MGU 104 | Conspiracy Theories

 

There are just so many corners and caves to explore in the research rabbit hole of the internet, especially during this time of quarantine. One of the fascinating places you may even have found yourself in is the world of conspiracy theories. In a world that is becoming more uncertain, what we crave now, more than ever, are answers. Conspiracy theories provide that relief and even that grounding that make us feel like we’re making sense of everything. But are they real or simply magical distractions? Jason Wrobel and Whitney Lauritsen explore that question, taking us across aliens, extraterrestrials, and UFOs to the Loch Ness monster, Santa Claus, the Easter bunny, Tooth Fairy, and more! Are conspiracy theories part of our coping mechanisms? Where do narcissism and ego play in that? Plus, can any fool be uncomfortable? Can two chameleons live together? How do you know if your cat is depressed? Join Jason and Whitney as they try to answer these questions.

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Down The Research Rabbit Hole: Are Conspiracy Theories Real Or Magical Distractions?

Jason, I know that you have been very eager to talk about one thing in particular on this show.

I know what you’re going to say. In the research rabbit hole of the internet, I feel there are so many corners and caves to spelunk and explore, especially during this time of quarantine and lockdown and COVID. I suppose there has been a lot of new avenues and pathways that both Whitney and I have gone down in terms of not scientific research, trying to figure out the actual workings of COVID and some of the scientific implications. One thing that got released that seemed to generate in the mainstream a shrug reaction was the federal government, the United States government, the Department of Defense acknowledging and confirming that they have not only video evidence, but physical evidence of unidentified flying objects. This is fascinating to me for several reasons. I’ve been semi-obsessed with astronomy and the idea of extraterrestrial life and the historical ramifications of aliens and alien craft, perhaps visiting humanity for millennia. Some of the theories surrounding the building of the pyramids and Stonehenge and some of the ancient monuments that we don’t have a concrete explanation for how they were built.

When this information came out and the federal government confirmed it through a New York Times article, I feel buried almost. Not intentionally buried, but like everything’s bat shit crazy, and there’s this crazy virus going around and there are all these conspiracy theories and maybe a satanic pedophilia, Hollywood ring of elites destroying the world, and also the election stuff. We’ve been bombarded with so much craziness that it felt like the UFO confirmation was like, “Of course.” I’m like, “What are you talking about? The federal government confirmed the existence of UFOs.” Fascinatingly enough, the former Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid who was on the head of a task force investigating unidentified flying objects and potential alien technology here on Earth.

He had said that he has been briefed on reports that not only are there branches of the government that are in possession of materials that are not of this earth and cannot be explained with the earthly origin. Some of these materials likely from crashed crafts are in the private sector. Meaning that corporations or private individuals have recovered materials that are not of earthly origin. That was the thing that got me going with was not just the government. It wouldn’t surprise me if they already had levitation devices and they were working on teleportation. God knows what technology the world governments have, but the idea of alien materials, metals of non-earthly origin that private people or corporations might possess, that fascinates the hell out of me.

This is a good opportunity to bring up a little fact about my childhood teenage years specifically that I don’t think you and I have ever discussed, Jason. I feel you’re going to be fascinated by this.

I feel like my heart started beating a little bit faster because I have no idea what you are about to say. I’m also excited and a little bit like, “Is Whitney about to tell me she got fucking abducted? Is that what’s about to happen?”

Not that I know of but I too was into astronomy growing up. Astronomy, not astrology. I’m fascinated by both but astronomy as well. I remember seeing the movie Contact with Jodie Foster. It came out in 1997 and I was like, “Wow.” I was so fascinated by that. I got interested in Carl Sagan and I was like, “Maybe I want to go to Cornell where Carl Sagan taught.”

I didn’t know that. I’ve only read Carl Sagan’s books. I’ve never gone into his history.

I know that he’s involved. There’s an institute there but anyway, I was super fascinated by this. Here’s the cool thing. I’m not going to say exactly what town I grew up in for privacy because I grew up in a very small town. If somebody wanted to figure this out, they could. My town doesn’t operate anymore, but I imagine a part of it still exists there and who knows what’s going on. There is an observatory in my town that was well-known and it was one of the largest optical telescopes east of Texas.

