Strange Meditation Group - a personal story
Posted by: Sahara71 ()
Date: December 11, 2020 06:01AM

I would like to share with everyone a very interesting personal experience, and I welcome any comments.

Recently, a friend of mine - lets call him 'Jeff', started holding a meditation circle on his country property. I have know 'Jeff' for around 8 years and find him to be a very kind, gentle and caring person, but he has some very unusual political and spiritual views. Just what these views are - it's hard to explain, as they keep changing so often! But he has told me that Covid-19 is a hoax and that the Queen of England is the head of an illegal international arms dealership. (???) I have a huge amount of time for Jeff, as his son died tragically is very mysterious circumstances and I feel that Jeff has been left grieving with unanswered questions- which must surely take a huge personal toll.

None-the-less, people do warm towards Jeff, and he is quite charismatic and motivated. He gives his opinions very strongly and convincingly. At times, he can have a tendency to over-ride whatever I am saying with his own opinions. For example, once he strongly implied that I wasn't socially conscious enough and didn't care enough about my community.

I went along to Jeff's first meditation circle just because he is my friend and I wanted to support him. Everyone else there was new too, some were friends of Jeff, and some were friends of friends, or casual social contacts of friends. Most of these people were in their 20's and very friendly. Jeff himself is around 60 years old, give or take a few years.

Well... the content of Jeff's talk and guided meditation was a jumbled muddle of gibberish about ley lines, crystal frequencies, the Earth as our mother, the dawning of a new era, love, the lost city of Atlantis, the Pyramids, the original 'sky people' ( I think these are aliens?) and a whole lot of other stuff that was supposed to be related. I found it very funny! Of course I had to hide my true feelings and nod sagely and appear to agree with it all because Jeff is my friend and I would never want to embarrass him or put him down in any way.

I even went back for the second week, as I didn't want Jeff to feel that I didn't respect his beliefs or wasn't supportive of him as a person. (As a person, he is very likable.) Anyway, a very curious thing happened - not only had most people returned to the circle for a second session of utter nonsense, but other people came along too! They are multiplying! Towards the end of the session, one very young woman started asking for advice about meditation and staying grounded, as though Jeff would have all the answers!!

I began to feel mildly uncomfortable- since Jeff is not a qualified meditation teacher or anything like that. But he handled it well, and only replied in very general, practical terms.

After that, I realized how easy it is to be absorbed into something, purely because a teacher is charismatic and presents themselves in a certain way. How you might assume that a person who puts themselves before you in such a way must actually know something. I can assure you that having known Jeff for 8 years.... well. Hmmmm. I am not saying he is unethical. I'm certain that he is very well-intentioned. But having witnessed all this first-hand, I also see how it could become problematic very quickly, especially since I feel that there is the potential for money to start changing hands soon.

Anyway, I don't feel I need any advice on what to do next. I am comfortable just being an observer and seeing what unfolds.

Re: Strange Meditation Group - a personal story
Posted by: shamrock ()
Date: December 11, 2020 07:37AM

I can't offer much in the way of comments except to say yes, I agree with you: confident and charismatic speakers are very persuasive. They're also very pleasant to listen to.

Even so, I was slightly surprised to learn that the crowd grew for the second week. The demographic for this kind of material must be larger than I realized.

Re: Strange Meditation Group - a personal story
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: December 11, 2020 09:03AM

Am sorry to report that what you've observed at your friend's meditation circle isn't so strange. A lot of people interested in Wellness/New Age ideas are converting to Covid-denialist conspiracy beliefs.

There's a Reddit group that is a refuge for persons whose loved ones have become fanatical, crazed believers in QAnon conspiracy themes.

A number of recent discussions have described how people who were into wellness converted to hard core conspiracies.

Re: Strange Meditation Group - a personal story
Posted by: Sahara71 ()
Date: December 11, 2020 09:04AM

Yes indeed, Shamrock. A lot of people are susceptible to this kind of thing. I even live in a relatively conservative area with an aging demographic. We are not talking about hippy-central here.

The other thing which I forgot to mention is that during the second session, "Jeff" whipped around the circle to see what people took away from the first meditation session. Most people did not mention the content of the 'teachings' at all. They talked about the unity and energy of being in the company of like-minded people.

The group meditation must have played into some kind of tribal bonding instinct that people have - a bit like how football fans find solidarity in being in each other's company - especially after their team wins.

