Marianne Williamson

Marianne Williamson Wants To Win the Presidency With the Power of Love and Miracles

The long American spiritual tradition that gave us Marianne Williamson—and Donald Trump


"I'm a recovering alcoholic," the schoolteacher from South Jersey tells me. "I have a lot of other things—like the anxiety, anger, things like that—that plague my life. And she just has a way of reaching my head, I guess, that I don't get from another source."

It isn't an answer you traditionally hear when you ask someone why she came to a campaign rally. But this is a rally for Marianne Williamson, and no one would ever mistake Marianne Williamson for a traditional presidential candidate.

At 67, Williamson is one of America's most famous spokespeople for a therapeutic, self-actualizing sort of spirituality, the kind that's light on doctrinal dogma and heavy on techniques for living a better life. Stores are more likely to file her books in the self-help or New Age sections than in politics or current affairs, and she has logged many more appearances on Oprah Winfrey's SuperSoul Sunday than on C-Span.

Yet here she is, running for the Democratic presidential nomination. She's been politically active for a while, in fact, including an unsuccessful bid for Congress five years ago. Ed Kilgore of New York magazine calls her "the most rigorously progressive candidate in the field," and while I don't agree that she's the most left-wing contender—she says she's for "capitalism with a conscience," not socialism—she's definitely at the left end of the pack. She was the first candidate in this cycle to call for reparations for slavery, and she is the only one to propose that the president's cabinet expand to include a Department of Peace and a Department of Childhood and Youth.

But as I wander through this crowded Unity church in Northwest D.C., waiting for Williamson's speech to begin, it becomes clear that a lot of the people here are drawn by something more than a political platform. The schoolteacher from South Jersey is named Katherine—she prefers not to mention her surname—and she has driven two hours to see Williamson in person. Pressed to list some of her policy concerns, Katherine tells me that teachers are underpaid and that student loan debt is too high, but her first instinct is to effuse about Williamson's way of speaking. Her friend Marlina, an attorney who came down with Katherine from New Jersey, has long admired Williamson as a spiritual teacher; asked what she likes about the candidate's platform, she says, "I like that she brings everything back to love."

Up the pew a bit, there's Andrea Martinez, a Navy veteran who returned from Afghanistan with a brain injury and PTSD. Martinez, who travelled here from Virginia Beach with her wife and their Yorkie terrier, knows Williamson's policy proposals well; she especially likes the candidate's call for a Department of Peace. But she's been a Williamson fan since 2006, long before that had any implications for presidential politics. Her wife—Andra Ortega, another disabled veteran—takes out her copy of Williamson's book Illuminata and shows me two of her favorite prayers in it. "Dear God," the first of them begins, "I give this day to you./May my mind stay centered on things of the spirit./May I not be tempted to stray from love." 

Neither woman is able to work, and it was difficult for them to get from Virginia Beach to D.C. But here they are, mixed in with the other fans and the activists and the regular churchgoers and the curiosity seekers. Committed to a candidate not just because they like her policy ideas, but because she represents something larger that they find deeply appealing.

Williamson hasn't polled well so far—she hovers around 1 percent—and her first appearance on a Democratic debate stage drew snickers from pundits encountering her style of speaking for the first time. Her performance also sparked some online enthusiasm, but much of it seems lightly ironic, with a wave of Marianne memes that at times seem to be less about seriously supporting the candidate than they are about developing a more wholesome and feminine counterpart to those Pepe-pocked images promoting Donald Trump.

But there's more to Marianne Williamson than the memes. She represents a strand of religious thinking that has been a part of the American grain for well over a century, going back long before wellness was a buzzword or New Age was a publishing category. It doesn't usually express itself in the presidential arena, as it did when Williamson told the debate audience in Miami that she was "going to harness love for political purposes." But this isn't the first time it has surfaced in American politics. Sometimes its political manifestations have looked like Williamson's liberal platform, and sometimes they've looked rather different.

The Church of O

In 2002, Christianity Today announced that Oprah Winfrey had emerged as "one of the most influential spiritual leaders in America." LaTonya Taylor's article identifies the TV host with a postmodern, syncretic sort of faith, one that draws liberally on Christian teachings but "perceives all religions as equally valid paths to God." It's a hopeful and consumer-friendly sort of spirituality, Taylor explains, one that aims to give people tools to "make practical, lasting changes in their lives." Williamson has a cameo in the piece, showing up midway through a sample of Oprah's eclectic guest list.

It all sounds very contemporary. But near the end of the article, Taylor casually comments that such trends go back at least as far as the 1830s. "The Church of O," she writes, "merely brings this into focus in the 21st century." It's a brief aside, but you could fit a cathedral into it.

