Tara received a doctorate in theology from Trinity college, Oxford, where she was a Clarendon scholar in 2017.
Her first nonfiction book was Strange Rights: New Religions for a Godless World, also published by Public Affairs.
It would appear that Lululemon-wearing Yoga teachers are worlds apart from gun-toting, far-right Trumper conspiracists. Yet, during the Covid-shut down, when revenues from brick-and-mortar yoga studios dried up - many prominent yoga instructors, as well as wellness influencers who saw big bucks could made in the midst of the vaccine paranoia – these strange bedfellows warmed up to each other!
I had the good fortune of speaking with Derek Beres, co-founder of the Conspirituality podcast, which I am a fan of…about his new book by the same name, Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat, published this month by Public Affairs.
In this episode, we barely scratch the surface of this timely and eye-opening book. Derek was deeply immersed and personally invested in yoga communities for many years, and not only this, but health and wellness has been his beat as a professional journalist.
From anti-vaxxers and vaccine misinformation, to the paranoia of child-trafficking and the Satanic Panic, to the body fascism of modern yoga and obsession with body purity in the wellness industry, to the pseudoscience, magical thinking of New Age channelers – we unpack some of the main themes that have contributed to the frauds, con artists, hucksters and charlatans – many of which now thrive on social media, with millions of followers.
Derek Beres is a multi-faceted author, speaker, and media expert based in Portland, Oregon. He has served in senior editorial positions at a number of tech companies and has years of experience in health, science, and music writing. He regularly speaks on science and media literacy. Derek is the co-host of the Conspirituality podcast.
Big Think article.
Has the American Dream been built on a fundamental delusion – that we are all independent and autonomous individuals – that whether we become insanely wealthy or completely broke - is simply a matter of choice? That if we wish to be successful we just need to work hard, put our nose to the grindstone, and pull ourselves up by our own – well, Bootstraps?
Bootstrapped: Liberating Ourselves from the American Dream is the title of Alissa Quart’s new book, published by Ecco Books/HarperCollins. We cover a lot of ground in this conversation – from looking at the shadowy histories of Horatio Alger, Ayn Rand and the Americans icons of self-reliance – including Emerson and Thoreau – to debunking contemporary myths of the self-made man and woman, and examining how this American folk psychology of bootstrapping has fueled many rich fictions that have valorized a heroic independence, thus marginalizing a more social and interdependent understanding of human flourishing and wellbeing. Alissa points us to a way of embracing our dependence on others, not as something weak or shameful – but as a natural expression of our humanity – offering a more communitarian – a New American Dream.
Alissa Quart is the author of four other acclaimed books Squeezed, Republic of Outsiders, Hothouse Kids, and Branded, as well as two books of poetry Thoughts and Prayers and Monetized. She is the Executive Director of the non-profit the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. She has written for many publications including The Washington Post, The New York Times, and TIME. Her honors include an Emmy, a Society of Professional Journalist award and a Nieman fellowship. She lives with her family in Brooklyn.
Can We Put an End to America’s Most Dangerous Myth? The New York Times – Opinion – Guest Essay
Remembering Barbara Ehrenreich, Acid Wit and Workers’ Champion, Alissa Quart, Time