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Rick Archer: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer, Buddha at the Gas Pump is an ongoing series of interviews with spiritually Awakening people. I’ve done about 575 of them now, if this is new to you, and you’d like to check out previous ones, please go to batgap.com Bat gap, and look under the past interviews menu, or you’ll see them organized in several different ways. This program is made possible through the support of appreciative listeners and viewers. So if you appreciate it and would like to help support it, there’s a PayPal button on every page of the website. This interview that we’re about to do more of a discussion than an interview will probably be the most controversial one I’ve ever done. And you’ll see why in a minute. But we’re going to talk about something called conspiracy Galletti, which is a term that refers to the adoption by various aspects of the spiritual community of conspiracy theories. And so, since my audience is largely, you know, the spiritual community in various flavors, probably will be. It may seem like an accusation, I hate to use that word, but probably will be addressing people among in this audience who believes some of the things that we’ll be critiquing, and criticizing and wondering why anyone would believe such things. So please don’t feel feel offended by this. And in fact, if you would like to contradict something we’re saying, don’t hesitate. There’s a question forum that I will there’s a question forum on the upcoming interviews page, and you can just send in a question and we’ll try to address it and try to make it substantive. Just don’t just say that you guys are a bunch of jerks. We already know that our significant others have told us on several occasions. But um, we’ll take it seriously well, and respectfully, and we’ll, you know, try to give you a good response. Anyway, the way that I’m referring to here is Derek Barris, Matthew Rimsky. And Julian Walker. And I thought that rather than me reading a canned bio of them, which would be kind of boring for to hear me read it, I’ll just have them introduce themselves. So why don’t you guys do that in the order that I just said, Your name’s Derek Beres.
Derek Beres: Yeah, I am a Los Angeles based writer, fitness instructor. And I’ve worked in media for about 30 years, I have a background in religious studies is my academic studies that focused on Buddhism, and Taoism and Hinduism. And I’ve just been tracking the wellness community as a yoga instructor and as a journalist for decades now. And that is basically what brought me to where where we are right now. And I’ve known both Matthew and Julian for about a decade. And we seem to while we differ in certain regards, we have a lot of crossover. So that’s why we’ve decided to come together as a team.
Rick Archer: Okay, Matthew.
Matthew Remski: Yeah. joining you from Toronto. I’m Matthew Rimsky. And I am a cult researcher and journalist. I’m the survivor of two cultic experiences that have taken me about, I don’t know, 15 years to recover from. And over the past six years, I’ve kind of committed my research time to figuring out what cultic dynamics are, how they work, and how they infiltrate and really capitalize upon the vulnerabilities of spiritual communities, especially yoga and Buddhist communities. And yeah, I think I’ve got to the last book that I wrote was called practice on all this coming. And it’s an investigative study into the institutional abuse within Ashtanga Yoga, and its founder Pattabhi Jois. So yeah, that’s a little bit about me.
Julian Walker: I’m Julian Walker. I’m primarily a yoga teacher and a body worker and ecstatic dance DJ. I’ve been immersed in those kinds of things for the better part of 30 years and I think, through being in that community, over time, I found myself becoming a little bit of a critic of certain aspects of the New Age. Spiritual bypass I got more into psychology more into trauma healing, more into trying to understand what to me would be a more integrative approach that that was able to sort of reckon how spirituality, science and psychology might fit together in ways that that are sustainable. And I wrote an article for medium called Red Pill overlap, that was sort of my entry point into this domain that we’re going to be talking about today. So anyone wants to check that out? The subtitle is something like how New Agers have swallowed cumin on red pills.
Rick Archer: Okay. And for those of you who may not have watched the show before and don’t know who I am, my name is Rick Archer. As I said, I’ve been doing this show for about 11 years. I’m 71 years old, I learned transcendental meditation when I was 18. And actually haven’t missed a meditation since that day, a couple hours a day, on average over the years. I was a teacher of it for about 30 years, but I’m no longer in the TM movement. Because I kind of became too independent in my thinking, I would say I no longer fit comfortably within the confines of that organization. Although I I wish it no harm, but it did take on some cultish aspects that I didn’t feel comfortable with. In any case, okay, so now, I defined spirituality briefly in the beginning. Why don’t you guys give it a definition?
Derek Beres: Well, one thing that you had mentioned was oh, first off, thank you for having us on. Oh, should say that. So I really appreciate it.
Rick Archer: Oh, and let me just say before you go on that, you know, you have a podcast called can spirituality that can spirituality dotnet. And I have listened to every single episode, I think there’s 27 of them or something now, thank you. Yeah, in their entirety, and they’re two hours long, plus the bonus episode things. So I’ve really been a fan of your show and and I consider you guys much smarter than I am in better writers and more eloquent, but maybe a little bit of his has rubbed off in my listening. But in any case, go ahead.
Julian Walker: Well, we have to object to that, first of all, but go ahead.
Derek Beres: You had mentioned that a spiritual community and one thing that I think we can all recognize is there are many communities then and you know, we can say a broader understanding of people who care about wellness, holistic healing, yoga bodywork, even going into astrology and channeling. There’s a lot of different subsets. But what basically, the term can spirituality was coined academically in 2011, and first popped up in 2008 by a music group. But it was just coined to to reflect the growing merging of the wellness community who generally has a certain skepticism about the medical system and government and such with the more All right conspiratorial thinking. And it really is nothing new. You saw this crossover with the John Birch Society and the hippies in the 60s, you can probably go before that as well throughout the the 19th century as along with that, but the it really captured a sentiment that was particular to the yoga communities that were emerging, especially based in America and their their anti vaccination rhetoric, for example. And then it’s just really hit a fever pitch in the last year. And that’s why I think the term took off, I found it from Jules Evans wrote a piece based on the 2011 academic paper, and then I covered it for a big thing. And then that just kind of snowballed from there.
Matthew Remski: You know, I’ve got the abstract from that paper, which is really cool. It’s Charlotte’s Web, I’m sorry, Charlotte Ward and David veloce. And their papers called the emergence of conspiracy valatie. And they write that the female dominated New Age with its positive focus on self. And the male dominated realm of conspiracy theory with its negative focus on global politics may seem antithetical. There is, however, a synthesis of the two that we call can spirituality. We define, describe and analyze this hybrid system of belief. It has been noticed before without receiving much scholarly attention. It’s a rapidly growing web movement, expressing an ideology fueled by political disillusionment, and the popularity of alternative worldviews. It has international celebrities, bestsellers, radio and TV stations. It offers a broad political spiritual philosophy based on two core convictions. The first is traditional to conspiracy theory and the Second is rooted in the new age. So the first conviction they talk about is a secret group covertly controls or is trying to control the political and social order and to humanity is undergoing a paradigm shift in consciousness. Proponents believe that the best strategy for dealing with a threat of a totalitarian New World Order is to act in accordance with an awakened New Paradigm worldview. And one of the things they point out in the article is that can spirituality is a way for the tensions of a politically chaotic age to be soothed. Within the heart of the spiritualist, it’s
Julian Walker: important to remember too, that this is a paper you’re talking about from 2011. Correct. Yeah, yes. Something that nine, nine years, nine years ago, this phenomenon was being talked about already by these academics. And as Derek says, we can we can trace the roots back further. And we come along now, at this moment of global crisis, where something about the global crisis has pushed the envelope of this spirituality discourse into overdrive. And we were witnessing that all around us in terms of especially the social media feeds, of, you know, anyone who was involved in the yoga and wellness space.
Matthew Remski: And we might say, I think, too, that can spirituality reaches some sort of peak fever pitch with the infiltration of Q anon into wellness spaces, right. It’s not like that comes from nowhere. I mean, it’s its own, it has its own genealogy, but the ground is prepared for something like Q anon to explode
Julian Walker: nationally. Yeah. And the ground is prepared, perhaps we could say for people new to the concept, the ground is prepared by sort of propensity towards prophetic grand narratives, notions that we’re heading towards some kind of omega point, some kind of shift into a whole new reality, the Age of Aquarius is dawning some way in which there’s a grand battle between light and darkness that we see goes all the way back at least 6000 years ago, to ancient Sumeria. And any of these metaphysical notions about how what’s happening on the earthly plane right now has its sort of reference point in some celestial revealed prophetic sort of context.
Rick Archer: And, you know, I must confess that that idea is not too far fetched to my way of thinking, I think that there, there’s a subtle dimension to everything, and that there’s a lot of stuff going on in subtle dimensions, and maybe some of that bubbles up to the surface. And I do feel like a paradigm shift is is afoot. And I and I’m not uncomfortable with the term Great Awakening. But unfortunately, it because I think maybe after this paradigm shift, if it is indeed happening, things will be very different than much better. But um, these terms have been concepts have been appropriated by Q anon to as the most extreme example, and then twisted and turned into something dark. It’s, it’s a strange phenomenon, much as there’s a reality to child sexual abuse. And yeah, yeah, that concept was taken and misappropriated. And next thing, you know, it’s all the Democrats and movie stars that are doing it and underground tunnels and drinking the children’s blood, and it turns into this really weird, bizarre thing.
Julian Walker: That’s right. That’s right. And I just wanted to add, and thank you for saying that, right. Because that, as with any set of mythopoetic, symbols, any set of of metaphysical kind of landmarks, how, how healthy, how integrated, how grounded in reality, how fluid one is able to be in terms of how you interpret the metaphor makes all the difference. And with the kind of pressure that we’ve been under. I think there’s a certain percentage of people who’ve just popped over into this way of interpreting all of that stuff. That is incredibly intense, to say the least very preoccupying, very dark.
Derek Beres: We should point out to that the Great Awakening, I’m reading a 700 page history of the event in the angelical movement in America right now, in the Great Awakening was the term used for the First and the Second Great Awakening in 18th and 19th century. So the there’s a repetition of this idea that we’re coming to some sort of grid point. Right. And I would just add with the subtle aspect of it, I don’t actually think it’s so subtle. I think part of the problem is we’ve disconnected from our environment so much. And there’s plenty of evidence that even minor shifts in temperature affect us greatly. So we’re, what I think a big part of that shift is, is just climate change. And we’re reacting in ways that we don’t even recognize because we are intertwined with our environment, as Alan Watts would say, we weren’t born into this world we grew up out of it. So of course the processes of nature are going to affect us. socially, emotionally and in every other capacity.