They did a research on comets and asteroids as well as they had a SETI program there. They were searching for laser pulses transmitted deliberately in our direction by another civilization in my hometown. We got to go there. They would open it up for anybody to go for certain nights. It’s like what they do in Los Angeles at the Griffith Observatory, which is pretty fun. They’d have telescope nights and stuff like that. They also had some programs that I was involved with for a little bit where you could get more involved and learn more and be part of it. I used to do a lot of that stuff growing up. It’s interesting because I remember this one defining moment where I was in one of those programs and I was enthusiastic. The researcher that was there was this old curmudgeon type. He dissuaded all of my interests. I remember the way he spoke to me. It was like, “You silly young child.” It was a vibe that turned me off. I was like, “Maybe I’m not that interested in this anyways. I don’t want to be around cranky old men like him.”

Was he like, “Silly goose. Aliens aren’t a real thing?”

Maybe or I was like, “I want to help discover something,” or whatever it was. I was fascinated by everything they were doing with the telescopes and searching. Maybe I was interested in extraterrestrial life and all that. He was very dismissive. That was a bummer but I feel like there was more that happened there than anyone knows because it was part of Harvard University. I’m looking up an article right here from 2006 and it was a big new step in the search for ET. That’s when they launched the optical SETI telescope there. All these scientists, engineers, officials and space enthusiasts came out. It was this whole thing, but I don’t think it’s operating there anymore after all this time. It was a pretty big deal and it was all happening in this small town. It reminds me of that show Stranger Things. What if there were all sorts of crazy things happening in my town that no one knew because it was tucked away in the woods up on a hilltop? You had to go up this long driveway to get up there. It’s definitely the making of some movie or television show.

It's easier to go with the flow than it is to be in resistance to the flow. Click To Tweet

It’s interesting to me because the collective human imagination has been so transfixed on this subject for so long that I go back into looking at some of the history of human civilization that has been either altered or changed or buried in some cases. At the risk of sounding conspiratorial, that’s not my aim here. It’s fascinating that there is clearly such a deep fascination with the ancient human civilization of looking toward the stars. Certain Toltec civilizations like the Mayans having such advanced calendars and things that were aligned with the movement of the stars and them being able to track celestial objects. All this is to say that in our deep subconscious, humanity has been obsessed with this idea of life on other planets for millennia. By the end of 2020, if we happened to be like, “The aliens showed up,” I wouldn’t be surprised. I would be delighted, excited and fascinated.

It depends on the circumstances though, because if you watch some of these movies like War of the Worlds, there are certainly some circumstances in which you would not be delighted.

I suppose I’m looking at this as a glass half-full that if the aliens decided to make themselves known. Also, given the complete surreality and bizarreness of this year that we are living in, that wouldn’t surprise me. Going back to that article that came out in The New York Times of like, “We’re confirming the existence of these crafts.” The nonchalance that was met with that announcement. The media didn’t talk about it. It wasn’t showing up. It was like, “They’re around.” It’s fascinating to me what would the collective reaction or response be if all of a sudden, breaking news, they’re here. It’s like, “Yeah, duh.”

I’d be more fascinated with what they look like, what is the nature of their technology, and most importantly, what is their real intent by lifting the veil and making themselves known? My question would be if a race of beings was intelligent enough and technologically sophisticated enough to come here from wherever, why would they do it? I know you’re the questioner, Whitney, but my curiosity would be like, why and why now? I would want to sit down and maybe we get one of them on our show.

It’s interesting too because there’s this deep human fascination with secrets and conspiracies, and trying to figure out what the reality is. A lot of people are drawn to that because it feels maybe an escape sometimes or life feels mysterious. Maybe it’s more of like life might be meaningless, so let’s try to create more meaning. What if life is simple? If we make it more complex, we’ll feel more satisfied with it. It’s interesting because similar to my perspective on most things, I see it from the gray area where I wouldn’t be surprised either, but if I found out that aliens didn’t exist or whatever or they never came to visit and all that stuff. If it wasn’t real, I wouldn’t be surprised. If it is real, I wouldn’t be surprised either.

I feel like it has to be true that there are other beings living in the solar system somewhere. It feels almost too much in our ego to believe that we’re the only planet with life and with the tools that we’ve developed in all of this. We have a lot of ignorance about it, just like we have a lot of ignorance about our own planet and our own species. There’s still so much about ourselves and our brains that we don’t understand. There’s got to be parts of the universe that we haven’t fully explored or understand beyond our solar system, there could be so much. Yet what’s interesting to me is we can’t even agree fully on whether the Earth is round or flat.

