While season 1 expressed our “discontent” about the new age industry, season 2 will be more focused on having open discussions on topics that might be uncomfortable but that we feel are important, like cultural appropriation, gender identity, racism, etc. These are all topics that we believe spiritual communities should be having, but that we’re not hearing. We hope to bring guests in that will help us learn and consider different perspectives on topics that matter to us, and that we hope will also spark constructive discussions among our listeners.
Guys, we need to talk about psychics and mediums.
A good portion of QAnon conspiracies and disinformation within New Age was and is spread by "psychics" making prophetic claims that never happen, without anyone ever holding them accountable for it. The responsibility that psychics and mediums have is particularly important, because they will often times have a LOT of followers who will also too often believe and trust them over their own family, friends, and/or experts. In this episode, Mimi and Dr. Lana take their experiences within psychic and medium communities to talk about the responsibilities that comes with making claims to be psychic or having mediumistic abilities on social media, especially in 2021.
How do we personally know about what this responsibility entails, you might ask? Because in 2016, Mimi created the short lived online community Psychic Punx, where they and other mediums, including Dr. Lana Holmes, would “interview” or channel well-known spirits on YouTube, including spirits of colour. The project was sincere and an expression of who we were at the time, but because the world and our own values have changed and evolved since, we felt that it was important to do an episode on this topic and to speak on it from experience.
What you will not hear us do in this episode is debate whether the supernatural exists or not, whether psychics and mediums are frauds or not, or what psychic and mediumship phenomenon is or isn’t. We are simply going to discuss the world of online psychics and mediums based on what we have observed and experienced ourselves, and make it clear what our own beliefs on the matter are, which nobody has to agree with. The views that are expressed in this podcast are entirely our own.
We had a few technical difficulties getting this episode together, including recording it a first time and not being able to use the recording due to faulty technology. We’re so happy to finally bring you our first show of Season 2!
Besides hearing us say “this is for another episode!” a lot, here’s the episode rundown:
- It’s Season 2!
- You know you’ve officially “made it” when you get hate mail!
- Lana explains what the “ego” actually is
On the emotional and spiritual responsibility that any new age influencer should have and be accountable to in 2021:
- Seeing challenging or opposing views as a gift, not a threat
- Humility and the ability to admit wrongdoing
- Emotional accountability: this thing New Agers do of blaming spirits or Mercury Retrograde as an explanation for their feelings
On how mixing New Age and social media can make your spirituality stagnant:
- Having your ego constantly flattered (both on social media and as new age influencer) can be a conduit for ego-boosting, narcissism, or illusions of grandeur rather than growth.
- The example of Teal Swan and her continued belief that she is an alien who was chosen to be white and beautiful to be “more accessible”
On Psychics and Mediums:
- Psychics, mediums, and the human bias.
- Can white mediums do spirits of colour or trans spirits justice, in 2021, by claiming to publicly speak for them?
- As a non-binary person, Mimi questions why mediums are not thinking outside the box more and looking to the future rather than sticking to outdated, traditional schools of thought that do not represent today’s consciousness and progressive ideas.
On how consumers of New Age can make a difference too:
- Get REALLY clear about what you will accept and no longer accept or support, as someone who is a consumer of spirituality, wellness, psychics, mediums, yoga, etc.
- Think about your values and what you look for in a teacher or mentor or someone to look up to for spiritual guidance
- Are the people you support consistent in their messages? Do they for example claim to have compassion for humanity but then boast about not wearing masks?
Recorded on March 12, 2021
Produced and edited by Mimi Bonhomme
End credit music by The Bran Flakes
For our last episode of the season (meet you here again for season 2 in February, 2021!), we decided to take on a staple of New Age thinking and victim blaming: Abraham Hicks and The Law of Attraction, thanks in part to our listeners on Instagram and Facebook who encouraged us to talk about it.
If you've ever met a new ager or spiritual person in these COVID times who refuse to wear a mask or who believe they are spiritually superior or immune to a deadly virus because they "don't live in fear," chances are they are followers of Esther Hicks and her channelings of Abraham Hicks, an entity who "teaches" about The Law of Attraction (LoA).
The Law of Attraction is a gigantic New Age staple that is based in understanding how one's intentions or thoughts "travel" and manifest energy. This concept has been understood for centuries by intuitives and is nothing new, but has been bastardized by books like "The Secret" to sell the idea that one can "manifest" whatever they want, including money, a perfect life, body, or partner. It has a language of its own (the "Vortex", etc.) and perpetuates beliefs that one "creates their own reality" through their thoughts, which also implies that any negative or traumatic experience in your life were caused by your thoughts. As ex-new agers ourselves, we have seen or experienced first hand how much victim blaming, gaslighting and spiritual bypassing goes into this kind of black/white belief.
Here's the episode rundown:
- It's our last show of the season!
