New report details the dark side of the 'wellness community' — and its surprising connection to QAnon
In the past, the new age culture was often mocked by far-right talk radio hosts. They equated it with hippies, pacifists, anti-war protesters and others they held in low regard. But journalist Eve Wiseman, in a recent article for The Guardian, discuss an unlikely intersection between the new age "wellness community" and far-right anti-vaxxers, anti-maskers and conspiracy theorists like QAnon.
Wiseman describes a world of yoga, organic foods and spiritual healing in her article, but she also discusses QAnon, far-right conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers — laying out some reasons why the two have sometimes intersected during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"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," Wiseman explains. "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."
Wiseman points to Melissa Rein Lively, an Arizona-based PR executive, as an example of someone who embraced "wellness, natural health, organic food" on one hand and QAnon delusions on the other. Lively, in 2020, created a cell phone video in which she railed against protective face masks in a Target store in Scottsdale, Arizona, tossed masks and angrily declared, "This shit is over"; because of her meltdown in Target, Lively was mocked as "QAnon Karen."
Lively told The Guardian, "A significant number of influencers previously focused on wellness and spirituality seemed to become dominated with what we now understand to be QAnon content…. Much of what I read took a hard stance against the pharmaceutical industry and western medical philosophy, and was particularly critical of individuals like Bill Gates, who seemed to have an incredible amount of influence and involvement in public health policy."
QAnon, Wiseman notes, "is the conspiracy theory that Donald Trump is fighting a deep-state cabal of Satanic pedophiles."
These days, according to Wiseman, Lively regrets the way she acted in 2020 — especially her public meltdown in Target in Scottsdale. Lively told the Guardian that last year, she started "to experience a rapid mental health spiral" — and on July 4, 2020, she "experienced a mental break that peaked at a Target store."
Lively added, "People fail to realize that wellness and spirituality is ultimately an industry. There are a lot of useful lessons…. (but) I think it's best to take them with a grain of salt."
Rapper Kanye West, who repeatedly expressed support for former President Donald Trump during his one term in office, reportedly met on Tuesday with former Trump "fixer" Michael Cohen.
And what's more, reports the New York Post, he did so while wearing a bizarre disguise.
"Kanye West was spotted meeting again with former Trump fixer Michael Cohen for coffee on the Upper East Side on Tuesday — but this time, West was wearing the same strange prosthetic mask he'd been seen wearing at JFK Airport a day earlier," the paper writes. "The pair, as well as PR whiz Ronn Torossian and Israeli judo champ Or Sassoon, were spotted at Sant Ambroeus Coffee Bar at Loews Regency Hotel."
To make matters stranger, the Post's sources say that New York City mayoral candidate Eric Adams was also slated to meet with West on Tuesday, but Adams got caught up in a meeting.
Cohen tells the Post that West wore the mask so that he wouldn't get mobbed by fans during their meeting.
"The first 10 minutes we sat down, he was mobbed by people... who wanted photos, and to say hello," Cohen explains. "So he put on this mask to give him some anonymity, which interestingly enough, did not really work."
Republicans are living in a fantasy world if they think Trump wasn’t involved in Jan. 6: Washington Post reporter
Washington Post reporter Robert Costa thinks that there's no real way for Republicans to claim former President Donald Trump didn't have any involvement in the Jan. 6 rally and the riot that followed. The reason, he explained, is that Trump was actually involved.
Speaking to MSNBC on Tuesday, Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) tried to blame the media for being "obsessed" with Trump, instead of acknowledging that the former president is being held accountable for his behavior.
Costa said that it's easy to simply "go back to the facts," in this case.
"Republicans can have their opinion, but the facts are very clear," he explained. "President Trump was intimately involved with planning the effort and coordinating the effort to block Biden's certification, to overturn the election. Many players around him in his inner circle, Dan Scavino, Steve Bannon, were working with him to try to block Biden's certification."
He cited his recent book with Bob Woodward, Peril, that is actually cited in subpoena documents, proving that Trump spoke over the phone to Bannon, Scavino and others on Jan. 5. Bannon also spoke to several members of Congress in a Washington hotel on Jan. 5.
"Whether you're a Republican or Democrat, you might choose to look away, but the facts still exist," Costa said. "Another point here, executive impressive privilege is not a guarantee. It is a modern phenomenon. When you look at U.S. v. Nixon during Watergate, presidents have been proven in the past to not have this kind of wholesale say over whether their documents or tapes are protected under the law. It's going to be really interesting to see what the Supreme Court does. Is an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, considering criminal activity and documents that need to be shared?"
The host suggested that one way that Republicans may learn that it's a serious issue is if Glenn Youngkin loses in the Virginia governor's race this year.
See the clip below:
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