If there’s a Loch Ness monster or the Yeti or Bigfoot, whatever. People can’t even agree if that’s real or not, and that’s on our own planet. There’s so much confusion, misinformation, disagreements and conspiracies right here. Anything beyond this planet is going to be even more mysterious to us. It also reminds me of one of the books I’ve been reading. It was talking about the cognitive shift that kids go through when they realize that Santa Claus isn’t real or Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy or all these stories. Not all of us are told but many kids are raised with that belief system. At a certain age, the parents come clean and they say, “This isn’t real.” I was reading this and thinking, “It’s messed up that we do that to kids.”

Why do we feel the need to lie about some fictional things happening? There’s a lot of nostalgia tied into that. For me growing up Christian, Christmas time feels magical. To this day, my mom still says things like, “This came from Santa.” As adults, that continued on. There’s something sweet about the Easter Bunny unless you look up the creepy photos. Have you ever seen those series of creepy Easter Bunny photos? People dress up as the Easter Bunny to pose for pictures. The kids are terrified because the bunnies are disturbing. If the readers have not seen this before, we’ll link to this because they are pretty amusing.

It’s interesting to me all these different myths and there is an innocence and a magic to it that a lot of people believe. I don’t have a strong memory of when I learned that the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, and anything else that I heard about wasn’t real. I don’t remember that being a huge deal, but what if it was a huge deal? You find out that your parents or parental figures were lying to you for many years of your life and tricking you to believe in something. Not only is it a break in trust, but it’s also like the magic is taken away from you and that’s disturbing. I wonder if adults are yearning for more of that magic or yearning to believe in something. I remember wanting to believe that the Loch Ness monster was real.

I felt sad when I saw a lot of evidence convincing me that it’s not real. I thought it was so cool. It’s this mysterious creature in the water, but it’s been debunked in my opinion. Even now there’s still room in my head that’s like, “Maybe it is true. Maybe it does exist.” There’s still part of me that would be excited if the Loch Ness monster was real. It’s that clinging to the magic of it. Aliens, extraterrestrials, whatever you want to call them, are different because they’re not on this planet, unlike everything else I mentioned. A lot of us hope it’s true because it gives us something outside of our day-to-day lives to fantasize about and hope for.

I want to talk about my logical dissection of the Loch Ness monster thing because as a child, I was obsessed with dinosaurs. The first thing that I remember wanting to be when I grew up was a paleontologist. I talked about that in my journey in Episode 2. I was obsessed with dinosaurs, prehistoric artifacts, bones and all of that. As a result, when the possibility that whatever it’s supposed to be a Brontosaurus is living in the Loch. I was like, “This is dope. There could be a dinosaur in this Loch that I need to go and visit.” I remember as a kid, my logical brain was like, “If they need to reproduce, there would need to be two of them. There’s nothing about two of them. If there’s not two of them, is it asexual Brontosaurus? That makes no sense. Maybe the dinosaurs were asexual. How the fuck do we know? We don’t have enough DNA to study their reproductive habits?”

Do you see where the mind goes? If there’s only one monster in the Loch, how does it reproduce? I talked myself out of that fantasy a long time ago because biologically, it didn’t make sense, but not knowing the reproductive capabilities of ancient dinosaurs, who am I to say? It could be asexual. It is interesting you make that link between our childhood desire for fantasy, magic, the unexplainable, and how enrapturing that is. Not just the idea of alien life, specifically this article mentioning all this slow disclosure from the government. It doesn’t talk about recovering alien bodies or actual alien creatures.

MGU 104 | Conspiracy Theories

Conspiracy Theories: We can put our own personal struggles on hold to be part of the global or local struggles, or put our struggles on hold to escape into some fantasy. Either way, we can get outside of ourselves.

 

It talks about the technology. As an offshoot, it’s interesting because they spun this article to focus on the technology. I didn’t know and I don’t know how long this has been going on, but Marco Rubio, the Senator from Florida, he’s the Chairman on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. He’s increasingly concerned that there are a lot of reports that there have been unidentified aircraft that have been hovering over American military bases. The government was desperately trying to figure out what these crafts were and who they were. There’s concern that China or Russia may or may not have recovered some of this crashed alien technology and are using it.

This is all conjecture but it’s interesting that we would make the possibility of alien technology a political thing. If there is any truth to this, then maybe there is some arms race between the superpowers, China, Russia. We think about South Korea and the US, these countries that are trying to be the world’s superpower. If any of them were in possession of advanced technology, that would give them a leg up politically, especially in terms of the possibility of war. The mind goes to crazy places of what may be out there and what they may be doing that we don’t know about. That fascinates me to daydream about, much like the Loch Ness monster or the Yeti or the Bigfoot. I daydream what if they already have teleportation? What if we already have time travel? That’s my fantasy child brain going but what if those things already exist?