In her 2007 book A Republic of Mind and Spirit, Catherine Albanese argues that religiosity has taken three major forms in American history: evangelical Christianity, the mainline denominations, and what Albanese calls "metaphysical religion." In that third strand, the material world is believed to be "organically linked to the spiritual one," allowing people to tap into a "stream of energy" that "renders them divine and limitless." The followers of this tradition believe that the "trained and controlled human imagination" can be honed "to bring desired and seemingly miraculous change."

This worldview has Old World roots, but it has taken on a variety of distinctly American forms. One of the central threads of this tradition is what William James called the "religion of healthy-mindedness." You hear its echoes whenever someone uses phrases like the law of attraction or the power of positive thinking.

This thread begins with a sickly Maine clockmaker named Phineas Quimby. In the 1830s, Quimby grew interested in the ideas of Franz Anton Mesmer, a German doctor who explored the techniques we now call hypnotism. (The word mesmerized is derived from Mesmer's name.) For a time, Quimby teamed up with Lucius Burkmar, a teenager who claimed the power to heal people clairvoyantly. As Mitch Horowitz recounts in One Simple Idea, his 2014 history of the positive thinking movement, Quimby would put Lucius into a trance, and then "Lucius attempted to mentally scan the diseased organs of patients and prescribed them folk remedies such as herbal teas." Many of the duo's patients became convinced that they'd been cured, but Quimby gradually came to doubt that it was either the folk remedies or Burkmar's purported powers that were helping people. The "cure is not in the medicine," he concluded, "but in the confidence of the doctor or medium."

You could imagine a debunker writing something similar today, arguing that the patients who thought Quimby and Burkmar had helped them had simply benefited from the placebo effect. But Quimby believed he was debunking something else. "I deny disease," he wrote. It is a "deception…handed down from generation to generation, till the people believe it, and it has become a part of their lives." In Horowitz's words, Quimby thought "that all intelligence emanates from a universal source, and forms a continuum of spirit, mind, and matter. Since this inflowing force is perfect, he reasoned, it follows that 'false beliefs'—or ignorance of universal goodness—cause disease or strife."

If this reminds you of Christian Science, there's a reason for that: Christian Science founder Mary Baker Eddy was one of Quimby's patients, and she drew on Quimby's ideas as she developed her own distinctive doctrines. (Just how much she drew on Quimby became a matter of considerable dispute between Eddy and Quimby's disciples.) Enthusiasts outside Eddy's orbit began to refer to their core concepts as New Thought, a term borrowed from the transcendentalist writer Ralph Waldo Emerson. ("To redeem defeat by new thought, by firm action," Emerson said, "that is not easy, that is the work of divine men.") Others adopted different names, such as "mind cure." When Charles and Myrtle Fillmore of Kansas City founded a church based on New Thought principles in 1889, they called it Unity. (The Unity congregation that hosted Williamson's D.C. rally was founded in 1920, though it didn't move to its current space until much later.)

Some of these new-thinkers were recognizably Christian. Others roped in a smorgasbord of other spiritual ideas, from Theosophy to bastardized versions of various Eastern traditions. Some of them argued that modern medical theories were entirely baseless; others acknowledged that doctors often knew what they were doing but suggested that New Thought techniques could either amplify medicine's effects or work as an alternative when other remedies failed. As the movement evolved, its interests extended beyond physical health; in particular, the notion took hold that those streams of divine energy could be used to attract personal riches.

As these ideas grew more popular, they inevitably intersected with politics. Wallace D. Wattles, author of 1910's The Science of Getting Rich, was to the left of Marianne Williamson: He was a member (and mayoral and congressional candidate) of the Socialist Party. Indeed, Horowitz's book lists several social reformers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries who mixed their politics with mind-cure concepts. That shouldn't be surprising. From the left-libertarian mystic Stephen Pearl Andrews to the spiritualist suffragette Victoria Woodhull, it was common in that period for populists, anarchists, socialists, feminists, and other radicals to draw on Albanese's tradition of metaphysical religion. Why wouldn't some of them be interested in New Thought too?

But New Thought also planted the seeds of the health-and-wealth school of Christianity, whose political sympathies often trended in a different direction. Consider the career of Norman Vincent Peale, born to a Midwestern Methodist minister in 1898. Peale followed in his father's footsteps and helmed a mainline Protestant congregation in New York, but he also read New Thought literature and soon started mixing it with his denomination's doctrines. He was particularly taken with the writings of Napoleon Hill, a serial entrepreneur who left a trail of shady business practices and dubious biographical claims. Hill's articles and books—most famously, his 1937 bestseller Think and Grow Rich—repackaged New Thought techniques as business advice, often putting Hill's ideas into the mouths of the successful executives he allegedly interviewed. (In an entertaining article published in Gizmodo in 2016, Matt Novak makes a compelling case that few if any of these conversations actually happened. Hill's habit of inventing interviews reached its peak in the posthumously published Outwitting the Devil, in which he claimed to have had a Q&A session with Satan.) Hill eventually drifted into a Long Island sect called the Royal Fraternity of the Master Metaphysicians, which attracted a degree of infamy when it declared its plans to unlock the path to physical immortality through a mixture of New Thought practices and vegetarianism.