Julian Walker: And to your point as well, part of that prophetic, sort of reoccupation is that it’s happening now. It’s happening in our time when people always think that the end of the world is coming while I’m alive. And Jesus is returning while I’m alive, right?
Rick Archer: Isn’t it true that in the past when there have been major pandemics and other kind of serious social problems, like for instance, in the 1930s, in Germany, where there was incredible, you know, economic strife, that it’s been a very ripe field for conspiracy theories to sprout?
Matthew Remski: For sure. And certainly, the cultural stressors are key. You know, and in some of our earlier episodes, we were really we were really solid on the research, in that regard, that it’s pretty pretty much understood that the conspiracy mindset satisfies at least three different particular needs amongst those who gravitate towards it. So there are there are epistemic epistemic needs or that the need to feel that one knows more than one’s fellows or one knows what’s coming when is when is secure, or more secure, because the mystery of life is a little bit less opaque. And then there might be existential needs, as well as in you know, if I have this knowledge, I will actually survive some coming catastrophe. And then, of course, there’s the, you know, the social the bonding needs, where the, you know, the the conspiratorial thinking thinker can often find themselves a found family amongst like the amongst the like minded. So,
Derek Beres: to address that, specifically, Rick, the Great Depression was a within just affect America affecting the entire planet. And countries like Italy, and Germany responded with fascism. America responded with the New Deal. And so you see how the unfolding of history happens. How we respond now is going to dictate what happens in the future generations and hopefully with the incoming administration will have a better response. But given the last few years, we can see how very easily we can and still may slip into some sort of fascism or authoritarianism here, but you are absolutely right in that the the during pandemics whenever the balance of life is thrown off in some capacity. Can the entire society is right for conspiratorial thinking at that moment?
Matthew Remski: Can I just pick up on something, Rick, because I we’re at the beginning still of our discussion, and I don’t want this to get lost. And I also think it might frame the way we go on and talk about this. I didn’t know until you said off the top that you were 71 years old. And that’s just a couple couple years younger than my than my father. I’m 49. And when you say that, you know, this, the paradigm shift, as an idea, as a cultural narrative is something that has been resonant with you. I know that that’s been true for for many people in your generation. And I just want to like first of all, honor that but also like, ask you maybe about how what it feels like to see the the hopefulness and the ultra wisdom and perhaps the idealism of that postwar period, go through this transformation and weaponization in a way, because I hear I mean, I might be projecting, but that’s part of what I hear. In even in you, you inviting us on.
Rick Archer: Well asked me again, if I don’t answer your question properly. Yeah. But I’ve always been interested in the way it’s like Elon put it this way. I think when people are, people never can envision how different the future might be. When they’re, you know, if you were alive in 1860, you couldn’t have possibly imagined what things are going to be like today would have been science fiction. And I feel like the pace of change has been increasing throughout our lifetimes. And so I fully expected things to change a lot during the course of my life. And I felt that there would necessarily be a tumultuous period, as things were shifting because if we are indeed to arrive at a more enlightened society, somehow, there are a lot of entrenched things that will have to be shaken and dismantled. So you know, I’ve been thinking this way since the 70s. And no, so when this actually not only me, but a lot of people when this whole COVID thing started and everything else. I thought, well, maybe this is the big shake up, you know, that we’ve been expecting for so long. and hit me with another question because I’ve only half entered your question.
Matthew Remski: Well, I think I mean, you’re so you got your mantra, like in 1970, something
Rick Archer: ’68
Matthew Remski: I mean, that’s like a real turning point for so many things. And, and I just imagine that and you’ve practiced it for 40 years.
Rick Archer: 52
Matthew Remski: Yeah. My math is off. But like, I mean, nobody, nobody. I don’t know, there’s, there’s a thread of hopefulness and altruism in there. That as you know, I mean, you’re not, you’re not our target audience, let’s say for our podcast. And so and so, you know, a lot of people listening to us will say, Boy, you know, you’re uncovering this sort of shadow side of the spiritual world, or, or the spiritual industry that, you know, I’ve suspected was there for a long time. But it’s just interesting that you, you would be an avid listener as well, because, in a way, holding that holding that mantra for 52 years, is it signifies a lot of faith. And I imagine, I imagine a certain amount of hope as well.
Rick Archer: More really, experience, you know, I mean, the, the results for me were so immediate and so profound. And I mean, I was a high school dropout and, you know, druggie, and so on, and my life turned around so dramatically, that I was never, I mean, I didn’t take any motivation to keep going. Right. But, you know, in what I do, interviewing spiritually, Awakening people and having interviewed hundreds of them, and having eventually had to take some interviews down because of what God revealed about what, you know, people were up to. I’ve, you know, been into this scene for a long time, and I realized that there are all sorts of shadow things and that everybody’s a work in progress and many very half baked.
Derek Beres: Yeah, well, right now, sexism, man, it’s just me and you’re the perfect person to ask this because I just published a book on psychedelic therapy. One thing in 1968, specifically, that year that I found fascinating was that psychedelics are you know, that was when it started to become illegal LSD and such it wasn’t a schedule yet, but that was coming. But that year, one in three American adults were on tranquilizer or try to tranquilizer and I always find it fascinating that we look at, we look at the outliers to look at something like psychedelics, which is this huge mind expansion. It was very much entrenched in Woodstock in the spiritual communities at that time. But then the common American was being tranquilized. At that time, I actually grew up in a town called Milltown, which was the popular one back at that time, it was just phasing out and about 68. So, from your recollection of watching this spiritual growth and how things have shifted, how how, how influential was the spiritual community at that era, during that time, compared to just everyone you know, the common American,
Rick Archer: oh, it’s become a lot more mainstream. Obviously. Back in the day, when I started, there were only a few things to choose from, you could become a Hare Krishna, or you could practice yoga of some sort, or you can learn TM, there were just a handful of things. And now, you know, and it would be very rare to find some kind of yoga center in a town. But now obviously, it’s everywhere. So it’s and you know, the very notion that notation seemed weird back then. But now, you know, it’s practiced in corporate boardrooms, and so on. So the commodity, yeah, it’s become very, which is a good thing. I think it’s, it’s some people practice it, you know, or get into spirituality for maybe certain mundane reasons, like maybe they want to lower their blood blood pressure, but eventually they begin to discover that there’s a lot more to it. Now, I have a question. Well, you want to ask another question, or
Derek Beres: we might want you to get back to your job.
Rick Archer: Okay, going back and forth. So do you think that the spiritual community in general, is more susceptible to conspiracy theories than the general population, which is also really into them these days? For instance, I have friends in Sedona who have told me that maybe three quarters of the new agey type people there are into q&a. And if so, if the spiritual community is more susceptible, why do you think that is? Yeah, I think, Matthew, you’ve already given a couple of reasons, but maybe we can elaborate on it.
Matthew Remski: Julian, that’s your whole that’s your whole article. Yeah. Yeah.
Julian Walker: You know, my sense of it is that people who get involved in New Age, spirituality tends to be very open to new experience. They tend to be seekers. They tend to be people who are finding a deep sense of meaning and community and a set of beliefs that are outside of the mainstream. So they tend to sort of characterize themselves as being very skeptical and free thinking and open minded. And so there’s a, there’s a kind of that as part of spirituality, as I’m sure you’ll recognize, Rick, there’s a tendency to see too much critical thinking as maybe blocking your capacity for being in your heart, for example, that science is really limited and that there are all sorts of things outside of science, that that have profound spiritual meaning that we should put our faith in, or we should be open to in some way. So I think that that the spiritual community was always or spiritual communities, New Age folks, people who are in the yoga and wellness space, tended to already be open to unusual ideas, to see belonging to groups of people who saw things differently than the quote unquote, mainstream as something really positive. To play kind of, to kind of blur the lines a lot between scientific evidence, skepticism, critical thinking, and just wanting to believe things because they sound good, or, you know, and I’m being critical here. This is my speculation or because they make me feel special and important than I say that as someone who’s been involved in spirituality since I was a teenager, that the the idea of belonging to a group of people who are on the edge of humanity’s knowledge, who are kind of leading the way into a into a new age, who have have access to secret esoteric understandings that the mainstream doesn’t grasp, and therefore that dictates how we eat, what practices we do, what we believe how we think about all sorts of different topics, that I think that not only has made people susceptible to Q anon type ideas and to COVID denialism. But I think that there’s an aspect of Q anon that was specifically crafted to appeal to people like us.
Matthew Remski: There’s also a very distinct overlap between the the sort of research accepted three components of any kind of conspiracy framework and New Age spirituality. Most scholars agree that the the the three sort of key points of the the conspiratorial mindset are, everything is connected. Nothing happens by accident. And nothing is as it seems.
Rick Archer: And I agree with all three of those.