That is the fantasy child brain and it feels like nostalgia in a way or reverting to that childlike wonder to sit there and daydream about all these different possibilities. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that. I find conspiracy theories super fascinating. They remind me a lot of reading a fictional book. It’s fun to believe something and to feel the magic in there. I’m not necessarily looking at it from a cynical perspective. That’s not my desire. It’s interesting to examine it from two different perspectives. Why does it feel good to believe that these things might be true? There’s that nostalgia because we used to love to do that stuff as kids. We do that as kids as a way of figuring life out. Maybe we feel so small or insignificant out of control as children. It might help us cope through life if we can try to figure out what life means.

That’s part of that journey of evolution. It’s like, “What’s real and what’s not real?” It’s interesting too because we’re often encouraged to believe in magic as kids and our parents seem to enjoy that. Even when you think about Disney and the movies that you can watch and going to Disney World or Disneyland, or any of those theme parks and immersing yourself in that magical experience. I see a lot of adults that love to do that even when they don’t have children. Disney aside, some adults may enjoy the experience of parenting because that allows them to continue to experience childlike wonder by reading the fantasy books and going to Disney or theme parks in general or are playing and immersing ourselves in that. Grandparents do as well. There’s this big desire in our lives as may be part of our way of coping with life.

It feels good to indulge in this or to watch TV shows and put yourself in that world or read books or listen to podcasts or audiobooks. These forms of escape we have through story and how appreciative we are when we’re told a good story. I wonder from a psychological standpoint, is that why it’s so appealing to either believe in or reflect on all of those things? It’s almost like it takes you outside of yourself for a moment. It also reminds me of how things felt at the beginning of COVID or even now. There will be times where it feels so intense. That intensity to me brings up fear as well as I’m enjoying the distraction from the rest of my life. I felt like at the beginning of COVID, it was like we’re all in this together. I’m not alone. We’re all staying at home. I’m not the only one who works from home and we’re all struggling. I’m not the only one struggling.

There was the sense of going online and reading the articles and seeing the videos and all of that and feeling the good bond. Also, I could take a break from my personal life and make it more about something else. I felt the same way at the beginning of the Black Lives Matter Movement with the passing of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and some of these other people. It was like there was something intense about it that was simultaneously horrific and it brought up a lot of negative emotions, but it also made me feel so close to people. A lot of people talked about 9/11 in the same way. It was like, “This was horrible.”

When I think about 9/11, I think a simple thought will bring me back to that day and physically that tension, that fear and all those emotions that came up for me. A lot of us still store that trauma in our bodies and we will with COVID as well. I also remember how much that brought us together. When we are brought together through a traumatic experience or through these fantasies, it is a form of escapism. We can put our own personal struggles on hold to either be part of the global struggle or the local struggle, the group struggle, whatever that is, or we put our struggles on hold to escape into some fantasy. Either way, we can get outside of ourselves. That’s part of the appeal there.

I love that perspective because from a mental health perspective, and when I say this, I don’t mean people that are struggling with a mental illness. People are attempting to, through the uncertainty, through the chaos, through the daily or multiple times every day, news reports, statistics and studies are changing. The amount of information that we are being bombarded with on a daily basis can feel drastic and overwhelming. You and I have both talked about how we’ve tried to regulate the amount and type of information we’ve been taking for our mental and emotional health. That’s very important. Alex Ebert, the lead singer of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. He has a lot of interesting viewpoints politically and sociologically on what’s happening.

I follow him on Instagram and we’ve DM a little bit. I want to have him on the show at some point because he also talks about mental illness a lot. He had this perspective that a lot of the New Age people, the people in the conscious community, the people that are in the self-help, the wellness world. A lot of the people that probably are reading this may or may not fall in this category. In the industry we’re in, his viewpoint is similarly in the psychological management of this is that by being able to explain everything, by having conspiracy theories, by having explanations of who Trump is and what he’s doing, the 5G thing, the vaccinations, the microchipping and the Hollywood satanic pedophilia ring, all of this stuff. He explained it as people’s attempt to create their own reality.

