Mapping out the Wellness-to-White Supremacy Pipeline

A topic you may have heard a lot about in the last year or two is the “wellness-to-white supremacy pipeline.” This is the moniker given to the pattern of indoctrination of people within the wellness world into the alt-right.

As outlined in a recent paper published in Frontiers in Political Science titled “The fascist authoritarian model of illiberal democracy”, the white supremacy pipeline exists outside the wellness industrial complex and a number of factors are involved.

As the paper above notes, researchers have long known that there is a consistent relationship between measures of authoritarianism and measures of various types of prejudice (e.g. racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia).

Additionally, the research points out that propaganda plays an explicit role in undermining liberal democracy by preventing critical public discourse and hiding undemocratic realities. In other words, biases about the reality of the world can be cultivated by propaganda and those biases lead people to believe that the world is very different from how it actually is.

The paper gives the example of Americans refusing to have discourse about racism because they believe that marginalized communities have already achieved equal opportunity, even though the data suggests otherwise.

Another example of this from my previous article on benevolent sexism:

A paper published in 2011 by psychology researchers Julia Becker and Stephen Wright detailed the insidious ways that benevolent sexism harms both women and social activism.


They found that women who were exposed to benevolent sexism were more likely to think that there are many advantages to being a woman and were also more likely to engage in system justification, a process by which people justify the status quo and believe that there are no longer problems facing disadvantaged groups (such as women) in modern day society.


As a result, these women were less willing to engage in anti-sexist collective action, such as signing a petition, participating in a rally, or generally “acting against sexism.” Furthermore, women who were exposed to hostile sexism actually displayed the opposite effect – they were more likely to intend to engage in collective action, and more willing to fight against sexism in their everyday lives.


– Becker, J., & Wright, S. (2011). Yet another dark side of chivalry: Benevolent sexism undermines and hostile sexism motivates collective action for social change. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101 (1), 62-77. Science Direct.

Polarity practitioners within the wellness industry perpetuate benevolent sexist beliefs under the guise of self-help, which serves as a form of propaganda that creates openings for the consumers of this information to be slowly indoctrinated into fascist ideology. In the polarity space, this looks like pedestaling traditional gender roles, attacks on progressive feminism, and a currently, a wave of anti-trans rhetoric masked as concern trolling for women’s rights, protecting children, and sexual assault prevention.

But what makes people ripe for authoritarian propaganda?

To quote the study:

Similarly, Rauch (2021) argues that our current political polarization is due in part to a widespread attack on reality-based professions. These include professions whose traditional role is to delineate fact from fiction such as journalism, science, and academia. The practices and norms that form what Rauch calls “the constitution of knowledge” have been eroded by the explosive growth of information in new media that has failed to engage in traditional forms of truth monitoring such as peer review, ethical guidelines from professional organizations, etc.

This erosion of trust in reality-based professions and the facts which they provide has been termed “truth decay” by researchers at RAND.

Truth Decay – the diminishing role of facts and analysis in American public life – is a set of four interrelated trends:

  • an increasing disagreement about facts and analytical interpretations of facts and data
  • a blurring of the line between opinion and fact
  • an increase in the relative volume, and resulting influence, of opinion and personal experience over fact
  • and lowered trust in formerly respected sources of factual information

Historically, this happens when new forms of media or communication are introduced during periods of social, political, or economic unrest.

Our current society has access to unfettered amounts of information like never before, and Americans in particular are uniquely ill-equipped with the critical thinking and discernment skills to delineate fact from fiction.

Only 25% of people are willing to regularly have debates with people who disagree with them; roughly the same share says that they regularly avoid talking to people with opposing views. It is hard to build critical-thinking muscles when they are engaged simply to confirm one’s own existing beliefs. Men are particularly poor at seeking discussions with people with opposing views: they are about 20 percentage points more likely than women to avoid people with whom they disagree. Source

Furthermore, the invention of social media has provided platforms for people to readily share their uniquely ill-informed opinions, and the culture of social media influencing has enabled these people to position themselves as experts in the public eye.

All of these factors, combined, creates a sort of perfect storm where, as the Dunwoody et. al. paper describes it, “false information spreads faster than truth. Because the Internet can provide an echo chamber of falsehoods, entire groups can become increasingly disconnected from reality as they choose alternatives to traditional, reality-based professions.”