Matthew Remski: Well, exactly, exactly. And that’s, and that’s, that’s really kind of eerie to realize that, that, you know, you can utter the sort of the mantras of modern spirituality of globalized spirituality, but also be feeding the the processes of conspiracism. And I’d also say that, you know, we can speak about philosophical or psychological propensities or vulnerabilities to conspiratorial ality, but we also have to look at the money and the organization of the influencers involved. So I always argue that the yoga world and the wellness worlds are kind of Tinder boxes for can spirituality and Q anon because they are organized through a kind of charismatic influencer matrix, that is unregulated, right. And so and so we have, and this has happened from the 1960s onwards. And it’s been escalated and accentuated by social media. Of course, we have charismatic figureheads, who don’t really have clearly defined scopes of practice, who are who become prominent in their fields, which aren’t, you know, themselves clearly defined and are often taken to be experts in other fields as well, who builds up followings through their content that require renovation over and over and over again, there always has to be something new something some new kind of diet, some new spiritual practice that is being revealed a new channel teaching the next work workshop the next level, there’s always this sort of tiered sense of continual and necessary self improvement that never really ends and and what grows up in the economy of that is that the the production companies and the media platforms that make money through this content, generally link influencers together through affiliate deals that create very bonded relationships that then allow messaging to sort of like instantly horizontally spread through through networks. So, you know, it’s it doesn’t it’s not just that Christiane Northrup has 500,000 followers on Facebook, when she talks about the Great Awakening and the ascension from 3d to five deconnick justness and how, you know, you know the vaccines are filled with with luciferase. And so they’re going to inject the New World Order and stuff like that. It’s not just her 500,000 followers. It’s everybody who’s sharing and feeding and working with and involved with Hay House who publishes her books. We had a guest on Rebecca Berkey, who who actively is calling upon for former publisher now Hay House to reconsider their support for authors who are either spreading COVID denialism or que adjacent material because it’s simply harmful, and it’s specifically harmful to people of color. And she, you know, she’s so she’s made very passionate statements, a number of people have joined in with that, it’s very difficult to get the colleagues of somebody like Christiane Northrup, to say, You know what, I’m going to make a statement against this stuff. Because usually, what’s going on is that, you know, Christiane, has blurbed, my book, or, you know, I, I help affiliate for her online courses or something like that. And so there’s real financial risk actually, in being the person to ideologically reject, you know, a piece of content within this juggernaut.
Rick Archer: I think it was Upton Sinclair, who said, it’s very hard to get a man to believe something, if his salary depends upon not believing it.
Matthew Remski: Yeah, yeah. And, and I think that I think that it’s, this is also why it’s been astonishing, but also very predictable to see that over the nine months of the pandemic, you know, influencers, health and wellness, and spiritual influencers, who have come out as either COVID denialist, or as, you know, q&a non adjacent, that, uh, we don’t know of a single person who has walked anything back. We don’t know of a single person who has said, you know, what, actually, you know, I was wrong about the mask thing, and it looks like the science on aerosolization Just wasn’t fully formed yet. And oh, boy, you know, I’m really sorry that I spread a bunch of, you know, out of my lane, totally unqualified opinions about epidemiology when I’m like a singing bowls guy. I’m sorry that I did that. And I haven’t seen a single Is that am I right about that, guys? Like, we haven’t seen a single person walk anything back? No. And I want to just hubris. That’s not just hubris, it’s also it would cost them it would cost them in network relationships.
You’re circling around there one other point that I think is pertinent to Rick’s question, which is just basic scientific illiteracy, and the screwed up communities totally. And that’s, that’s just something away, and you’ll see it over and over again, I just listened to the Kyle Kingsbury JP Sears, podcast for research for next week’s spirituality. And at every turn, it’s just anti science, except when they cherry pick a little one study that fits their viewpoint, and then they bolster it up. And then they’re promoting Joseph Mercola as the ideal science guy in this episode. And it just really shows that that goes across the board science…
Matthew Remski: more than selling supplements, right? You know, the science, the science that would support their supplements, if they’re selling supplements. I mean, I mean, he sells on his I don’t know about Kingsbury, but like,
Derek Beres: Well, that was actually I think that’s a very pertinent point to this discussion was that Kyle mentions that, how are we going to trust a COVID vaccine that only has three months of data, and yet his podcast is sponsored by a company called on it, that is a supplements a nootropic. But basically a supplement company that has done as far as I’m aware, one clinical trial that they sponsored, and then release the data, which we all know the troubles with that. And then there is no long term efficacy for any of these nootropics. And so you have this again, it’s just cherry picking. It’s like, I’m gonna I’m gonna make money off this podcast by selling this. But then I’m going to go over here and say this 40,000 person trial is just nonsense
Julian Walker: Not strong enough. Not strong enough. I’m going to stay with my biohacking where I’m making all sorts of radical lifestyle changes based on no evidence whatsoever. Yeah, let me throw something here that it’s bro science, right?
Rick Archer: What did you say Julian?
Some of it is scientific illiteracy, and some of it is just bro science. It’s, you know, I’m gonna I’m gonna draw on whatever sciency sounding language supports this idea of how to be a kind of superhuman, you know, Adonis.
Rick Archer: Let me riff for a second on some of the points we’ve covered and have you guys chew on it after that. So this, Julian you were saying something like this a minute ago. Also, let me phrase it slightly differently. It seems to me that the whole spiritual endeavor is to discover something which is hidden I mean, pure pure consciousness is hidden, subtle realms if people are interested in angels or channeling, all that stuff is hidden. So there’s a sentiment that the hidden stuff is more true than the obvious stuff. And
Something that can be discovered through through some kind of experience, right, or some kind of process. And as, as with yourself, and I, all of us, I think, have experienced in our own ways, though, not probably not for as long and as deeply as you have. Through a practice that you apply yourself to, you’re discovering aspects of your being and perhaps a reality that before you didn’t know about, right,
Rick Archer: yeah. And so, you know, if this if the idea is that the that the hidden stuff is true, then I think it’s not a big step from there to think that well, anything else that’s alleged to be hidden, must also be true, or might also be true? So
Derek Beres: It rhymes, right?
Rick Archer: Yeah. And so there’s all kinds of conspiracy theories that, that refer to, you know, the Cabal, or the Illuminati or, you know, all kinds of hidden stuff. And people sort of buy into that. And there’s some, there’s some justification for that. Because I mean, if you read a book, like, I don’t know, People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn, or, you know, there have been many horrible things that have been hidden, hidden from us, and
Yeah, so there are real conspiracies,
Rick Archer: yeah,
Julian Walker: they’re exposed through good journalism, good scholarship evidence, well reasoned arguments. And then there are what get named as conspiracy theories, that it’s not just a matter of subjective opinion, they tend to be cobbled together from very weak evidence, lots of logical fallacies, lots of leaps, speculative, paranoid leaps in the explanatory style, that don’t actually add up when you look at them carefully enough. And I think, what links up to what your what you’re asking, or what you’re sort of riffing on goes back to something Matthew said, you know, before he changed the subject, and went even deeper about patterns, and and everything is connected, right, everything happens for a reason, nothing is as it seems, there is good research. Well, there is some interesting research, I should say, that people whose brains tend to produce more dopamine, we tend to be more on the side of the spectrum that has a particular relationship to dopamine, have a greater likelihood to see patterns where there isn’t really a pattern. And we get excited about finding patterns and pattern patterns seeking behavior. And pattern recognition is something that has huge evolutionary survival value for us, for all for all human beings, right. But some of us are more on that side of the spectrum than others. And when you when you start to see patterns that you become very excited about as showing you hidden information that is framed them as having some sort of absolute spiritual significance. That’s you’re in very interesting territory at that point. And my question is always, is it possible to have an integrated relationship to contemplative experience or spiritual exploration awareness practices, such that what you discover through the experiential process doesn’t automatically get literalized as being somehow absolutely true in an unassailable way that doesn’t require any evidence in the world outside of your meditation chamber?
Rick Archer: Yeah, there’s a famous quote from the Buddha, which you guys might get more precisely, but it’s something like, don’t believe something just because somebody says it. Even if I say it, the Buddha’s saying, you know, scrutinize, use your intellect, use use your common sense.
Julian Walker: That’s the tricky part in all of this is that the idealizing of direct personal subjective experience as a doorway into ultimate spiritual truths that then imply and translate over into the world outside of your revelatory experience, that’s a sleight of hand that I think all of us in the spiritual community would do well to, to step back from and, and, and ask some really good epistemological questions. How do we know what’s true? How do we how do we categorize these different domains? Yeah, as far as I’m concerned, do as much sugar as much meditation as much psychedelics lie in the in the isolation chamber, like go deep into all of that, but stay clear about the relationships between these different domains just because I say I had a direct experience that shows me that 5g is coming and the reptilian overlords need to be overthrown, and they’re working through the Cabal that is sacrificing children and drinking their blood. That that’s that’s a claim of Revelation. Let’s find out if it’s actually true in the world. There are there are ways to find that out. Right. And
Matthew Remski: well, and that’s why I want to I want to come back, Julian and just pick up the thread around how is the real conspiracy unraveled? And, you know, one of the things that we try to do on the podcast is is hew to like really specific standards for evidence, which means, you know, we’re going to check sources, we’re going to make sure we go to primary sources As much as we can, we, there’s nothing that we publish anywhere that we can’t stand behind, you know, through the process of fact fact checking that we put ourselves through. And you know, when a lot of people don’t understand that, you know, Derek’s been doing journalism for longer than I have. But when I submit, you know, a feature investigation to, you know, the walrus magazine or to Jen by medium, every single sentence is footnoted, sometimes twice, and then there’s a professional fact checker that is going to be emailing me constantly for two weeks about every single one of those footnotes. And then they’re going to be calling my interview subjects to verify that what they heard in the tape was actually what they really intended to say. And so and so one of the ways in which can spirituality works is that it’s either ignorant of that entire process, that people actually do have modes of finding out a reasonable set of facts about something, or it just doesn’t want to accept the fact that there are standards for doing that, because it wants to rely on internal experience just too much. And then the other thing that I wanted to pick up, Rick about what you were saying about the things that are hidden, you know, I, I had this job in a coffee shop when I was probably 15 years old, and some guy who I think was, you know, smoking a lot of grass. At the time, he he, we went for a walk after we close down at night, or no, we were cleaning up and he picked up a spoon, I’m sure he was high. He picked up a spoon. And he said, he said, you know, have you ever thought about how much this actually costs? And I said, What do you mean? He said, Well, you know, the the cafe owner probably bought it for 75 cents, but like how much does it actually cost? Like if you could tally up the the the human labor and ingenuity and the machines that put this into production, and the order that went into it, and all of the history and the labor and the blood, sweat and tears and all of the like he just gave this sort of genealogy of the spoon that made me see that the value assigned to it actually denies its reality as a beautiful thing. And I and I think there was something that clicked that moment for me about the fact that I’m being told by spirituality all the time that there is something mysterious, that is hidden. I’m told that by psychology as well. But I think what’s more closer to my heart, actually, is the fact that I don’t look at the spoon really closely enough, I don’t look at where it comes from. I don’t I don’t, I don’t really write its history, or take it into me, and I just use it in this blind fashion. And, you know, reminds me of what my late friend, Michael Stone used to say, which is that, you know, we don’t, we don’t need to be less materialistic, we need a deeper form of materialism. And I think that if we, if we actually, like pay attention to the things that we can actually see the things that we that can be verified. You know, that’s another pathway for spirituality that might be less vulnerable to things like human on.
