What do some evangelical Christians and many wellness influencers have in common?
Many people in these groups have been outsmarted by the social media algorithms. They have chosen to put individual rights over the health and welfare of the masses. A lot of people have witnessed a pandemic that has killed millions of people worldwide and have chosen to deny the truth.
As an acupuncturist, herbalist, and primary care provider, I am extremely disappointed by many people in the “wellness industry.” For example, one of the most toxic things I have heard some friends, wellness influencers and spiritually minded people say is, “The government can’t tell me what to do. I am a sovereign being.” Really? Please ask the Sovereign Nations that reside alongside us how their communities fared during the pandemic. I recently had to walk away from a women’s gathering I have been part of for years over their self-righteous belief of their health sovereignty. I cannot be part of a group that puts their right to live and thrive over everyone else’s.
It is the attitude of superiority, of I over Us that is the epitome of how problematic our society is. To put yourself over the health of your community, to believe that your right to live is more important that someone of color, or disability, or poverty, or poor health, is awful. It makes me sad to think people I love believe this.
I partially blame social media. People held these beliefs beforehand of course, but social media is designed to put controversy and drama to the top of everyone’s “news” feed. The developers of the algorithms have created a virtual world of discord, misinformation and lies so users will stay on their sites longer and argue over politics, race, COVID, anything that ensures you stay engaged.
I have been grappling with this issue for some time now, and as you can tell, I am still charged by it. It has been one reason that I haven’t spent much time engaging online the last two years.
In my latest episode of The Herb Walk, I interview Derek Beres, one of the co-hosts of The Conspirituality Podcast. Derek and I spoke about his new book, Hero’s Dose: The Case for Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy, the Conspirituality Podcast and the dangers of misinformation by social media influencers, and Chinese Medicine. While I don’t agree with everything Derek, Matthew Remski and Julian Walker say on their podcast (especially when it comes to Traditional Chinese Medicine), I appreciate the work they are doing. They are leading the conversation on how rampant and dangerous misinformation is in the wellness industry.
The Conspirituality Podcast isn’t always easy to listen to, but it is important that we hear what they have to say. We must come back to common sense. We must hold ourselves accountable for thinking, believing, and acting like our well-being is all that matters, even if it means affecting (and infecting) others. We must care for those not as healthy, able bodied, or privileged as we are.
To the wellness influencers, politicians and others that gain followers, fame or monetary gain by perpetuating these lies,
“May the algorithms spit you to the bottom of the pile so you can’t infect others with your ignorance and cruelty. May knowledge, kindness and a sense of community prevail.”
Before listening, take some deep breaths, sit back with a joint and/or a cup of tea, and enjoy (or try to!) this episode of The Herb Walk Podcast. Conversations are not always easy, but they are necessary for the sake of our society.