That didn't influence Peale, but the think-and-grow-rich stuff did. And while the resulting doctrines attracted criticism—a writer in The Atlantic derided Pealeism as a "breezy kind of pantheism in suede shoes and a gray flannel suit"—it also proved phenomenally popular. Peale's 1952 book The Power of Positive Thinking sold 15 million copies by the time its author died in 1993, and it has continued to find new readers since then. "Formulate and stamp indelibly on your mind a mental picture of yourself as succeeding," it recommended. "Never think of yourself as failing; never doubt the reality of the mental image….Remind yourself that God is with you and nothing can defeat you. Believe that you now RECEIVE power from him."

Peale's political ideas were rather different from those of Wallace D. Wattles. A fierce foe of the New Deal—"A sinister shadow is being thrown upon our liberties," he warned from the pulpit in 1934—he joined the advisory board of Spiritual Mobilization, an organization of the libertarian right. Founded by Christians hoping to spread the free market message to ministers, Spiritual Mobilization grew more eclectic: The group fell into the hands of an atheist, who eventually started experimenting with psychedelics and promoting the syncretic mysticism of Gerald Heard. But Peale didn't follow that path. He mixed elements of the group's pro-market economics with a much less libertarian helping of Cold War nationalism (he wanted Douglas MacArthur to be president). He also maintained a steady commitment to the GOP, campaigning for Dwight Eisenhower and forging a friendship with Richard Nixon.

One of Peale's congregants was a boy named Donald Trump. And while Trump has a reputation in some circles for ignoring the Bible's moral demands, he learned quite a bit from his pastor, who officiated at the future president's first wedding. Trump has espoused Peale's principles of positive thinking on many occasions, and he periodically praises Peale himself as well. "I'm telling you, I still remember his sermons," he declared at the Family Leadership Summit in 2015. "It was unbelievable."

Throughout his career, in both business and politics, Trump has made statements that might charitably be described as aspirational rather than true. Sometimes he's merely mistaken; sometimes he's lying. But sometimes it looks like something more is at work—like Trump is trying to put Peale's playbook into action. Never think of yourself as failing; never doubt the reality of the mental image.

Holistic Politics

Back at the Unity church in D.C., Williamson is sounding nothing at all like Donald Trump. "Can we say that we are a nation living to our vision, when we have made short-term profit maximization for huge multinational corporations our false God?" she asks the packed pews. (According to the pastor, about 40 percent of the crowd consists of church regulars and 60 percent are newcomers.)

Williamson's speech moves easily from therapeutic and religious language into populist attacks on the corporate elite. Over the course of the evening, she declares that she wants more money for diplomacy and less for weapons systems, more attention to children and less to corporate profits, more restrictions on guns and fewer on marijuana. She calls climate change "the greatest moral crisis of our time," condemns the administration's sabre-rattling in Iran and Venezuela, and blasts Milton Friedman's views on corporate social responsibility. (She speaks more kindly about Friedman's idea for a negative income tax.) Running through it all, she lays out a narrative about American history, one where the country was founded on honorable ideals but has never fully lived up to them, giving each successive generation space to bring the U.S. closer to its potential.

By and large, the policy details aren't far from what the other would-be presidents on the left end of her party have been saying. Yet none of those other candidates sound like Williamson. And that's not just because she talks about love a lot; it comes through in the arguments she makes. Asked about universal health care, she offers a quick explanation of why she prefers a public option to a full-fledged Medicare for All plan—and then she changes the register of her voice slightly, the way one does when one has finished with the throat clearing and wants to make the important point. We need a "new integrative politics," she announces, one that gets past "the old mechanistic model." She leans forward. "We do not have a health care system in the United States. We have a sickness care system in the United States." Instead of just talking about "who's going to pay for the medicine you need," she declaims, "we need to be talking about our environmental policies, our food policies, our chemical policies, our agricultural policies." And especially our economic policies, because they "cause so much stress, and stress is the main underlying reason for chronic illnesses."

She isn't expressing unfamiliar ideas. She's laying out the basic concept behind holistic medicine, and you'll find whole books on that in stores that specialize in writers like Williamson. But it is not exactly a staple of presidential rhetoric. To hear it at a political rally, you need a candidate with a different sort of background.