That’s what we’ve been told for so long. We’ve talked about manifestation. We’ve talked about the New Age thought leaders talking about you create your own reality. There’s so much cognitive dissonance that ruptures people’s view of reality at the beginning of this. His whole thing was if you have a belief system that you create your own reality, that people were so knocked-off kilter psychologically of like, “If I create my own reality, then why did I manifest a virus? Why did I manifest a super virus?” People were psychologically disturbed by that, that something arrived they didn’t have control over. By trying to explain reality via conspiracy theories, it’s their attempt at saying, “No, I do control my own reality because I can explain all of this. Now I feel secure, I feel certain about the outcome. I can go back to my latent belief system that all is well, we’re not in chaos, nothing’s uncertain. We have control and all is well.” It is interesting how people are trying to psychologically dissect the situation. As we’ve talked about in previous episodes, discomfort, uncertainty and chaos fucks people up psychologically if they don’t know how to handle it.

I pulled up a few articles about this and these are psychologist’s perspectives on why people cling to conspiracy theories, especially during uncertain times. There are a lot of interesting points made in this. I’ll link to at least one of these articles. One that I find super fascinating and this makes a lot of sense, especially given some of the people that Jason and I have discussed because we feel triggered by them at times. I honestly do get triggered by some of the conspiracy theory perspectives. This explains some of it for me, which is that conspiracy theories can make a person feel special. It’s part of this person’s need for uniqueness. Meaning that conspiracy theories represent unconventional and potentially scarce information that refers to secret knowledge or information.

By definition, that is not accessible to everyone. Otherwise, it would not be a secret and it would be a well-known fact. People who believe in conspiracy theories can feel special in a positive sense because they may feel they are more informed than others about important social and political events. I’ve noticed there is a sense of the ego and the narcissism in some of these conspiracy theory posts, especially on social media. It’s like this elitist or you’re either with us or against us. If you don’t believe this information, then you’re a fool. You’re the idiot. There’s that term like, “Wake up.” A lot of this is like, “I’m awake, I’m aware. If you’re not believing the same thing I’m believing, then you must be asleep and you must be in ignorance. You must be on the side of somebody that I’m against.” There’s this element of you’re either with us or without us.

If we can understand life, it feels safer. It feels more comfortable. Click To Tweet

It’s an us versus them mentality.

I find it very disturbing because a lot of the people that say those things are also simultaneously talking about unity and how they’re like, “We’re all in this together, brother. We’re all one.” Yet they’ll say those things. I’m like, “You are completely contradicting yourself right now. If you believe that we are all equal, that we are all deserving, that we are family and using those terms like brother, yet you make these statements that exclude people or make it seem you’re holier than now because you have certain information.” “If you pay attention, you’ll have this information too. If you take my course or download my PDF or sign up for my tribe, let’s do this together.” Even that tribal mentality is not about unity.

It’s leveraged as a way to create division and that contradiction you’re talking about, first of all, I love hearing you get fired up. I want to state that. You’re feeling very charged around this. It’s for good reason. It’s because there are colleagues, friends and acquaintances that we know that are delivering some messages and it’s absolutely confusing.

Let’s not use the term colleagues because we don’t literally work with them.

Acquaintances in the crossover industries in which we reside, I suppose. There’s a lot of overlap in different interests and things that we talk about on the health and wellness and mental health space. You’re right on in terms of what you commented on about the ego. I see this in myself too, not expressed in the same way. There are callings where I feel the desire to be generous, super open, being of service and creating unity in the world, whether that’s going out and feeding the homeless or going to the protest we’ve gone to or trying to learn from people of different backgrounds. We can give a million examples, but then there’s this ego part of me that’s like, “What about money and your career and this stuff?”

My point in all this is it seems that part of the human struggle is our spirit, our soul acknowledges that we are one. It acknowledges the humanity and the deep connection we share with one another. The individual ego is like, “Sorry, fuck it. I’ve got to pay the bills, protect my family, hold it down, make sure I’m safe, make sure I’m secure.” It seems that there might be an inner battle with a lot of the people we’re talking about, where on one side there’s a part of their soul or their higher self that believes in unity. There is a part of the ego that’s like, “I’m more evolved than you. You should probably get more involved too because I’ve got this secret information and you shouldn’t be sheeple and you shouldn’t be a muggle. Wake the fuck up because the new world is coming and you all don’t want to get left behind.” It seems to me that the overarching theme is soul versus ego.

It’s fascinating to observe that. This is not to say that whatever this person believes isn’t true. This is part of narcissism. Unless you’re presented with something that’s truly black and white, most of life is quite mysterious. Who am I or anybody to say whether something’s right or wrong, true or false? I prefer to be in that gray area because you might be able to convince me and pull me into one side or another, but I tend to want to stay in that gray area. It’s like a balance for me. It feels safer to be considerate of different viewpoints. I feel my viewpoints change so much over time. As I’ve said, before very openly, I’m very committed to the vegan way of living, but not so much so that I wouldn’t consider maybe if there was some big reason that convinced me not to be vegan anymore.

