It’s always even worse than you can imagine

Jen Gunter attended a Goop conference in New York. She didn’t make a big deal of it, just paid the conference fee, sidled on in under her own name, and listened. I think she expected the wacky wellness woo, but maybe was a little surprised at the psychic mediums, the death cult vibe, and the boring tedium.

This fascination with death was 50% of the day and not in a productive “lets talk about how we die in America” kind of way, but in death is trip reserved for the privileged, like a cross between the movie Flatliners and cultures that believed in human sacrifice where the class born to be sacrificed were brought up to believe death is a goal and an honor. Monetizing death in this way is clearly profitable. The message seems to be I know you are afraid of dying so read my book or cross my palm with cash and I will share with you secrets about death that no one else can.

This is the way of it. Every time I’ve gone to a creationist or paranormal conference, I know I’m going to get a load of anti-science drivel, but I’m always disappointed by how bad they are, and how once the speakers are in the midst of the believers, how far they’ll scurry towards even greater lunacy. There’s no reward for moderation, so they’ll make the most outrageous, irrelevant claims, and the audience will eat it up. Sure, that guy over there was just in a coma, and claims to have visited heaven, but he had a heartbeat the whole time. I died, and I had turned into a giant tumor, and I was rotting, and bits were falling off me, and I came back from the dead by force of will, so you should believe me more!

I’d recommend that everyone should attend one of these kinds of events at least once, just to see how nutty they are, but I’m afraid some people might be persuaded by the fervency of the believers, and the visit would just add more lost souls to their ranks.


  1. robro says

    Well that was an amusing read for first thing Monday morning. Thank you. Her story does evoke feelings I have about the technology conferences and trade shows I have attended. There’s always some hucksterism going on.

  2. enkidu says

    “It’s easier being dead than being alive”
    Well I guess that’s true – apart from the “being” bit.