In Williamson's case, that background begins in Houston, where she was born to a Jewish family in 1952. (She still considers herself a Jew, even as she regularly invokes Jesus and Buddha. Entertainment Weekly once called her Christ's "most eminently eccentric Jewish exponent.") She drifted in her 20s: dropping out of college, working briefly as a cabaret singer, imbibing a lot of alcohol and other drugs. Her life turned around after she discovered A Course in Miracles, a lengthy text that the historian of religion Jeffrey Kripal has called "a synthesis of psychoanalysis and mystical philosophy." The book was "scribed" by the psychologist Helen Schucman from 1965 to 1972. (I say "scribed" rather than "written" because Schucman insisted that it had been dictated by Jesus.) Course says that everyone is a child of God, that our separate egos are an illusion, that the physical world itself is an illusion, and that one day we will wake into a state of eternal love.

Williamson embraced the book, calling it "my personal teacher, my path out of hell." By 1983 she was giving talks about it at the Philosophical Research Society in Los Angeles.

The Philosophical Research Society is a venerable New Age institution, having been founded in 1934 by a Theosophist named Manly P. Hall. Hall wrote frequently about secret societies and esoteric symbols, and he was a devotee of the idea that a benevolent conspiracy has been guiding America toward a higher destiny. Williamson remembers Hall fondly, though she wouldn't describe him as an influence on her. "By the time I got to the Philosophical Research Society, my reading Manly Hall was more affirmation of the things I already believed in," she tells me after the D.C. rally, in a little room adjacent to the senior minister's office. "I was already on that basic course of knowing that there's much more to life than what meets the physical eye."

That said, there is one rather Hallian passage in Williamson's first political book, 1997's The Healing of America. The Great Seal of the United States—that eye-in-the-pyramid logo on the back of the dollar bill—"illustrates our Founders' sense of America's destiny," Williamson writes. "The seal shows the Great Pyramid at Giza, with its missing capstone returned and illuminated. The Eye of Horus, the ancient Egyptian symbol for the consciousness of higher mind, is displayed within the capstone. Beneath the picture are written the words 'Novus Ordo Seclorum'—new order of the ages. This Masonic symbolism reveals democracy's function as a vehicle for the realization of humanity's highest potential."

Those courses at the Philosophical Research Society soon brought Williamson into contact with a much more concrete social issue. She started lecturing on A Course in Miracles just as the AIDS crisis was starting to hit hard, and she found an audience among the disease's victims and their loved ones. "We went from a small room on Saturday mornings to the auditorium on Tuesday nights, then from the auditorium on Tuesday nights to a church in Hollywood on both Tuesday nights and Saturday mornings," she recounts in her campaign book, A Politics of Love (HarperOne). "We continued to need more space. Gay men in Los Angeles—suddenly terrified—were looking for miracles, and for good reason." Williamson counseled the sick and the grieving, and she launched Project Angel Food, which delivered hundreds of meals a day to homebound AIDS patients.

She expanded her charitable work. She attracted fans, some of them famous. And in 1992 she published her first book, A Return to Love. Open it, and you'll find ideas that have been in the New Thought arsenal for more than a century. "Many of us believe that the doctor in the white coat can heal us with that pill he's giving us," Williamson writes. "Therefore, says the Course, we should take the pill. But the healing doesn't come from the pill. It comes from our belief." Phineas Quimby would have agreed.

A Return to Love wore its chief influence on its sleeve, literally: It was subtitled Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles." But instead of Course's dense and forbidding prose, Williamson's book was casual, confessional, approachable—a book by someone who had found meaning in her life and wanted to help you orient yourself too. I have not read every single sentence in A Course in Miracles, but I'm pretty confident that nothing in there sounds like "One day I was sitting around smoking marijuana with my brother, and he told me that everybody thought I was weird." Or "So I went through this grandiose, dramatic moment where I invited God into my life. It was terrifying at first, but then I kind of got off on the idea." Or "You aren't who you think you are. Aren't you glad?"

At this point Williamson had been delivering sermons for nearly a decade, and she'd gotten good at it. Now she'd honed those homilies down to a readable and reassuring book. And Oprah endorsed it, ushering its author onto the national stage. A dozen more books followed, several of them becoming bestsellers. The Law of Divine Compensation gave us Williamson's thoughts on financial security, presenting "a path to material abundance through immaterial means"; A Course in Weight Loss offered "a retraining of your consciousness in the area of weight." There were videos, lecture tours, recurring appearances on Oprah's outlets, a stint as pastor of a Unity church in Detroit.

