. He turned me on to Glenn Gould’s Goldberg Variations which ended up being incredibly important in my life and the theme of my second one man show in the east village, making it all (I just realized) come full circle.


I imagine not.

I saw a photo shared on Twitter not long ago, it was Trungpa, Ginsberg and Ram Dass. People were like, “wow, three amazing men!”, I was like, you can’t be serious. I have no idea of the morality of Ginsberg or Ram Dass, but how could they not see thru Trungpa’s self-serving nonsense? I really don’t get it. It’s not like it’s subtle. And it’s still going on: checking Shambhala’s facebook today, they’re promoting Trungpa’s “35th Parinirvana” :face_vomiting:

It is indeed, cool story.