With meditation - you don't even need a 'win', so the formula is kind of fool-proof. Get a group of people together who are searching for something - love, togetherness, validation, friendship, ideals, the chance to contribute to something greater than themselves and.... voila! They see whatever they want to see. And it's apparently contagious.

Re: Strange Meditation Group - a personal story
Posted by: Sahara71 ()
Date: December 11, 2020 09:07AM

Thanks Corboy, I believe you are I have been checking out the same content on Reddit! Fear of Covid has played a part in all this for sure.

Re: Strange Meditation Group - a personal story
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: December 11, 2020 09:10AM

According to the QAnon Casualties Reddit, there are wellness influencers on social media disseminating Covid denialist material. Ditto for new age influencers.

Companionship is a big draw for conspiracy beliefs as well--that feeling of belonging, of being in on something.

This pandemic has isolated us, disrupted our lives, our routines, buggered up our jobs, with no end in sight. Social media has been a huge source of disinformation.

Re: Strange Meditation Group - a personal story
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: December 11, 2020 09:23AM

They estimate about 20 thousand have joined the QAnon Casualties Reddit community. It isn't just the USA, either. There are plenty of Canadians publishing anguished reports about their relationships being vandalized by this mania.


There's several dreadful precedents from the 14th Century bubonic plague Great Mortality pandemic---and continuing outbreaks of plague in Europe.

Mass slaughter of Jews blamed for spreading the disease

Mass outbreaks of hysterical group dancing by persons believing this would keep the disease away from their communities.

In the many epidemics that followed these behaviors repeated again and yet again:

Town and City leaders denying that an epidemic was coming because they didn't want to lose business

People concealing ailing family members so the entire house wouldnt be sealed up and everyone imprisoned together.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/12/2020 04:31AM by corboy.

Re: Strange Meditation Group - a personal story
Posted by: SeekingTruth ()
Date: December 12, 2020 02:59AM

Utter BS -

Covid-19 is a hoax - tell that to those who have lost loved ones.

Double utter BS -

the Queen of England is the head of an illegal international arms dealership - more likely Megs of the duo Ginge and Cringe than our beloved QE2.


QAnon in Australia
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: December 12, 2020 11:31AM

The U.S. Exported QAnon to Australia and New Zealand. Now It’s Creeping Into COVID-19 Lockdown Protests


Why QAnon is attracting so many followers in Australia — and how it can be countered


Facebook's QAnon ban omits high-profile Australians linked to conspiracy theory
This article is more than 2 months old

Pages and groups deleted but individual accounts – like Pete Evans’ profile – left untouched


'Vector of influence': Labor grills officials about QAnon family friend of Scott Morrison
This article is more than 1 month old

Prime minister’s department staff tell Senate estimates they have not briefed the PM on the conspiracy theory



How the QAnon conspiracy theory is tearing family and friends apart in Australia

By technology reporter Ariel Bogle
Posted SunSunday 23 AugAugust 2020

Report from an Austrlian participant on Reddit's QAnon Casualties



•Posted byu/alexysez
1 day ago
It’s happening everywhere!

The same story - in different countries. I am in Australia and I lost my best mate because of Qanon. We were going to spend Christmas together but that’s cancelled now because we have fundamental differences and after reading many posts here and elsewhere- he pretty much sounds just like everyone else.

He lost his job in March

He was always a bit partial to a conspiracy theory

He watched a lot of YouTube videos

He started talking about Hollywood Pedos.

He explained to me that Trump is very smart and his tweets are coded messages

Everything is not as it seems

Trump won in a landslide and will be victorious

His wife and his sister are also 100% believers now too.

Here’s the thing. He’s Australian - Trump really has nothing to do with our lives He is really smart. College educated, voracious reader, warm, gentle and had generally left leaning ideals - the complete opposite of a “conservative”

This whole thing is mind blowing! It has taken hold in such fierce way and even though I know about confirmation bias, algorithm sink holes and the weaponisation of social media - it is still shocking to see how widespread and mainstream this has become.

Re: QAnon in Australia
Posted by: facet ()
Date: December 15, 2020 05:14AM

Every group and gathering such as this one is quite literally the projection of someone’s psyche. nothing less nothing more.

Observing is a great place to be :-)

Maybe your friend will realise what he or she is doing one day and just come out of it themselves.

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