I also change a lot because my perspective has changed, but I’m willing to be proven wrong and I’m willing to adapt and change. I don’t feel comfortable being too rigid in my life. I see life-changing in me and outside of me all the time. I’d rather be fluid than try to stick myself in the same place and be stuck and resist that flow. If life is constantly changing and we’re learning new information all the time, then I’m going to be forced into it at some point. It’s easier to go with the flow than it is to be in resistance to the flow. That’s part of why the gray area seems to be part of the flow for me. It’s like when you’re presented with new information, it can shift the way that you’re thinking.

I haven’t always been vegan. If I was willing to change my life entirely in that way, who’s to say that I won’t again at some point? A lot of people enjoy trying to cling on to something, a belief system. They might not always be able to hold on to that because of the way life is constantly evolving. That’s why when it comes to UFO, why would I have this standpoint of completely believing in them or not believing in them at all? I’m like, “Great.” Even if aliens came to Earth like it was in Independence Day or War of the Worlds type of scenario. What am I going to do? I’m going to try to fend for my life. If we get destroyed as a human race, that’s what happens. There’s only so much that you can do at that point.

It’s good to know where Will Smith lives. I’m sure that he would be very useful in that situation for some reason. Will Smith seems to have been trained for this. I’m kidding, but he does have a nice property. It would be a great place to go down if we do get invaded by aliens. Overarching what we’re talking about, we’re trying to explain things that we don’t have enough evidence to explain yet. The biggest challenge that I’m having, you talked about getting triggered. I have been observing that I’ve been getting triggered, not necessarily because of the content of what people are believing, but more the way that it’s being presented as you alluded to. It’s taking something that is theoretical or conjecture or a belief system and spinning it or presenting it as if it is factual hard truth.

That’s the challenge that I have. I’ve been trying hard to have a lot of compassion for these people, but I’m like, “What you are talking about is a theory. It’s a belief system, but a theory and a belief does not equal truth. It does not equal fact. Those are very different things.” One of the blog posts we have on Wellevatr.com. We have dozens and dozens of blog posts and are going to be adding more soon. One of the blog posts is The Truth Will Not Set You Free. The truth in itself is an opportunity and a way-shower to say, “Here’s a new version of reality that was not disclosed to you before. Here are the facts. Here are things that are outlying truth. You have a choice whether or not to adapt to that new truth, that new reality or stay the same.” My issue again is belief and theory masquerading as truth. From ego and people’s desire for certainty, control, and creating their own reality, they’re trying to convince themselves that what they believe is true and it may be true for them.

What we’re talking about now is someone’s individual truth, which can be something very simple of like, and this is an ever-changing thing. It’s like, “My jean jacket is my favorite piece of clothing.” It’s a ridiculous example. That’s a personal truth versus a universal truth, which is, “Gravity is real on planet Earth.” Not that gravity is real in the universe, but on planet Earth, gravity is a real thing. My point is that I would like to see people becoming a little more humble in their approach to their perspectives, rather than everyone claiming to have the truth with a capital T. That’s very frustrating for me. I’m trying not to be frustrated by it.

MGU 104 | Conspiracy Theories

Conspiracy Theories: Conspiracy theories represent unconventional and potentially scarce information that refers to secret knowledge or information.

 

Also, we have to be careful in talking about this too because it’s not we’re positioning ourselves as better than somebody who believes in a conspiracy theory either. It’s not meant to say we’re right and they’re wrong. It’s that we disagree, but we’re willing to listen. That’s part of it. There are certainly times where I don’t want to listen because you can mute people on social media or unfollow them. There’s nothing wrong with that. If that doesn’t serve you in a positive way. If somebody were to come to me and want to talk about these things, I find it fascinating. I like listening to those things. To be clear, what I don’t like is that when somebody is trying to convince you of something and disprove your way of thinking. That’s part of the challenge here. I’m fairly certain that we did another episode about this because I remember looking up some of this information about conspiracy theories.