And eventually, there was politics. Williamson had always been interested in social issues—in 1965, when she was still a teenager, her father had taken her to Vietnam to show her the horrors of war—and it was difficult to come up close against something like AIDS without thinking about the bigger political picture. "I've majored in personal transformation and minored in politics," she tells me, and I get the impression it isn't the first time she's said it. "With this campaign, I'm majoring in politics and minoring in personal transformation. But it's all part of the same gestalt." She was drawn into her current activism, she says, when she realized that the personal crises that led people to seek her help were often rooted in "consistent, chronic economic crisis." She was willing "to help people transcend," but she wondered why "so many people in the richest country in the world have to constantly transcend material conditions that are so unnecessary."

As a result, we have a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination with a history of saying things that are nothing like anything that anyone else in the race has ever said. Bernie Sanders went through a Wilhelm Reich phase, and Tulsi Gabbard was raised in a Hare Krishna splinter group. But only Marianne Williamson has written a Philip K. Dick–worthy passage like this:

I was at a formal cocktail party, wandering through the very large house by myself. I entered a room where a small circle of men in tuxedos were talking to one another, with drinks in their hands. One of the men turned and looked at me. Clearly, at this point, I was daydreaming. The man was Jesus.

He looked at me, and with no emotion, no recrimination, no attitude whatsoever, he said very simply, "I thought we had a deal."

Coming from a woman who calls the world "a mass hallucination, where fear seems more real than love," that hardly seems remarkable. But coming from a potential president, it seems strange as hell.

Two Ends of the New Age

But maybe it shouldn't seem so strange. Henry Wallace was a heartbeat from the presidency, and he was deeply interested in Theosophy and other esoterica. Ronald Reagan believed in astrology and numerology, and he told a story in a couple of speeches that he probably got from reading Manly P. Hall. And then there's the guy who's president now.

Donald Trump is a devoted believer in the power of positive thinking. He has given speeches at Tony Robbins seminars. In 2015 he suggested—absurdly, but it's telling that it even crossed his mind—that Oprah Winfrey might make a good running mate. Marianne Williamson's D.C. rally wasn't the first time I heard language at a political event that made me think of daytime television: At the Republican convention that nominated Trump, the speakers included a prosperity-gospel pastor, a multi-level marketer, and a professional motivational speaker.

There are enormous differences, of course, between that and the rhetoric I heard at the Unity church three years later. But that gap is notable in itself. We're used to seeing religious coverage that stresses the left and right wings of Christianity. On some subjects, such as Middle Eastern policy, we hear about the left and right wings of Judaism. Well, here are the left and right wings of New Thought. Of American metaphysical religion. Of the postmodern, consumerist, Oprah-friendly sort of spirituality.

When Williamson went on the socialist podcast Chapo Trap House in June, she told the interviewers that A Course in Miracles "says one day you will realize there is nothing outside you. You know, whether it was Buddha saying life is an illusion or Einstein saying time and space is just an illusion, albeit a persistent one." It's an odd thing to say while arguing that you can improve people's material lives, but she is not the first candidate to try to operate on both the physical and the spiritual planes. One day maybe we'll awaken from this simulation and realize that Marianne Williamson's campaign was just a dream. But for now, she wants your vote.

NEXT: The Newest Drama Between Donald Trump and Paul Ryan

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  1. I got bored after a few sentences.

    1. Then you missed the part about The Church of O and their crazy initiation ritual.

    2. #Marianne2020HonkHonk

  2. “One day maybe we’ll awaken from this simulation and realize that Marianne Williamson’s campaign was just a dream”
    I can assure you, I am not part of this simulation.
    “Department of Peace”
    Already exists. It’s called the Department of State. It may not be performing its duties well, but that’s no reason to stick a daisy in the barrel and change its name.
    “Department of Children and Youth”
    Secretary Ocasio-Cortex? She’s a young child.

    1. *Cortez*

      1. I bet she can trace her lineage back to the conquistadors. Has she apologized and offered reparations to the surviving Native Americans in Mexico?

        1. I wasn’t aware that there were any Russian Jews among the conquistadors.

          1. I don’t think the pale of settlement was that far west. Anyway, thank goodness the bolsheviks eventually came and liberated those poor Jews not only from their rigidly defined area of settlement but also their livelihoods, basic freedoms, and property. Ayn Rand forever grateful.

      2. Actually it’s Occasional-Cortex.

  3. Jesus… Jesse, go away. You write garbage.

    Super BORING with your Click Bait trying to link paragraphs of a word salad with Trump.

    Learn to code.

    1. Bored people are boring. Your schtick apparently bores yourself.

      1. Lovecon89 is so boring, I would rather see Oprah’s O face.

  4. Williamson isn’t close to my top tier of 2020 candidates. But she’s still better than Tulsi Gabbard.


    1. Are you just a parody? You’re also insistent on keeping nasty Dem talking points alive, so progtastically moronic people can smirk, and then with eyes wide, interject excitedly with “BUT RUSSIAN…”

      1. yes, it is

      2. “Are you just a parody?”

