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El lado oscuro del bienestar: la superposición entre el pensamiento espiritual y las conspiraciones de extrema derecha

The dark side of wellness: the overlap between spiritual thinking and far-right conspiracies

Blog #32

Extreme right-wing views and the wellness community are not an obvious pairing, but ‘conspirituality’ is increasingly pervasive. How did it all become so toxic?*

-It was the afternoon of 4 July 2020, and Melissa Rein Lively’s video was about to go viral. A PR executive in Arizona, she already had the appearance of a person for whom a viral video was part of the plan, but with the super-groomed blondeness better suited to a branded beauty tutorial than a clip of face masks being torn from their racks. “Finally we meet the end of the road. This shit is over, we don’t want any of this any more!” she screams, holding the phone camera in one hand and tossing face masks with the other, in a video that swiftly became known as QAnon Karen. When two employees at the Scottsdale branch of Target confront her, she continues, “Why? I can’t do it cause I’m a blonde white woman? Wearing a fucking $40,000 Rolex? I don’t have the right to fuck shit up?”

-While the overlap of left-wing, magazine-friendly wellness and far-right conspiracy theories might initially sound surprising, the similarities in cultures, in ways of thinking – the questioning of authority, of alternative medicines, the distrust of institutions– are clear.

-But something is happening, accelerated by the pandemic – the former is becoming a mainstream entry point into the latter. An entry point that can be found everywhere from a community garden to the beauty aisle at a big Tesco.

Part of what makes a successful influencer is the ability to compel their followers to trust them, and they do that by sharing their lives, their homes, their diets, their concerns. It’s become clear, both by the products they buy and the choices they make, that many people trust their influencers more than their own doctor.

My 2 cents opinion:
(It is scary and disheartening to observe that in the age of swift available digital information, at no cost to the consummer many opt to believe in evidence-free opinions. Granted, not many have the time, or ability, to make educated decisions concerning politics or health. People like uncomplicated, but novel answers to their doubts, and many interesting savy speakers that know the importance of media charisma, exploit this weakness in people.) Es espantoso y desalentador observar que en la era de la información digital disponible rápida, sin costo para el consumidor, muchos optan por creer en opiniones libres de evidencia. Por supuesto, no muchos tienen el tiempo o la capacidad para tomar decisiones informadas sobre política o salud. A la gente le gustan las respuestas sencillas pero novedosas a sus dudas, y muchos oradores inteligentes e interesantes que conocen la importancia de carisma en los medios de comunicación explotan esta debilidad en las personas.

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