For anyone who’s read a lot of our episodes, you may have known us talk about similar things before. I don’t think we’ve talked about UFOs, but we have talked about conspiracy theories and we’ll link to that other episode. In this article that came out in May 2020. It’s about Why the Pandemic is Turning Many People into Conspiracy Theorists. One point that’s interesting is that conspiracy theories stem from human tendencies to look for patterns and broader meanings in the world. This goes back to what I was saying about childhood. As kids, because we are human and that’s how our brains work, we are looking for meaning. We’re looking to understand things. This is part of our survival as a species.

If we can understand life, it feels safer and more comfortable. This article believes that this way of thinking can turn toxic when our pattern detector is over tuned. Meaning, you’re focused on all sorts of random things. This reminds me of a show I’ve been watching on HBO called I’ll Be Gone in The Dark. It’s about this woman who got into a very famous rapist and a murderer in Northern and Southern California. It’s a fascinating story. Serial killers are also fascinating especially if they’ve never been caught. Part of what’s interesting about the show and similar shows or any show about an unsolved case is interesting and I can see why people get drawn to it. What can happen is a lot of people become obsessed with the process of looking for the patterns and the broader meanings, and how can I solve the case? How can I crack the case? As I was watching the show, there are two episodes yet that I have not seen. I haven’t gotten to the end, but a huge part of this is watching a number of people on the show trying to figure out and piece together all these random things and what they mean. Can they crack the case? Can they figure out who did it?

There’s part of me that’s watching this in awe and thinking, “Wow, what a commitment?” There are some people that are doing this for their entire lives, trying to figure out something that they may never have an answer to. Is that fulfilling or not? Is it the process? It’s like anything else. Is it that journey and the process of trying to understand something and never getting an answer? I think about my grandparents. If UFOs and aliens were talked about more as something factual versus a conspiracy theory in my lifetime, it’s a shame that my grandfather wasn’t around. His life did not overlap with that period of time and all these people that simply are not alive during that anymore. It might not even happen in our lifetime. We may not be alive to see some of these truths that happen. If we had any hindsight over our lives after we pass away, are we okay with that, with being on this journey of never getting an answer to something during our lifetime? That’s interesting as well.

I’m okay without being able to explain some very fundamental aspects of life. Probably the most fundamental is, what are we? Where did we come from? What is humanity’s purpose? I have some ideas of what that might be, but do I have the hard, concrete, unassailable truth of what that is? No, but we look to spirituality, religion, the concept of God, universe, oneness, or an innumerable number of belief systems, religions, theories, explanations at the core, which is the biggest questions of all. What are we? We call ourselves humans. We call ourselves Homo Sapiens, but we don’t know where we come from. We don’t know on the deepest level. We have explanations and theories, religion, spiritual, perspectives, but we don’t know.

For some people that is a massively disturbing thing. Alan Watts, who we’ve mentioned on the show before, has a perspective about why humanity is so destructive. His take on how humanity has separated itself from nature and therefore has sought to dominate and control the natural world is we don’t know what we are, who we are or where we came from. We don’t feel like we belong in nature. Many of us don’t feel like we even belong here on earth. We’re confused and bewildered and trying to make up explanations for it. On some very deep, subconscious level, we feel other than. We feel alien on our own planet to some degree because we don’t have a hard explanation of who we are, why we’re here, where we came from. We are flailing uncontrollably trying to make a sense of it all.

Through that systems of domination and control, that’s how we’re trying to do it. In many ways, he’s correct. For a lot of people, there’s a subconscious terror of not knowing who we are, why we’re here, where we came from. We’re like, “We may as well try and dominate or control things while we’re here, try and figure it out.” That’s not necessarily applicable to every single human, but Alan Watts was in an interesting ballpark when he talked about that.

Going back to the UFO thing and what you mentioned about how if it was true, if it was proven, maybe we would be nonchalant. We’re in this time where things seemed so weird and abnormal that something that big could be less of a big deal because we already feel life feels surreal. There’s also the side that maybe we are so distracted by COVID and Black Lives Matter and all the other crazy things going on in the world that UFOs don’t seem that big of a deal anymore. We have more important things to put our focus on or too much to put our focus on. It also makes me wonder what else is going on in the world that we don’t even have the mental space to prioritize. Speaking of conspiracy theories, some people believe that COVID is a distraction. We have this huge election coming up and is COVID adding towards the favor of one party or another. Some people feel maybe it was all timed out or whatever. I don’t know about that, but being in the gray area, I also wouldn’t be surprised if things are brought up to our attention in the media in order to manipulate us to think or feel certain things or to distract us from other things that are happening.