Rick Archer: But even then, to pay more attention to the things we actually see, implies a deeper appreciation of them. And the deep. And the deeper appreciation isn’t just like, how you know, how they’re manufactured, or where the minerals came from, and all that stuff, it has to do with more, I would in, in my terminology, it has to do more with appreciating the divine that’s, that’s inherent in every particle of creation. And the intelligence that you can see operative if you if you think about what you’re actually looking at. It’s just mind boggling and and awe inspiring.
Matthew Remski: Yeah, maybe maybe we’re talking about the same thing. And you’re using the term divine. And I’m talking about and I’m talking about the wonderment of all of this sort of causal details. Yeah, I’m actually really we’re in the same form of wonderment. Right?
Rick Archer: Yeah. So I know one of you is called yourself an atheist. And I would probably say that I don’t believe in the same God you don’t believe in. But I wouldn’t call myself an atheist. Because I feel like every little particle of creation is just pervaded by an orchestrated by some kind of very profound intelligence. But this is a little off the off the beam of our whole topic here.
Matthew Remski: Really. You came out as a TM guy, so it’s, I think it’s on point.
Derek Beres: Okay. And I would I would just count on because I’m the atheist. I very much take Steven Batchelors approach to compare to Buddhism of AI and I think it is it does become a matter of terms. You know, because Julie and I actually talk a lot about VS Ramachandran, who is one of our favorite neuroscientists who speaks poetically and elegantly and eloquently about The wonder of our brain when you think about the poetry of science. And that’s something that’s gets overlooked. I do want to take off on Matthews point, though, because I understand what you’re saying about seeing the wonderment in things. But I think the spiritual community in general, could be a little better served if they looked at that supply chain. The Guardian, about a year ago, released an investigative story about crystals, and how crystals that sell for $1,000 in the US that are presented as this spiritual auric, you know, tool that will help people achieve their spirituality. Well, the people that are mining them in this in Africa are getting paid less than $1 for that crystal, and a lot of child labor, and a high number of deaths to produce that crystal. And so when you look at it from that sense, where’s the spiritual aspect of it? And that’s something that personally I concern myself a little bit more with, because if you want to understand the foundations of something, you should know, the origins and where it comes from. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Okay. Does anyone have a comment on that? Or should I throw in a question?
Julian Walker: Well, let me just say, as a follow on from that, that, you know, one of the things I said in my little introduction that, that I’ve been really fascinated with, because you know, I’m a yoga teacher, I’m a meditation teacher, I’m, I’m as invested in, in interior contemplative work as, as I think any of us is spiritual bypass. And from what I started to see for myself, in my own process, and then in the people around me over time, probably over the last 20 years is that spiritual bypass is a very compelling, soothing, captivating thing thing to get wrapped up in, where essentially there’s a and often we’re doing it unconsciously, there’s an avoidance of everything about reality, everything about being human, from the psychological to the political, to the economic realities that were just being discussed. There’s a bypassing all of that and an attempt to just be in the bliss, and just be in the divine revelation and just be in the deep knowingness of the perfection of everything as it is. And very rarely do I talk to someone who talks that kind of game who can tolerate me saying something like, what about the five year old kid who gets leukemia? What about the sexual abuse trauma? What about the Holocaust? You know, how do you how do you read and it’s fine if you can record all of that and and and hold it in an integrated way. Kudos to you. But I rarely find that and that’s a telltale sign that spiritual bypass is going on?
Matthew Remski: Yeah. And you know, I think we have to add to that, I don’t think anybody’s done this yet. But well, Woods framework for spiritual bypassing really has to be, I think, revision now in terms of how it’s technologically expanded because, you know, if you take if you take spiritual communities online, and you start delivering spiritual content online within this format that’s actually designed for dissociation that’s designed for this, like frictionless, you know, kind of leaving of your body and the isolation of your, you know, in front of your screen, you’ve really doubled down on something, it’s like you’ve pulled, you’ve extracted the worst possible outcome from the the content in a somatic sense through through the participation aspect of the technology.
Julian Walker: Yeah, and so then we we maybe touch briefly on something like a platform like Gaia TV, right writer, right, we’ll just have endless choice of all manner of different fantastical conspiracy theories. And you know, History Channel’s sort of sort of write wild stuff.
Matthew Remski: And so you can kind of like instead of doom scrolling, you can like bliss scroll, but but the impact is the same right? Because you’re not actually I mean, that’s
Julian Walker: is the same but but even though you’re bliss scrolling this is where this is where the hinges right? The the stuff that you’re finding this is true of a lot of the figures that we cover, the stuff that you’re finding is inspiring, and it has spiritual overtones, but it also has all kinds of other stuff in there that is, yeah, it’s incredibly Yeah,
Matthew Remski: yeah. And you won’t but you wouldn’t it’s a combination of doom and bliss scrolling, isn’t it? Because you because you wouldn’t you wouldn’t be punching the David Ike video unless you were terrified of something. So So there’s other there’s something else that is very weird and manipulative within can spirituality, which is this sort of double handed, give and take thing where the influencer is, on one hand, always trying to scare the shit out of you. And on the other hand, trying to To make you feel like a million bucks, or that you’re loved or welcome or something like that, and the best example that we had of this in real time was like Mickey Willis releasing on May 5, or may 4, or whatever it is the first pandemic movie, and everybody, you know, shitting their pants over it. And then the next day, he goes on his Facebook, and he says, and he says, you know, everybody, he just gazes into the camera, and he says, everybody, I know that you’re so you know, you know, it’s a hard time and I just want you to know that I’m with you. And all of this. I’m paraphrasing, of course, but he set himself up as like the consoler the sort of the sort of spiritual counselor for the people who he had scared crapless right. And so, there’s, that’s a that’s a, that’s a almost like a mathematically sound marketing technique.
Absolutely. It’s, it’s a, it’s, it’s the, I’m gonna, I’m gonna traumatize you, and then make you need me because I’ve traumatized you. But the thing that you left out about that, in that description, is he looked into the camera with those steely blue eyes and said, I am willing to die for it.
Right, exactly. Right. So so there was a Yeah, so even even within the the sort of love poem to the audience, there was there was this kind of like, weird veiled suicidality, that that can only feel apocalyptic and can only be, you know, emotionally manipulative.
Well, it’s also self aggrandizing. Because if what I’m saying is so important, and
Matthew Remski: I’m willing to die for right
Julian Walker: The power structure, that they’re, they might kill me, because I said that to you, right. But I’m, I’m so great.
Matthew Remski: Right? Yeah, I mean, I would die of shame if I made that.
Rick Archer: So let’s segue a bit here. We can always just keep moving around to whatever topics come to mind. But I have a question. A few questions that came in from Felix in Bangkok. I’ll ask them one at a time. What steps what steps to take when dealing with loved ones who become conspiracy theory believers so that you can a) keep a healthy relationship with with them and b) you don’t enable them but you actually help them?
Wow. Most Received question. Yeah. Yeah. And you know, we did a we did an episode maybe isn’t number six or seven with Steve Hasson who’s like a cult recovery expert. He was in he you know, while you were getting your mantra. Rick, he was joining the Unification Church and becoming a recruiter for the Moonies and you know, he got himself out of that. That’s actually his hashtag. Now I got out because and actually, he’s he’s become kind of a, you know, a more well known figure because, you know, people are asking Him this question precisely about their their family members who have gotten sucked into queue and on and so on. But, you know, he he argues and, and a lot of the cult recovery experts like, you know, Rachel Bernstein and John de la leche and other people argue that if you know the person well, you are responsible for remembering the person they were before they got read pilled. And you can actually hold that secure relationship as much as you can. Or if you can, it’s really good because the the, you know, the brain worm, the community that surrounds it, perhaps even if there’s cultic dynamics going on. It’s it’s offering a false sense of security. It’s a false safe haven, it’s not actually going to, you know, stand by them. We can even see this now is that is as cue hasn’t posted for like 19 days at this point. main influencers within Q anon are just tearing each other to shreds. They’re not friends. They never were they were opportunistically affiliated, you know, within a cultic structure. And so and so if you’re the friend of somebody who gets sucked into that influence, you’re the person who can actually continue to show friendship. You know, not enabling them. That’s really complicated.
Derek Beres: The best lining missing though, from Steve, was that to have some cookies ready for them when they returned?
Matthew Remski: Yeah, because he actually tells that story from his from his own from his own recovery, that he was deprogrammed back in the day when people were still doing that very dangerous operation which didn’t work out often. And you know, that his his next door neighbor asked no questions that you know, the sort of like, the buggy across the street just didn’t just welcomed him back and said, you know, we were really worried about you and here are some cookies and he was able to start his life again.
Derek Beres: That doesn’t make it easy, right?
Matthew Remski: It doesn’t make it easy and but, you know, for people for listeners who want to know more about how people are struggling with this I’m working this out, they can go to the subreddit called Q anon casualties, where I just look today, and it’s now got 50,000 members. These are people who are talking with each other and sharing their stories about what has happened to their, to their family members, who have gotten sucked into Q anon or into various can spirituality schemes, and how they’re managing and what resources they’re finding. So yeah, it’s it’s a growing, it’s a growing body of, of literature. And it’s super, super hard.