        Yes, and a boring one.

      3. Meet the noob

      4. Welcome, don’t feed the trolls.

  5. Please God….Let her be the Democrat nominee. 🙂

    At the very worst, it would keep SNL employed for years. I intend to tell all my friends to donate the max to her campaign, just to keep her in the mix. Heh, heh.

    1. Good news:

      Williamson will not be the Democratic nominee.

      The liberal-libertarian alliance will continue to win the culture war, stomping right-wing backwardness and bigotry into irrelevance, for so long as any of us are alive.

      Carry on, clingers. Maybe with a bit more whining, ranting, and bitter muttering . . .

      1. Did I ever mention you’re a ham?

        1. I thought Arty was more of a loaf of heavily processed lips and assholes, with a little bit of intestine thrown in for variety.

          1. The intestines just tie the other two together.

        2. If only he was a ham sandwich, we could get him indited.

      2. Well Reverend….Hope springs eternal, No? My head tells me that she will not be the nominee, but boy, it sure would be entertaining.

        It would be about as entertaining as watching the couple dozen Democrat candidates in the debates. 🙂

    2. #Marianne2020HonkHonk

    3. Kate McKinnon does a wicked impression of her.

  6. My wife and I gave her campaign a small amount of money each, hoping to help her get enough donors to qualify for the next round of debates. She was the only fun candidate on the second night.

    1. Yeah I gave her some and got my Department of Peace sticker.

  7. Love and miracles in government? Government doesn’t do that: it first harms people by taking their money, so at best it’s a necessary evil (and at worst the biggest evils in history). Typically it’s prosecuting, fining, and jailing people as it’s supposed to protect us from others who’d harm us. And it’s inserted itself into every economic endeavor, costing us time and money to do anything.

    That’s the opposite of love and miracles. But Williamson would be an improvement over most of the field IMHO, because most of the field wants more government.

  8. The only candidate whose ‘Orbs’ fascinated me was Sarah Palin, if you know what I mean.

    1. Sarah Palin had nice tits.

  9. So well done Jesse. Full of information. I enjoyed reading that. You’re a great writer, thinker and historian. Get work!

    1. For the love of God > “Great work!”

      1. No. You were correct the first time. He should quit and get work elsewhere.

  10. How could you not believe in magic? This universe is so amazing.

  11. Turkey receives one part of Russian S-400 air defence missile system in Ankara on July 12, 2019, Ankara is the capital of Turkey. Russian military defence decided to send further equipment in future after establishment properly of one S-400 part. America is not happy due to turkey step to buying Russian made air defence missile system. America pressurize the turkey to withdrawing the deals with Russia for buying S-400 Air defence missile system

    Can Turkey menace America by Russian S-400 Missile System. America is afraid about Turkey to deal for buying Russian S-400 defence missile system. Because if Turkey admits the S-400 missile system into own air defence they will be more strong. So America faces difficulties to control the establishment of Turkey government. America is afraid of someone who grabbed power. That’s why the U.S put sanctions on those countries that they work hard to respond against America

    1. The next level of chess on this is that the US and Turkey are conspiring against Russia to dissect the SA-400 and strengthen US weapons against it. All this surface fuss and bother is just part of the show.

      I’m not sure how Trump fits into this, unless the US military is thumbing its nose at Putin’s puppet and showing who really runs things. This is of course in spite of Trump blustering about the upcoming military budget not being big enough. The Dems are deliberately sabotaging the DoD-Trump relationship by proposing less than Trump wants.

    2. Not sure why Turkey is risking not getting the F-35 for this. Israel is the only potential adversary I can think of that has the F-35.

      There are other systems capable of shooting down non stealthy aircraft like the F-15. However it may be the experience in Syria where Israel has completed multiple missions with conventional fighters with the loss of only one aircraft that is driving this decision. Syria has formidable air defenses but not the advanced S-400.

      It is not clear that the S-400 can shoot down an F-35. It is believed that it can detect them but cannot get a clear enough picture for a missile lock.

      Are they thinking they can still stay in the F-35 program? They probably know enough by now to build their own stealth fighter and were supposed to be assembling them in Turkey.

  12. Turkey receives one part of Russian S-400 air defence missile system in Ankara on July 12, 2019, Ankara is the capital of Turkey. Russian military defence decided to send further equipment in future after establishment properly of one S-400 part. America is not happy due to turkey step to buying Russian made air defence missile system. America pressurize the turkey to withdrawing the deals with Russia for buying S-400 Air defence missile system

  13. Hey there, mister madman, whatcha know that I don’t know? Tell me some crazy stories, let me know who runs the show! Glassy-eyed and laughing, he turns and walks away. Tell me, what made you that way? Here I am, just waiting for a sign, asking questions, learning all the time. It’s always here, it’s always there…..

