Dumb People

Guy with no fact-based view of reality criticizes other guy with no fact-based view of reality

People are starting to come around to Deepak Chopra.

Once billed as an insightful guru at the dawn the self-help age, he enjoyed some favorable marketing for his early books from the late 80s and early 90s. Book titles like “Quantum Healing” and “Perfect Health” were perfect for Baby Boomers looking to shed their traditional religious upbringings for an Eastern-sounding alternative. Little did they know that the age of marketable pseudoscience had begun.

These days, many would agree that there’s no definable “theory” to a lot of Chopra’s rhetoric. Charlatans sometimes start out with honest intentions (regardless of how farcical their claims are), and end their careers simply regurgitating garbage in an effort to keep generating revenue from their loyal followers.

This Deepak Chopra quote generator is amusingly accurate. Collecting words found in Chopra’s tweets, it randomly puts them together to form a sentence that would hypnotize my 17-year-old LSD-tripping self. Today I got, “The invisible is reborn in unique belonging.” That’s seriously something that dude would say.

Probably one of the most notable exposures of Chopra’s world salad scam came during a Caltech debate he participated in with atheist/skeptics Sam Harris and Michael Schermer. The relevant part of the video below starts at 1:53. For the full debate, click here.

Anyway, Chopra is now coming out against people who convolute language in order to sway the masses, but he’s not directing that critique at himself; he’s focusing on another charlatan, Donald Trump.

In an op-ed for the San Francisco Chronicle, Chopra warns about the “questionable American qualities” that allowed Trump to rise to the GOP candidacy. Ironically, it’s those very questionable qualities that have allowed Chopra to enrich himself with things like “primordial sound meditation.”

“There are also some questionable American qualities at work,” Chopra writes, “such as our history of ornery politics and a fascination with celebrity that permits bad characters to be given a pass simply because they are famous in the tabloids. Into this mix, however, must be added a troubling American trait, the passive willingness to let wrong turn into right.”

Fair enough.

Chopra’s piece, for the most part, is a coherent takedown of the mentality that led to Trump’s rise. But a similar mentality outside of politics has also allowed Chopra to rise. Certain “American qualities” that look for a savior with solutions that ignore the reality of science are now more prevalent than ever, and gurus like Chopra take that shit to the bank every time.

 [PatheosFeatured image: Michael Aidelbaum/Gage Skidmore (Flickr)

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