Julian Walker: Yeah. And I would also just say, to feel like it’s part of part of what we’ve discovered, and a lot of this comes from talking to Steve Hassan is that it’s, it’s helpful to realize that you’re not going to talk them out of it, they’ve, they’ve gotten sucked into something very deep, that has a lot of emotional significance for them. And so arguing with them, is probably not the way to go talk to them about other things, talk to them about their lives, about the real world about the things you have in common, stay connected, if they’re important to you keep being the empathic connection between them and the real world that’s going on while they’re caught up in this, you know, hallucinatory. And that’s
Matthew Remski: and that said, You’ve got to keep safe as well, like, I know, families that are, you know, torn apart because somebody has been influenced by Cuban on to become a COVID denialist. And they’re actually endangering their extended family members by refusing to take precautions. You know, what do you like this? It’s incredible. What do you what do you do? You know, the, the recovery theory says, maintain the secure bond, but the virus just screws all of that up at some point. Yeah. You got to isolate to, in certain circumstances, no easy calls for sure.
Rick Archer: Here’s a second question from Felix, which we’ve sort of covered. But I think maybe we can say a bit more. He says, I no intelligent, empathic, well read spiritual people who fallen prey to right wing conspiracy nonsense. Is there a clear set of attributes that cause one to be susceptible to these conspiracy theories?
Matthew Remski: You know, I think I think Julian has pointed out a number of the kind of philosophical psychological vulnerabilities. But to the extent that people get roped into Q Anon, or into the sphere of a charismatic influencer, who’s pushing COVID denialism, it’s really helpful to know that, you know, in the cult research, there, there aren’t solid predictors for who is vulnerable or who gets recruited. But what is acknowledged is that when anybody is going through a period of what’s called situational vulnerability, you know, you’re, you’ve been through a divorce, there’s been a death in the family, you’ve lost your job, you’ve had to move, stuff like that, that, that that’s a point at which the safe haven of the new community, the new worldview, you know, the transcendent etiology and the radiant, you know, charismatic figure can look really attractive. And, you know, that’s, that’s, that’s, I think, that goes along. It does a lot of work to explain why a global pandemic is the flashpoint for, you know, the the logarithmic expansion of spirituality. It’s just the perfect setup, because everybody is basically situationally vulnerable.
And continuing on what I said before, I think, along with scientific illiteracy, you have to consider political illiteracy. And in America, we can live in a country where you don’t ever really have to vote and none of your freedoms will be taken away because of that. So there’s a certain sense of privilege and luxury that Americans have had where they could check out. One field that I’ve covered repeatedly over the years for a big thing is the differences between collectivist and individualist cultures. And there is no perfect culture, of course, but collectivist cultures, and he’s writing from Thailand, and a lot of Asian cultures are specifically collectivist.
Rick Archer: I think he’s Swiss, but he’s living in Thailand, but okay, well, yeah.
Derek Beres: My wife is Thai. So I very much appreciate the culture. The these cultures at least have a recognition that their actions are never for them alone. It’s how does it affect the community. And that’s not saying that people in these cultures don’t get pulled into conspiracy theories or anything of that nature. But there is a sense a shared sense of suffering and a shared sense of liberation that exists in certain cultures. And that doesn’t exist in America. And that’s why I think this is the place where Q anon would have started and now we can see obviously spreading out where does it spread out to predominantly Australia, London, Germany, very individualistic cultures. And then from there, it’ll gone.
Rick Archer: I’ve heard that as an explanation of why things have gone I’m pretty well in South Korea and Japan and places like that, because people have this sense of community and less individualism. So they’ve actually cooperated with the authorities who wanted to put like tracking devices on their phones and get them to wear masks, and so on and so forth.
Matthew Remski: Right. Yeah, I mean, one thing I wanted to add was that, you know, aside from the cultural analysis, and the broad strokes that we can, we can point there, we can paint there, I think it’s really good to acknowledge that the, if we’re talking about the vulnerability of spiritual and wellness communities to this stuff, it’s really good to understand that these economies have grown in tandem with the escalation of neoliberal politics from the 1970s onwards, which have emphasized, you know, individualism, you know, self care and self responsible ism, you know, don’t rely less than less upon the notion of the common good, because, you know, we don’t know actually know that it’s going to be there, because we’re moving into like a techno utopia in which everybody’s needs are going to be fulfilled. And so we don’t need labor unions anymore, because robots are coming, and so on, and so forth. Entrepreneurial hustle. Right, exactly. And so and so, you know, just consider this, this, this comes from something that I was working on a years ago, if we just think about what, what yoga represents, as a spiritual practice folk that focused upon physical culture that explodes in popularity from the 80s, on what does it value, it values, flexibility, receptivity, the ability to be resilient, the ability to become strong and independent, and, you know, salute the sun and build internal fire and heat and all of these great things that are actually ideal for a more and more hyper individualistic society, and ideal for a new economic class of gig workers, ie yoga teachers, you know, who aren’t going to depend upon, you know, their employers for benefits, who aren’t going to ask that, you know, they unionize who aren’t going to, you know, there, there’s this whole sort of, like generation of people whose spirituality is defined by a kind of individualistic economy, economics and politics. And, and it’s like, you know, yoga is this perfect religion for, you know, a sociology and, and an economy that is, basically you’ve got to take care of yourself, and you have to be flexible, and you have to flow with whatever comes right. Because, you know, we’re not going to take care of you, you’ve got to take care of yourself.
Julian Walker: Well, and part of that, too, in terms of the being in the yoga community, because I’ve worked in it in here in LA for 25 years, is that there’s this there’s this crossover, where very often your employer is also kind of your spiritual teacher. Right, and there’s no, there’s no unions, and there’s no, you have no recourse. Everything is negotiated just between you and your, your guru, so to speak, or the or the person who has your both your spiritual and your financial well being in the palm of their hand. So you’re not going to push back against the fact that really what I started to realize is that a lot of studio owners have we’re giving yoga teachers, the worst of both worlds, right, is that you’re on all the things where you would want independence, you work for me and you and you better stay in line and all the things where they should be taking care of you while you’re on your own. You’re an independent contractor. I really, really not good. But I wanted to pick up on what Derek was saying a moment ago, too, which is that in a privileged society, where a lot of spiritual people are going to be going into spiritual bypass, part of what’s bypass is politics. And so when something like this happens, and conspiracy theories come along, that have a lot of political content, what you have is a group of people with an openness to new experience a new information, who likes feeling like they’re in on a secret that’s hidden, who are not fluent in politics, and are suddenly hearing all of this old dry political stuff, and not knowing how to process it and buying into it because it’s wrapped up in a package of spiritual sounding, you know, material or
Matthew Remski: they literally spiritualize it with like a channel or Laurie LOD going on and on about how Trump is a lightworker instead of like a mobster politician who accidentally got elected to, you know, he’s not about I mean, so. So, I think I think that you’re right. It’s it’s like politics, and, and real political sort of consequence in the world. filtered through this images stick myth of poetic Yeah, you know, archetypal union thing where, you know, you know, Kamala Harris becomes a symbol of something. Yes. Somebody instead of a prosecutor with a track record that you can find.
Julian Walker: Exactly. It’s I mean, we covered it on the on the public cast, but there was something we didn’t mention, you know, when we talked about that. And sorry, Rick, there’s a little insight, but it’ll be interesting to you. And I know you’ve listened when we talked about the gathering the prayer meeting for Trump on election night, right? And one of the things that was said in that prayer that everyone was like a holding to and doing the Ayahuasca breath to and you know, very, very earnestly kind of,
Rick Archer: oh, this is the thing with Mickey Willis and JP Sears and somebody else, yes.
Julian Walker: What we know and we affirm now that all of the ways in which you have appeared, oh, yeah, someone who is ignoble in all of these different ways that characterize Trump was absolutely necessary for the plan for the divine coming together of the what we are all involved in right now. And that is astonishing.
Matthew Remski: And you could and you can see if we’re talking about people who have spiritual community or ashram experience in that room and Asha, in that room in Austin, you can see that actually framing the fact that you know, Donald Trump is a sexual predator that there’s there’s all of these these allegations against him. That that has to be like transformed, but in a way that is understood by this crowd as being you know, both not real but appealing because it appears to be real but appealing to a certain demographic that it wouldn’t work for otherwise,
Rick Archer: but they keep referring to him as a five d chess player and and he’s he’s playing against a bunch of rubes who are actually think they think they’re playing checkers, you know,
Julian Walker: yeah, know exactly that everything about him that appears to be incompetent, and venal and intentional. amoral is actually all a trickster kind of brilliant, really population.
Matthew Remski: And didn’t we do the same thing with Osho? And don’t we do the same thing with Shogun Trungpa and always do the same thing with Swami Vishnu Vivekananda. These are these are people who are absolute wrecks of human beings, obviously, and on the surface with no self control, totally incontinent. They’re abusing everybody around them. And the buzz around them is completely reversed. And it has to be because otherwise the cognitive dissonance of the community is would just be overwhelmed. Yeah, it would have strokes.
Rick Archer: I mean, Chuck Dzogchen was delirious because of his alcoholism. And the people around them. Were saying that he was experiencing subtle realms, you know, right,
Matthew Remski: right. Yeah. And that he was communicating with the Riggins and and and hallucinating Shambala into existence. He was dead drunk. And everybody knew he was everybody knew he was, you know, and his lieutenants are feeding and bumps of cocaine. And they’re telling the the lieutenant’s that don’t know that, that they have some mystical substance from Tibet.
Rick Archer: Let me pop a question in here from that which relates to what we’ve just been talking about. This is from Sarah in Reykjavik, Iceland. She says, Do you think sensationalist media like Fox News has played a part in creating a subculture that is more susceptible to being taken in by conspiracy theories? What is the role of the media in shaping viewers capacity to weigh facts and arrive at logical conclusions?