  14. Choose reason. Every time.

    Especially over sacred ignorance and dogmatic intolerance. Most especially if you are older than 12 or so. By then, childhood indoctrination and immaturity fade as excuses for gullibility, ignorance, bigotry, backwardness, and insularity. By ostensible adulthood they are no excuse.

    Choose reason. And education, tolerance, science, progress, and modernity. Avoid superstition, ignorance, bigotry,and backwardness.

    Choose reason. Every time. Be an adult.

    Or, at least, try.

    1. Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland
      July.13.2019 at 12:24 pm
      “…Choose reason. Every time. Be an adult…”

      This from our resident asshole bigot.
      You’re a laugh riot.

    2. Williamson and Oprah are you *your* team, rev.

      They’re more popular than you are.

      And Oprah promoted Obama’s campaign.

      Of course you’ll never turn your scorn against the Religious Left, because then you’ll never be invited to their crystal-gazing parties.

    3. You first….ham.

    4. Says the man who chooses hate every single time.

  15. “Instead of just talking about “who’s going to pay for the medicine you need,” she declaims, “we need to be talking about our environmental policies, our food policies, our chemical policies, our agricultural policies.” And especially our economic policies, because they “cause so much stress, and stress is the main underlying reason for chronic illnesses.””

    A dose of central planning coupled with a large helping of woo!
    Just what we need.

  16. A bit too long but well-written. Yes, Marianne is a goofball, but she is the only dem in my opinion who could beat Trump because she is authentically goofy and not a career politician or pompous academic like the rest of the bunch.

  17. So how is she any different than Bernie Sanders?

    1. I would totally bang her

  18. Love and miracles?

    Oh, when a Democrat kook goes religious it’s okay. I get it now!

    1. Democrat religious kooks market themselves better. Republican religious kooks come across as mean, angry, and scary. Democrat religious kooks are able to project an affected warmth that enables them to make theocratic coercion sound pleasant and desirable.

      1. Plus, what Right-leaning religious-type has their religion approved by Oprah?

  19. It’s often struck me as weird how statist New Agers such as Williamson and Oprah will tell you, on the one hand, that you can create the life that you want, and that your Fate is in your own hands; and then turn around and tell us that we need to surrender to the Cult of the State and that Big Brother is needed to make all our dreams come true.

    1. i think her idea of government if one of positive parenting. In other words, no punishment for doing things wrong but lots of hugs and praise when you do things right, even something as basic as wiping your butt. Of course, we have seen how this has worked out with GenZ and younger millenials, , might as well run the government that way too

      1. Mommy values don’t make for a pretty picture when you attempt to scale them to society at large.

        She pictures the state as all powerful Mommy entitled to every male wallet, from which she virtue signals how much she *cares* by doling out all the money Daddy earns, and controlling the kids for their own good.

    2. It makes a kind of sense. Only when you know that the warm, fuzzy Giant Safety Net is under you to catch you when fall are you free to fearlessly take to your wings in pursuit of your dreams. Of course, someone still has to do all the work, so I guess this requires believing that many people dream of doing farm work and roofing.

  20. Thank you, Reason, for paying Mr. Walker to turn out a fine piece that could be used as a reference survey on the New Age. Too bad it had to be hung on a news hook that maybe was the way he sold it to you but obscures its value. A keeper.

  21. To borrow from Tolstoy, sane people are all alike, but insane people (especially Democratic presidential candidates) are all insane in their own way.

    When I read about some spiritual BS like this, I worry not because some fringe of humanity believes this crap, but that a majority of people, now and in the past, have believed crap no less insane.

    1. The magic of Leftist power is the crypto in their cryptotheocracy.

  22. So – – the establishment clause is just for Trump?

  23. I’m not a holistic New-Ager by any stretch, though I’ve often thought we should try a Norman Cousins-type approach to foreign policy. Specifically, we lock Trump, Putin and Kim Jong-Un in a room and run endless loops of Marx Brothers flicks.

    1. Like the cinematic aversion therapy scene in Clockwork Orange. Strap them in chairs and force their eyes open.

      1. Putting them in Thunderdome would be more definitive (and entertaining).

  24. I am not one to put down someone’s religious beliefs but new age has always seemed kinda fakey to me.

    Think of building a house where you take the most appealing of a number of architectural styles, modern, classical, gothic, colonial, and cobbled it all together. It just doesn’t work.

    Whatever floats your boat I suppose.