There is an obvious connection between delegitimizing reality-based professions, propaganda, and authoritarianism. Vladimir Putin is credited with perfecting a tactic known as the firehose of falsehoods (Illing, 2020), a deliberate strategy to flood the information zone with so much misinformation that determining fact from fiction becomes too difficult for the average person.


When leaders employ a firehose of falsehoods, citizens retreat into cynicism and the belief that the truth is fundamentally unknowable. If the truth is unknowable, reasoned debate is pointless because there are no agreed-upon facts. For example, Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway referred to “alternative facts” when questioned about false and misleading claims related to Trump’s inauguration (Blake, 2020). When reasoned democratic discourse is not possible because there are no agreed upon facts, all that is left is the political exercise of raw power. This strategy is consistent with political psychology research showing that epistemic and existential uncertainty motivate the adoption of conservative and authoritarian beliefs (Jost et al., 2003, 2007).


We propose a broader model of authoritarianism that includes not only authoritarianism and perceptions of threat, but also the adoption of conspiracy-oriented propaganda beliefs and a distrust of reality-based professions typically responsible for holding the powerful accountable. It is our argument that these four components make up core elements of authoritarian ideology and collectively contribute to the adoption of illiberal antidemocratic attitudes in the population.

What specific group of people do we know are highly likely to hold conspiracy-oriented propaganda beliefs and distrust reality-based professions? Oh, that’s right. Wellness coaches and influencers.

There are several key features of wellness influencer culture that make its followers uniquely susceptible to being red-pilled.

New age spirituality, which much of the wellness industry is founded on, already predisposes its followers to believe that there is no absolute truth, only your truth. There is however, an objective reality which is tangible and measurable which many proponents of new agism deny.

The wellness industry – itself a $4.3 trillion dollar global industry as of 2020 – is completely unregulated, so there is no system of checks, balances, or truth monitoring.

The result of co-opted Eastern spiritual practices being filtered through a narcissistic, individualist cultural lens, spiritual narcissism (a.k.a. spiritual ego) is already a known issue amongst new age spiritual circles, and narcissists tend to have an exaggerated sense of self-confidence and an attraction to positions of authority.

Learn more about spiritual narcissism and individualism.

These people often seek to become coaches and influencers in the wellness industry and are taught by business coaches to position themselves as authorities on the things they’re selling – often in place of scientists, doctors and journalists – but without the aforementioned traditional forms of truth monitoring such as peer review, and ethical guidelines from professional organizations, so they are allowed to spread misinformation at-will.

The dismissal and minimization of expertise is encouraged in these circles via the belief that credentials are nonessential, anyone can learn anything well enough in 4-6 months to teach it, you only need to know 10% more than someone else to coach them, and your personal experience is all you need to position yourself as an authority.

People who turn to the wellness world are typically vulnerable populations who are experiencing mental and physical health issues and seeking solutions from these self-appointed experts, which primes them to be taken advantage of by these laymen masquerading as authorities.

Learn about the types of vulnerable people who get pulled into conspiracy theories in my article on Qanon.

These same business coaches teach wellness influencers and coaches how to use psychology and propaganda techniques to exercise undue influence over these vulnerable populations, including trauma triggers and purposeful fearmongering, enabling them to indoctrinate unsuspecting victims into an echo chamber of false information.

Wellness propaganda is often littered with grains of truth mixed with false information and logical fallacies, such that it gives the appearance of credibility while relying on bypassing critical thinking. This fallacious logic and misinformation is then parroted throughout the echo-chamber by influencers clamoring to be the most visible in a crowded marketplace.

The echo-chamber effect, led by influencers, not only serves to spread misinformation, it also serves to give it the appearance of legitimacy because once it becomes popularized, it increases the opportunity for confirmation bias.

All of these exceedingly common beliefs and practices within the wellness industry align perfectly with the previously cited research on truth decay and propaganda’s role in authoritarianism, so yes, of course people in the wellness world are primed for fascist belief systems.

When you couple that with the pre-existing racist and sexist biases that often creep into their propaganda, a global reach and a penchant for going viral, a cultural predisposition for binary thinking, etc. it becomes easier to see how and why the wellness industry has became the world’s largest slip-n-slide into nazidom during a time of pandemic fear and economic uncertainty.

The masses, already distrustful of authority, are confused and looking for a savior, and just as business coaches have taught them, wellness influencers come to you bearing the mystical answers to all of your problems, wrapped in flowery language and a delusional sense of certainty in an uncertain world.

Thanks for being here,



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