Derek Beres: Well, let me media has been my field for almost 30 years. And one point I want to make first off, is that one trigger that I have during this whole time and I’ve had for years is there’s no such thing as the mainstream media. These are dozens and hundreds of competing organizations who are all trying to get consumer attention. So the idea that there is one unified media that’s controlling the narrative, that’s just laziness, that’s journalistic laziness, because they’ll just there’s certain organizations that will just run with a story without doing the proper fact checking behind it. That being said, yeah, the media is influential there. I mean, but the media has always been played that role in some capacity. If you look at the history of media over the last number of centuries, there’s never been a time where they weren’t controlling the narrative or in cahoots with either the government or with businesses. That’s that’s just always been the case. So you have something what I think is the more interesting question right now specific to Fox News. It’s how it’s being cannibalized because they became slightly critical of some of the things that that actually Joe Biden did win the presidency. And then you can see how quickly it turns on them. And so your media is that’s the thing we reach
Rick Archer: in other words, what you’re saying in case people didn’t catch that so Fox News began to acknowledge that Biden had won and all of a sudden people began leaving them in droves and going to parlor and One World News or whatever it’s called One America America.
Derek Beres: That’s that’s one thing that I think everyone has to realize like we reach a good amount of listeners. We’ve been growing exponentially since we launched it’s been nice, but compared to the people we cover, who have millions of years, they are the media so when when JP Sears when Mickey Willis when these people come out and say the media, the media, they are media too, they are producing in the same way They are so the influence that’s that’s the fascination about the digital age is that the influence? It really is just about capturing eyeballs. And if you’re capturing millions of eyeballs, your media as well, yeah.
Matthew Remski: And to speak specifically to sensationalism within the question. I just think back to Noam Chomsky in Manufacturing Consent, being asked being asked a question on television about, you know, the the capacity to communicate cogent narratives, or cogent ideas. And he basically starts his answer by saying, Well, you know, the problem with television as a format is that I don’t think that a complex idea can be explored in less than about eight minutes. And usually, we have commercial breaks interrupting at five minute intervals. And he’s in the middle of explaining this, and they interrupt to go to commercial. And and I think that I mean, that’s back in the 1990s, or maybe even the late 1980s. And I think that one of the things that that obviously has happened is that, you know, news, print journalism has, has has been reduced in terms of its investigative capacity, there’s less money for it. You know, as somebody who writes regularly, four to 5000 words for payment, it’s harder and harder to get those contracts. But also, you know, news media has become minified it has become reduced to, you know, sloganeering to, you know, color splashes to aphorisms, and it really meets its peak reductionism in the the meme economy of the 4chan network, which is kind of like, you know, if you boiled down the hot takes of fox, fox news down to their sort of, like, essence, you wind up with with Fortune means. And so there’s a there’s a reductionistic and sensationalistic project that has nothing to do really with the communication of complex ideas, or the betterment of society, or accountability. All of the function of it is provocation. And so yeah, I really appreciate the question. It absolutely plays into two into
Julian Walker: two is that I feel like with the advent of the 24 hour news cycle with with cable news becoming so dominant, you no longer just have a relatively neutral news broadcast that everyone is watching on the on the major channels, suddenly you have these cable channels, which end up becoming more and more polarized in their political editorializing. And then their continuous breaking news cycle, sensationalist bullshit, right where they’re telling you the same story from a slightly different angle every every few minutes and saying that it’s new, or, or going to press too quickly with something that they haven’t really checked out or verified. That’s still a developing story. So you have all of that. And then on top of that, we’re in this collision between what I see as postmodern relativism coming from the left, where what is truth, what is a fact everything is merely a perspective, it all depends on what you believe in, you know, all manner of different things like that. Colliding with this whole notion that anything I don’t like on the right must be fakeness. And, and Trump has played a huge role in that in terms of discrediting the media and pulling all of the standard kind of dictator tactics around how to relate to news media, so as to make people not believe them when they report the truth about his his various peccadilloes. And that actually is a perfect setup, then for a New Age community that wants to believe various things. And we’ll see it especially around say alternative medicine, and we’ll see any any scientific pushback against that as being some kind of way of suppressing the truth that me and the people in my community all believe, right? So it’s a facts, evidence, truth, all of these things start to become very fuzzy.
Rick Archer: An interesting question came in from someone named Wesley in Oregon, he said, What is the responsibility of seekers in communities to keep them healthy and accountable? Rick, I’ve heard you and others in panel discussions discussed the importance of seekers speaking up when things are getting unhealthy, I agree, and yet I wonder how realistic it is to expect seekers to do that. Seekers are often not psychologically integrated and might not feel strong enough to speak up.
Julian Walker: Yeah, I think it’s a responsibility of teachers and it’s a responsibility of the organizations and that what would be you know, we were in an unregulated Wild West in terms of of spirituality.
Rick Archer: Well, but before As usually the teachers that are getting unhealthy they’re going off the rails and yeah, having
Julian Walker: some kind of organizational accountability, having some kind of power structure within which within which complaints can be brought and within which, you know, people, people have peer to peer review, and perhaps even that they’re accountable to someone above them. I think that
Matthew Remski: can be really I’ll be totally I’ll be totally frank, about this one, though. You know, I spent three, three years writing a book about institutional abuse in Ashtanga Yoga I’ve published on institutional abuse and Shivananda yoga, in Shambala International. I’ve followed, you know, the Rigpa, international story very closely, dharma ocean, many, many others. Satyananda yoga, I have yet to see any reform, any meaningful reform, we’ve even gotten to the point with some organizations where independent investigators have been hired to do extensive interviewing to look into, you know, widespread abuses, I haven’t seen any meaningful reform in spiritual institutions at all, the the me to movement has blown through the yoga world and the Buddhist world and kind of rearrange the furniture is what has happened, what has happened, and, and what and so what that leaves us with is, you know, survivors who have lost their spiritual homes, apologists who are kind of hanging on by a thread. And, you know, then then people who are, who want who are reform minded, but don’t really have any tools to work with. And I think it all comes down to the fact that the the spiritual leader of the Buddhist organization, or the yoga organization is at a level of professional and social capital, where in any other industry, they would be regulated, not by their own denomination, but by actually their peers. And so and so I think that that, you know, I can’t see how there would be clear, functional, consistent and reasonable and also predictable in the sense that the leader knows that somebody is going to hold them to account and what the penalties are going to be for committing clerical sexual abuse, or, you know, committing financial fraud or something like that, unless all of those things are known, as well as they are known, let’s say, by the members of a State College of psychotherapists, or a State College of Medical doctors or a state college of massage therapists. Without those regulations, I don’t see what it I don’t see what I don’t see how any kind of responsibility will be exerted will, because it generally comes from the outside and when institutions have generations of abuse, there’s always going to be cultic dynamics. And the thing that glues the cult together is the elimination of external input information and authority. And that’s exactly what, you know, a college of psychotherapy for the province of Ontario, destroys because it says, we are an outside authority, and we everybody belongs to each other. And, you know, we’re gonna, we’re gonna make sure that you don’t make the name of psychotherapy, substituting the word Buddhism into into a pile of crap. And in the broader public high.
Julian Walker: How much do you know, Matthew, we’ve never talked about this about Spirit Rock and what Jack Kornfield and a lot of his colleagues have done over there?
Matthew Remski: Well, I think what they’ve done is they’ve they’ve done the best work that they can do in a kind of isolated and aspirational and non regulatory format. You know, it’s like they’ve identified charismatic abuse, they’ve identified, you know, your scope of practice for their teachers. They’ve laid out a good code of ethics and so on. And that’s all great. And, but but still, there’s no there’s it’s not like, it’s not like they’re it’s not like they’re their teachers belong to a kind of socially or publicly recognized profession.
Julian Walker: Yeah, professional association, but they have a license that’s on the line rapidly. Exactly. It’s
Matthew Remski: like, let me give an example. manoussos Amano has taught at the top tier of iyengar yoga for 30 years or something like that. In 1992. There was an investigative journalism report published by the San Jose Mercury News that showed that he was a chronic sexual abuser of his students. He never denied the charges. There was no legal challenge to the article. It was all fact checked. I talked to the journalist who wrote that article Bob frost if They’re hit. My point is, if there had been a state of California license that permitted him to teach yoga in 1992, he would have lost it. Yeah, he didn’t hit there was there was nothing that that was done, except there was some internal turmoil about the shame involved. And you know, here is a leader of our community, who was who was, you know, kind of sidelined for a while. But he didn’t, he didn’t materially lose anything. And wouldn’t you know, he comes back and by 2018, and 19, he gets busted for the same behavior, which probably never stopped throughout his throughout his career, or at least or, you know, if there were no consequences, he could have lost his license. And so when I consulted for the yoga Alliance on this very issue, like why are you not taking a regulatory stance, I said, you have to prove to the public that it was okay. To allow Musa Manas to continue to teach yoga after was found by you know, good investigative journalism, that he was basically committing clerical sexual abuse. And, you know, it’s like they unless unless you can show that, that that’s a good choice. No, no, it’s not, you know, yoga is a different thing. It’s not really a profession, it’s not really therapy, we don’t really have to be, you know, sort of, like, you know, aboveboard about it, because it’s about our hearts, and it’s about our emotions. As long as we have that attitude, abuses will continue because there’s, there’s nothing will really check it.
Rick Archer: Good point. And that’s a whole nother wing of my interest. Now, having helped to found the Association for spiritual integrity, which we write, we originally named it the Association for professional spiritual teachers. And there was some discussion of comparing us to the AMA, or, you know, American Psychological Association or something which do Grant and Revoke licenses. And we realized that as a tiny little fledgling organization with no funding that was way above our pay grade, but theoretically, is something that could evolve over time. And, you know, a bit of regulation might be a healthy thing and not a repressive one.
Matthew Remski: And, and, you know, in certain industries, there’s the money to do it. Right. Thank God, there’s no, there’s no doubt that that with with the membership income of an organization like yoga Alliance, that that some kind of coordinated efforts to, you know, put teeth into the certification, and to coordinate with local officials would would be something.