    1. I am happy to put down religious beliefs, especially when those wacky magical ideas justify believers forcing themselves on (or just killing) others.

    2. all religions started out as cults.

  25. If you listen to one of Marianne Williamson’s speeches, you will find that she is arguing AGAINST the “cult of the state”. She continually stresses that governments are instituted to secure our rights. They are to be our servants, and not our masters.

    1. You bet! Why, she’s nearly an anarchist:
      “Instead of just talking about “who’s going to pay for the medicine you need,” she declaims, “we need to be talking about our environmental policies, our food policies, our chemical policies, our agricultural policies.” And especially our economic policies, because they “cause so much stress, and stress is the main underlying reason for chronic illnesses.””
      How do you think she’s going to change those “economic policies”?

      1. Anyone who has a “policy” for everything is not quite an anarchist–nor against the power of the state.

        1. So you agree DRees is a bit gullible?
          She’s against the ‘cult of the state’ so long as that ‘cult’ is run by someone other than her.

          1. It’s one thing to USE government, and another thing to WORSHIP government. She is not an anarchist. She’s probably a New Deal liberal, who (rightly or wrongly) wants to use the coercive power of government to bring about social, economic, and environmental changes. But she does not preach the “cult of the state”.

          2. Let me ask you guys a question: What is parading military weaponry down the streets of Washington, D.C. on the fourth of July but the “cult of the state”?

  26. If she looked like Melania I’d follow her off a cliff.

  27. A Short History of Pseudo-Religious Nonsense in The United States.

    1. We’re a nation founded on Pseudo-Religious Nonsense.

  28. this website is awesome and comfortable thanks give acces me to comment your blogspot.

  29. The schoolteacher from South Jersey is named Katherine… Pressed to list some of her policy concerns, Katherine tells me that teachers are underpaid…

    I can say for certain that no teacher in New Jersey is underpaid.

    1. Unicorn, one slight amendment to your statement:

      No NJ teacher with tenure is underpaid.

  30. Marianne Williamson Wants To Win the Presidency With the Power of Love and Miracles

    You know who else talked about the Power of Love??

    1. Jennifer Rush?

    2. Huey Lewis and the News

      1. Shit now I have that crappy song stuck in my head.

        1. I want a new drug.

    3. The Marquee de Sade?

  31. to be fair, we could use a miracle or two to stop the bipartisan national debt from destroying the country.

  32. If she’s not bringing the NAP she’s as bad as the rest.

  33. i love love. probably a better girlfriend than president though.

  34. New Jersey teachers are underpaid give me a break they make upwards of 100k and have such platinum benefits they that they just got busted in a massive insurance fraud.

  35. I’ve been a member of a Unity church (part of one of the two major New Thought denominations in the U.S.) for four years, and certainly our congregation leans left-of-center.

    But I am also aware that other congregations of Unity and the Centers for Spiritual Living (the other major New Thought denomination) aren’t exactly progressive — often New Thought churches make an effort at staying away from “politics” or “divisive issues.”

    Globally, Seicho-no-ie (SNI) is the largest New Thought organization by membership and it is based in Japan. Historically SNI has been known to support Japanese nationalist and right-wing causes, with strong ties to Nippon Kaigi, a Trump-esque far-right political organization.

    In the U.S., the so-called Word of Faith movement within the non-denominational (mostly Pentecostal/Charismatic-leaning) churches also advocate for the Religious Right. Some religious scholars point out to the New Thought influences on Word of Faith movement, noting that E.W. Kenyon (the originator of the Word of Faith movement) may have sourced much of his teachings on the works of famous New Thought teachers.

  36. […] one through remote mountains and high cliffs. Her sort of metaphysical spirituality has a distinguished pedigree in American culture, and as Norman Vincent Peale and Joel Osteen could attest, the deity she […]

  37. […] one through remote mountains and high cliffs. Her sort of metaphysical spirituality has a distinguished pedigree in American culture, and as Norman Vincent Peale and Joel Osteen could attest, the deity she […]

  38. […] one through remote mountains and high cliffs. Her sort of metaphysical spirituality has a distinguished pedigree in American culture, and as Norman Vincent Peale and Joel Osteen could attest, the deity she […]

  39. […] one through remote mountains and high cliffs. Her sort of metaphysical spirituality has a distinguished pedigree in American culture, and as Norman Vincent Peale and Joel Osteen could attest, the deity she […]

  40. […] OrbGang an analog to the Pepe memes of Trump’s campaign, as Reason magazine […]

  41. Dirty hippies are dirty?

  42. […] Is OrbGang an analog to the Pepe memes of Trump’s campaign, as Reason magazine argues? […]

  43. […] Is OrbGang an analog to the Pepe memes of Trump’s campaign, as Reason magazine argues? […]

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