- Lana and Mimi briefly explain who and what is Esther Hicks, Abraham Hicks and the "Vortex"
- Mimi offers an explanation as to why so many new agers that follow the LoA seem inauthentic
- How and why "The Vortex" ideal encourages self-blame and victim blaming
- Mimi shares some of our listeners' experiences with the LoA and spiritual practitioners
- Lana talks about a study called the Just World Hypothesis/Theory and why people tend to believe "good things happen to good people" and "bad things happen to bad people"
- Our personal experiences, as ex-new agers, with Abraham Hicks teachings
- Abraham Hicks on COVID-19: spread the "virus of positivity," stay immunized through the Vortex, the virus will be the best thing to ever happen to you, COVID happened because we "wanted it," and other irresponsible, dangerous nonsense
- Lana shares her thoughts on "The Secret" and a particular segment that seemed to blame a gay man for experiencing homophobia
- Why discourse and dialogue is a better option to solve problems rather than looking to spiritual "Truths"
Jules is a research fellow at the Centre for the History of Emotions, Queen Mary University of London, researching the history, philosophy and psychology of well-being, and how different cultures define and seek human flourishing. He is the author of Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations, on how Greek philosophy inspired Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), and of The Art of Losing Control, on how people find ecstatic experiences in modern western culture. His new book Breaking Open: Finding a Way Through Spiritual Emergency, co-written and edited with Tim Read, is now available at Aeon Books or through any book retailer.
Here's the episode rundown:
- Jules shares his early experiences with psychedelics and depression and the near-death experience that changed the course of his life;
- How to find balance between the rational and the emotional or spiritual;
- Conspiracies, psychics, and Teal Swan;
- Jules makes a parallel between current events and the 80's Satanic Panic;
- The history of New Age and its roots in extreme far-right movements;
- Could decriminalizing psychedelics be part of the answer and in the future for Western spirituality?
- Spiritual wisdom and hope in dark times: how activities like online yoga or meditation and Google searches for "prayer" increased during COVID.
All references, links and resources mentioned on the show are available on our website at screweduppodcast.com
This interview was recorded via Zoom on September 25, 2020 and has been edited and condensed for time and clarity.
Produced and edited by Mimi Bonhomme. All music used with copyright permission.
For show topic suggestions or for any questions, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Have you ever been trolled online, called a "sheep" or "sheeple," or told to wake up by someone who says they’re all about the "love and light"? And why are there so many spiritual people into conspiracy theories anyway? In Episode 5: Conspiracies and Spiritual Bullies, we try to figure it all out and take an in-depth look at spiritual bullying in online communities.
Here's the episode rundown:
- Shout out to our 100th Facebook follower!
- Lana explains what is bullying and how it can be defined in the context of spirituality
- We discuss gaslighting, a form of manipulation that is used to deceive someone into questioning their sense of perception or reality and give an example of its damaging effects with a story that happened in a new age spiritual Facebook group
- Mimi sheds a light on how social media algorithms have affected our sense of perception and our ability to empathize, and how online propaganda creates division by triggering emotional responses that will bring us to share something without questioning its origin
- Lana helps us understand the behavior
- How to leave an online spiritual group or person who is using the tactics we mentioned (bullying, gaslighting, manipulation, etc.) and who no longer reflects your personal values
- Our final thoughts and personal opinions on the matter
Screwed Up is produced and edited by Mimi Bonhomme.
All music used with copyright permission.
All references for the topics discussed in this week's episode can be found on our website.
We welcome your comments, questions and even suggestions for upcoming episodes! Contact us via our website or social media profiles. Thanks for listening and supporting the podcast!
In part 2 of our special on Empaths (listen here if you missed part 1), we dig a little deeper in trying to understand why so many people - especially women - choose to identify with a spiritual label that often times doesn't help in reconciling one's heightened sensitivity with other interrelated conditions.
Namely, we discuss the following:
- Could psychology's historic biases towards women and femmes could be to blame for women having so few options in understanding their sensitivity?
- Could neurodiversity also include people who experience extra-sensory perception?
- We expose ethically questionable and harmful practices some spiritual teachers and leaders continue to engage in
On the next episode of Screwed Up: Spiritual bullying. Stay tuned, and thanks for listening and supporting the podcast!
Resources and links can be found on our website
All music used with permission from Premiumbeats.com
Produced and edited by Mimi Bonhomme.
Ever met a spiritual person who identified as an Empath but who didn’t show much empathy?
Or Empaths who go through daily rituals like shielding from the world or people with bad vibes?
Is it possible to have empathy for others when we believe our spirituality is solely about maintaining equilibrium, nurturing only happy thoughts or avoiding negativity?
In Part 1 of their special on new age spirituality and empathy, Dr. Lana Holmes and Mimi Bonhomme ask, “What’s screwed up about the label ‘Empath’?”
In New Age spirituality, the label Empath is also often understood to have a more supernatural aspect to it, as in someone who is not only deeply empathic, but who also has a telepathic understanding of another’s feelings, which is why many refer to it as part of their identity, without really considering that other important aspect to it, y’know…empathy.
Dr. Lana and Mimi discuss the first thing that can happen when you get involved in New Age, namely, be given a label to acknowledge your “specialness” or difference.
They dissect the term Empath: what it means, and what it means to be empathic. Dr. Lana explains why shielding ourselves from “toxic” people or negative energies can actually cause harm to others.
If you like what you hear, you can support the podcast by finding us on FB at https://www.facebook.com/SUpPodcast/
All links and resources we mention in each episode are on our website at https://www.screweduppodcast.com/
Thanks for listening!
Please note this episode was recorded on June 4, 2020.
In this episode, we discuss New Age's problem with Black Lives Matter, specifically practitioners who profess that "All Lives Matter" or who identify as "color blind." Dr. Lana Holmes explains why refusing to acknowledge systematic racism is harmful and opens up about her painful interactions with white spiritual practitioners. This is an important conversation and one that we feel not enough spiritual practitioners are having. Thank you for listening!