Rick Archer: Let me ask another question from Felix, I’m going to put this one in my own words, this is Felix, his last question. He talks about, you know, how he was kind of convinced at some point of, of some conspiracy theories, because there were so many reputable people putting their reputations on the line and telling similar stories. So I can think of the Great Barrington declaration or various doctors, such as Zack Bush, who have come out and said things, and it, you know, lends an air of credibility and authority to the things they’re saying, obviously. And so I mean, I just took a guy’s interview down a couple weeks ago for pushing QAnon, and he just sent me an email today with all sorts of, you know, citations like that of, you know, various,
Julian Walker: Oh you have to tell us who it was.
Rick Archer: I’ll tell you later. I’ll even send you the email he sent me. But um, you know, so that confuses people. Because, you know, yes. Go ahead and riff on that.
Julian Walker: Well, you’re talking about the argument from authority, right? Yeah. Yeah. So that essentially, you know, whether or not an argument makes sense, is is measured by who it is that saying it and what their qualifications are. And to some extent, that’s inevitable. And that’s a good thing to do, you should consider the source. But regardless of who the person is, if the argument is riddled with logical fallacies and doesn’t make sense and asks you believe all sorts of fantastical things and goes against scientific consensus, you might want to hear a little, a lot
Rick Archer: of times the person might be a doctor, but they’re not a virologist, or an epidemiologist. Like people you saw. Yeah, people used to ask Einstein’s stuff all the time that had nothing to do with physics because they figured he was so smart. He would know about, you know, this, that and the other thing, he often deferred
Derek Beres: and celebrities are human, that’s the thing we forget, just because we that’s how we got a President Trump, he was a reality show, star that really, it’s really in that sense. It’s kind of outcomes razor, it’s really that simple. He was in people’s faces and people just because of that people thought that he had some level of authority that he never actually had. And so that just that we have this cult of celebrity that’s perpetual and when people get a certain sense of stature, we just start applying all sorts of ideas. I can’t tell you, especially some We started the podcast but as a journalist who’s active on social media, I’ve kind of been public for a long time. And I can’t tell you how many emails or messages we get where people are just making assumptions about us because they hear us. And they think that we, they relate to us in some way. And one of the beauties of the media is that we can talk to each other in this capacity, but you can’t conflate your own thoughts with other people. And we see that happen all the time.
Matthew Remski: You know, the question of whether or not somebody like Zack Bush, Kelly Brogan or Christiane Northrup are risking their careers or putting their reputations on the line is super interesting. And it’s something that I’ve sort of tracked from the beginning of this process, you know, and, you know, it’s hard, it’s hard to tell what the kind of turn around or the revolving door in on Northrop’s 500,000 followers aren’t. And, you know, is she is she losing people who value critical thinking but gaining people who are attracted by the coupon or cute, cute adjacent rhetoric? It’s, it’s really hard to say,
Rick Archer: and does she care? You know, as long as she says,
Matthew Remski: he care? Does does does she care? You know, when I was when I did the report on Kelly Brogan and Sergey who runs green med info, there was this long there was this long sort of request for comment exchange, where I kept asking, gee, you know, like, so So what are your What are your feelings about? Q Anon, like, do you do? Do you denounce Q anon because he had used he had, he had retweeted a hashtag. There was a couple of few adjacent, yeah, there was a couple of Q adjacent references that that he had made. And in the email exchange, there was no clear denouncement and I and I was kind of interested in that moment of like, Oh, he’s not gonna, he’s not going to actually draw a line in the sand here. And I think a lot of these influencers are watching varying engagement rise, or, or there’s a certain amount of traction that their messaging is getting, and they’re almost playing chicken with both, you know, Facebook and Twitter moderation, but also with the politics and the values of their more progressive followers. Right? It’s like, how far can I push this? Before I lose too many people, but I’m also gaining a whole bunch of engagement in the process. It’s about a case
Derek Beres: study, where you have a case study, we have a case study, since the election day, the Trump campaign has made more money in donations than leading up to the election. Right? That’s a perfect example of everything you’re saying. I’m sure if you look behind the scenes, a lot of these influence Rashid Bataar, is a great example in terms of his social media attraction. Mickey Willis is a wonderful, like most people, he wasn’t, he was an LA guy, like, you know, he had some stuff, but people in this community knew him. But that was it. And now it’s international. So they’re the I would, I would, I don’t want to say guarantee. But I would speculate heavily that, that a lot of these figures are monetizing this like crazy right now.
Matthew Remski: And at a lower level, we get we get sort of, you know, B level, or even sea level yoga influencers who start to flirt with Q anon or Q adjacent material, and they see their engagement, like quadruple or go up by several orders of magnitude. And that might be incredibly validating, and gratifying for somebody who is otherwise anxious. And, you know, suffering from, I don’t know, self image issues, or they’re or they’re hanging on by their fingernails to a yoga business that’s failing during the pandemic. I mean, it’s it I’m sure the engagement, the addiction factor of the engagement loop is incredibly influential, and also forgivable, as well. Like, I don’t, I don’t blame these folks for going towards this danger zone like moths to the flame, because it’s very bright and very, very heated.
Rick Archer: The question came in from Mike in the UK, I’m going to read his question, then I’m just going to embellish it a bit. He said, Do you think can spirituality should or will be in the school curricula? And my embellishment is that I, you know, I, I used to go to the university that’s here in town, marshy International University. And the President is an old friend of mine. I taught him to meditate when he was in high school. And so I emailed him and the and the, and the executive vice president, I said, you realize that the extent to which conspiracy theories are going wild and down here, in fact, one of your old faculty members is pushing q&a on on Facebook and so on. And you know, they were kind of shocked. Maybe they’ve been too busy to pay much attention to it and I said is Critical Thinking course on campus, and the president whose name is John Hagan said, yeah, as a matter of fact, there is, and I think I want to go and talk to it, I want to go, you know, if anybody in there thinks the moon landings were faked, or the Earth is hollow, or, you know, any of these other conspiracy theories, we should straighten that out. And so what I’m leading to with all this is, and with Mike’s question is that anything one can do, I think, to strengthen one’s critical thinking skills at whatever age one is, would be extremely valuable. And perhaps, it would be a good prophylactic against any kind of confusion and getting misled, when the spiritual path can be kind of like a razors edge where you can easily fall off one side or the other. So do you guys have any recommendations on what would be a good, good ways to strengthen one’s critical thinking skills?
Derek Beres: Let me just start by saying that I’ve gotten three or four emails from college students who’ve already said that our podcast has inspired them to do independent research on the topic and can spirituality. So in that sense, it’s already getting into the curriculum, which is pretty cool.
Matthew Remski: That is cool. You know, I think that I produced maybe last year, a kind of shrunken down version of of the curriculum that I produce for yoga teacher training programs on cultic dynamics, and yoga and Buddhism. And I shrunk it down to like an hour and a half for young adults. And I’ve been thinking for a long time that, you know, as part of, you know, social studies, you know, class in high school, it would be amazing to have a unit on coercive control or on cultic dynamics, like, the influences are very recognizable. The mechanisms of, of cultic dynamics are like thoroughly researched, you know, to, if I had been if I had been 14 years old, and somebody had said to me, what do you think charisma is, and and Socratic Lee led me through some kind of discovery process about, you know, what makes a certain person, you know, stand out or gather a certain amount of social capital in a way that seems to be effortless. If I had been asked to consider that question, and then to consider well, how can that be manipulated? Or, or, you know, how are, you know, how can how can an idea of, of altruistic service to humanity actually conceal a financial fraud? Right? Like, these are basic, very simple questions that any 13 or 14 year old, I think can engage with, and then have their ear to the ground when they’re, you know, when their buddy from high school comes to them with an MLM offer, or, you know, when they, when they when they show up at the at a, you know, at the talk of a charismatic leader, and they’re offered, you know, a one week retreat for several $1,000 That’s going to change their lives.
Julian Walker: I want to say to that, and this is if this is perhaps a controversial thing along the lines of where you started raking in the introduction to the conversation, in terms of what has something that has been hidden. I think that anyone who is on a quote unquote, spiritual path, does well to consider that the entire history of spirituality and religion has been as much about people seeking meaning and beauty and compassion and healing and connection in community and contact with with with the greater cosmos. It’s been as much about that, as it has been about a kind of charlatan Ray, and a kind of enabling of various various forms of con artistry and disempowerment that that has that has been the shadow of spirituality all along. And unless we reckon with that, unless we bring good critical thinking to bear on that shadow aspects of spirituality and I would even say religion as well. It continues perpetuating itself. So I’m a strong proponent of learning good critical thinking. I think it always serves you well. And Matthew always reminds me there’s a lot more going on than just becoming a good skeptic.
Rick Archer: Yeah. I’ve been taking some classes in Upanishads and Gita from Swami Sarvapriyananda, who is the head of the Vedanta society in New York City, and he is such a brilliant intellect and he’s often referencing books like Shanker is Chris jewel discrimination and other things like that. And it just, it makes clear to me something I already knew, but maybe that is not appreciated as widely and in spirituality, that the greats so to speak of ancient spiritual traditions had very sharp, clear intellects and thought about things and discriminated and discerned very carefully. And suddenly, there was nothing floppy about their thinking what you say?
Matthew Remski: Right? They also had a process. Yeah, it’s like, it’s like there are modes of oral instruction for something like the Gita where you just don’t cite, you don’t talk about the shloka without talking about the four commentaries that that you were trained in. And that that US ostensibly keeps you honest. But if you think I mean, you can just do an experiment for anybody in the audience that has books published by Hay House, look to the back of the books and see whether or not the author has included a bibliography or whether they cite their sources or whether, you know, if they’re making medical claims that they can back them up. We move we move in New Age, spirituality and global yoga and Buddhism into this almost like a historical, free floating entertainment based self help genre, that that has very little to do with how these subjects were approached in pre modern terms, which is like, which was really rigorous, you know? Yeah.
Rick Archer: very rigorous. Anybody else want to comment before we move on?
Julian Walker: I unfortunately, actually have to go. Leave my wife and take care of my daughter.
Rick Archer: Okay, you go for it. We’ll carry on for a few more minutes.
Derek Beres: Because I have a stop at I have to be done by myself. So
Rick Archer: so we have 15 minutes left. 15 minutes. All right, well, we’ll wrap it up and sort of I mean, we usually keep these to two hours. So you’re gonna miss a, I think Julian already left and he’s gonna miss a lulu have a question.
Matthew Remski: I don’t know if he left. He left zoom on. Okay.
Rick Archer: I don’t know if you guys are gonna be able to do anything with this. And if not, we’ll just either delete it out of the recording or move on. But someone named Steph from England. A dog is coughing a lot here. Let’s get her out of here. You can’t edit that out if I’m talking. I know. I’m just telling them. Okay. doors closed. someone’s name Steph from England asks, Do you have any thoughts on theories regarding dark energies such as the flyers, the alien installation that cast an ADA spoke of, or the Tico virus that Paul Levy writes of, or even the art John’s that the Gnostics speak about?
Derek Beres: I’ll just say that this process of sciences, just the continual accumulation of knowledge passed down over the generations, things that we think of as very simple today, baffled the ancients. Like germ theory is still what 200 years old, and humans have been around for 350,000 years. So for most of that time, they were assigning sickness to Gods. So I think that when I hear questions like that, I think that not that we’re ever going to know everything, I always think of visual systems and how my even my cats around here can see way better than I can and see things and fields of energy that I can’t, and that goes across the animal worlds. So there will of course be things we don’t understand. But I don’t I don’t assign anything too great to any sort of dark energies or anything of that nature. I think we just don’t understand what’s happening.
Rick Archer: Yeah, that’s a good answer. And I didn’t mean to have any kind of tone of ridicule in my voice when I was reading stuffs question, because I think there are all sorts of subtle things that we don’t really experience and can’t really know about, for sure, at least, not very many of us. So it’s hard to comment on such things. Yeah.
Matthew Remski: Well, I want to say to it was the question. The question came from Steph Steph in England. Yeah. I just I just want to say that. And maybe if any of my previous comments in this meeting have seemed defensive or harsh. That’s what I respect about the poetry of the unknown, is that experience is very difficult to describe. And that if we’re and I think sometimes it’s too bad that Julian left because sometimes he and I butt heads about this. You know, it’s not like it’s not like scientific method and, you know, our capacity for rational inquiry and peer reviewed, you know, research answers every question. It’s like there’s, there’s always a margin of, of mystery and the undiscovered. And for those of us who don’t have access to good research or good epistemology, that margin is going to be wider. And I want to just affirm that the way in which we describe the unknown in spiritual terms, especially if it is ominous, can have something very compelling about it from two different angles, either something that is yet to be discovered, or something that needs to be remembered. And here’s where I want to refer to some of the work that we did with Dr. Theo Wildcraft, on the podcast where she said, very sagely that, you know, it’s, we have to be really careful not to ridicule the language, or the, or the, or the archetype, ology of something like Q Anon, because just like with the Satanic Panic of the 1980s, and 1990s, we are, what we’re probably seeing is we’re seeing people finding a voice for experiences that were too horrible to name, we are seeing people find a language to describe memory that would be otherwise repressed. And the real amazing thing about Q anon is that it allows the person who is devoted to it to feel as though they are a hero doing something about this terrible thing. They are literally emboldened they’re they’re delegated by General Flynn, or whoever it is to become a digital soldier in the saving of the world. And so when we, you know, when, when these when these very poetic and, and, and gothic descriptions of the ominous, unknown come up, I want to hold space for the fact that trauma is very difficult to talk about into name. And the process of seeing our way through to the difference between personal memory and a cultural or political reality is something that we have to take great care and doing because the worst thing that we can do with the Q anon follower is to tell them that they are stupid, or that they’re venal, or that they’re obsessed with sex or something like that. What’s more likely to be true is that a they’ve been indoctrinated by something very powerful. And be one of the reasons they’ve been indoctrinated is that it resonates with something that they can’t quite name? And I think it’s really it’s really important to to empathetically hold that?
Rick Archer: Yeah. Yeah, I mean, you mentioned, I think the word judgmental, I don’t, in a conversation, like the one we’re having can easily come across as judgmental. But I think our underlying sentiment is one of compassion and concern and friendship and, you know, a desire to see everybody flourish. And personally, I feel like spirituality, broadly defined, has a tremendous contribution to make to this paradigm shift that we talked about earlier. It’s really the the most pivotal influence in it. And I hate to see it sabotaged or undermined. And that’s, I kind of feel like queueing on conspiracy theories are doing just that. Plus, I don’t like to see a lot of people die unnecessarily. And all this COVID denial and mask, anti mask stuff, and everything else is literally killing people, then the people go ahead,
Derek Beres: I just I since Julie’s on here, all butt heads a little with Matthew, and I don’t think it butting heads, but complementing in a sense, because I still hold that shame has an important value to our species. There’s a great book called in sheer shame, necessarily by Jennifer Jacquet, and she just just talks about how, and we don’t live in tribes anymore. I understand that but the what, say you’re with 50 people and somebody does something wrong, you put him or her in the center, and you shame them to understand that their actions are affecting everyone else. And it’s really hard to employ. I actually talked to her on Twitter briefly about this a few months ago, it’s really hard to implement shame in the digital space. It’s much easier on a one to one space, right, because it doesn’t come across in the same way. But I do think that calling things out are necessary. And like you said, I find it very hard to be compassionate or offer that when somebody their actions are actually killing people. Yeah. And if that’s not called out I think that’s also problematic as well. Well, I
Rick Archer: feel compelled For the people who are dying, I feel Yeah. Oh, yeah. A bit of anger actually, for the people who are spreading the misinformation that it almost seems like there should be legal consequences.
Derek Beres: Yeah, and this is something actually when I used to run teacher training programs in New York, I used to bring up to people because about the way that yoga is presented. And I would ask if anger is a negative emotions and Udo it was just it seemed people’s reactions, but it’s a natural biological instinct, anger, frustration, confusion, these are all things and they’re just tools. They’re just, first of all, they’re all neurochemical physiological reactions, but they have context. And if you can use that context as a fuel for change, then it’s totally appropriate. And so I don’t I think that using the range of emotions we have to us if it’s going for something productive, it can be very helpful. Good.
Rick Archer: Okay, we have about five minutes left. And so is there anything that you feel like we haven’t discussed that we should have?
Derek Beres: I actually think that your last sentiment was just a really good closing one in the sense that understanding that your actions, and I’m thinking of the literal translation of the word karma, which is action, and the idea that it’s not some necessarily mystical force, but it’s just that every action you take will therefore resonate through the, you know, through your chain of events, and through those around you, and then all possibly four generations, depending on that action. But that those actions that people are taking right now, even though it seems individual, it does have it does influence people. And so understand that even just simply sending out a tweet, if you have 100 followers still sets off a chain reaction or has the potential to so think discriminately about your words and your actions and how you’re acting and how that will affect other people. Think about people who are immunocompromised, who have suffered, I’m a cancer survivor. So it’s something I think, take seriously about how people’s actions because they have a certain perspective on things, it doesn’t mean that that reflects everyone else. And I think it’s important to remember that we all are trying to work together. And I agree with your sentiment, Rick, that we are trying to help as many people as possible.
Rick Archer: And before Matthew responds, I just want to play off what you just said to say that, I think that the more spiritually evolved one becomes if if that’s a commonly understood term, the greater ones responsibility is to act with great impeccability there’s, there’s a great quote from Padma Sun bhava, he said, although my awareness is as vast as the sky, my attention to karma is as fine as a grain of barley flour. So it’s like we we have to actually be more on our toes more precise, more careful, the more we progress. That’s bad.
Matthew Remski: I like I like the green of barley flour. I think that my relation, the relationship for me, between the, the whatever vast sky I can see, and the grain of barley flour is that at this point, I kind of I kind of remember, and for a few moments each day, I experience a little bit of the vast sky. And the rest of the time, it’s really looking at grains of barley flour, and, you know, trying to make them into, you know, nice momos. Or at least, you know, or at least or Yeah, I mean, I mean, I guess I guess, I hope that I hope that this conversation does help in coming down to earth a little bit and looking at the sort of granular responsibility that we have for basic things like, you know, health and and on social welfare.
Rick Archer: Yeah, good. All right, you guys. Well, it’s been wonderful talking to you. I’ve really enjoyed it. And I’ve been really enjoying your podcasts. Let me just show your podcast on the screen here for a second. It’s conspiracy reality dotnet. And it’s not displaying very well at the moment. But there you are looking at your about page. And so I encourage people to check it out. It’s on all the usual podcasts, things like, you know, iTunes and everything. And a friend of mine emailed me yesterday and said, Well, how can they do so many episodes? Aren’t they running out of things to talk about?
Derek Beres: We were actually concerned about that when we started and we just realized we’re just gonna keep this going. Because there’s just too much there’s so much there really
Rick Archer: isn’t and, and you go deeply into very specific, interesting area, so I always feel like I learned something. And anyway, well, that
Matthew Remski: means that means a lot coming from now. Thank you. Thank you so much. And thanks for all of your work over the years. Yeah, thanks.
Rick Archer: been my pleasure. So thanks to those who’ve been listening or watching, I hope you’ve enjoyed this. And if you haven’t helped you keep watching BatGap I just felt like it’s a, an important thing that we needed to cover and that we have a Facebook discussion group in which I create a new thread for each interview. And link to that will be both on YouTube and on the BatGap page that I’ll create for these guys. And so if you’d like to discuss all this, go in there and go at it, you know. So, anyway, thanks a lot. And next week, I’ll be interviewing Dr. Sue mortar. I hope she’s not on your shit list. You guys. Have not heard that. Okay, good. So, thanks and talk to you later. Bye bye.
Julian Walker: Okay, thank you so much. Thank You