I go back to the answer that I feel is most true for me. I don’t know. The most honest place I can come from is that, I don’t know. After I woke up, one of the first thoughts on my mind before I started going on social media and opening the computer and recording this episode with you was keep your mind open, keep your heart open. That’s all. The best thing you can do right now. What feels most real to me is keeping my mind open, keeping my heart open and saying, “I don’t know,” because I don’t have a desire to explain what’s happening. I don’t have a desire to be like, “I’m the one with the truth and everyone follow me. I’m the great white hope. I’m the Pied Piper. Everyone else is full of shit.” I don’t have any desire to do any of those things.

Back to Whitney’s point, we’re not attempting to throw anyone under the bus here, even though I get annoyed with them sometimes. They’re entitled to their opinion, their theory, their belief system and what they think is true. Whitney, you may share a similar sentiment that through all of this exploration that we do on this show, ultimately this show is an exploration and an experiment. Whitney and I do not claim to be experts or gurus or leaders on any particular subject. We’re exploring and questioning and staying open as much as we possibly can. To me, that’s the most honest space to come from, especially right now. I don’t know what the truth is, but I’m going to stay open. I’m going to stay open-minded and openhearted. I’m saying that publicly and saying it to you, Whitney, because I want to remind myself to remain in that space. That space to me feels real. It feels authentic to me.

One ongoing piece of advice that I see come up is when you don’t agree with somebody, you can simply be open-minded and curious about their perspective instead of debating it. You can come from a place of trying to understand them. I liked our guest in an upcoming episode with Brandy, where she openly says like, “I’m going to judge you, but then we’ll get through it.” That was a big thing, how she talks to her children. You can check and see if Brandy’s episode is up. It’s an interesting perspective to me because some people are judgmental and they like being judgmental. That feels comfortable to them and that’s how they operate.

Yet, you can be judgmental temporarily. Once you move past the judgment, then maybe you can have an open mind. I liked that because for me, I try not to be judgmental but sometimes we simply are. We might not be able to help it. We were talking about getting triggered by certain people. I can feel triggered and annoyed by them. I can start to observe my feelings. If I have the opportunity, I can engage in a conversation with that person who acts differently or says things differently than me or has a different belief system. I would like that from them. I would rather somebody be open-minded with me, even if they don’t agree with me. If they feel triggered or judging towards me, it would be nice if despite those feelings, they were willing to have a conversation instead of a debate or dismissing me entirely.

If the cat is probably no longer as active and is rejecting its food, it could be sick. Click To Tweet

The big lesson here is to stay curious, stay open-minded, realize that whatever your perspectives are on the world, they may not be based in facts, but that’s okay. Most of us don’t know what’s going on anyway. There are very few facts of life. Some of them are gravity and the fact that we are going to die and we don’t know when it will be, and we’re not guaranteed anything. Aside from that, it’s hard to even think about that many facts that can’t be changed or shifted over time. Even research can be found faulty. There are many biases. Having an open mind and an open heart and moving through life that way, if that works for you, great. If you want to stay rigid in your perspective, that’s okay too. That’s where you’re at right now and see how it works for you. See how it feels. We all have our different motivations for our behaviors and our outlooks. We’ll find out more about UFO as time goes on.

I’m excited to see what’s going to unfold. We know that phrase, “May you live in interesting times.” For better or worse or anything in between. As a military helicopter flies over my house, things are absolutely interesting. Rather than devolving into terror or fear or confusion, even though they come up in moments, where I’m sitting back and being interested, curious, and amazed at how wonderful, unpredictable, and bizarre all of this is. To me, it takes the terror and the fear out of it all. It is trying as an observer to watch it unfold and not feel like I have to be right or explain all of it. I’m going to sit back and watch this and speak up when my heart tells me to speak up. Sitting back and observing it, I feel meditation has trained me to do that in a way. Not judge the thoughts, not judge what’s happening. Just sit back and watch it. On that subject, Whitney, are we doing our frequently asked queries? Do we have any interesting ones?

Of course, we are. First, we should do our brand shout-out. Our new format once we’re done on our subject matter is to shout out some brands that we love. I have one brand and then something new that I learned about, which is a brand but a little different. The first one is Amy’s Kitchen. They sent me some of their products to try. At least a couple of them were new. There were three separate products that they sent me and I need to make sure that I get the names right. The first one, the one that stands out the most to me is their new vegan gluten-free pepperoni pizza. It was so good. I was impressed by it and it’s a meatless pepperoni. The pepperoni itself was fairly good, but it was the combination of everything. It was the synergy of all the ingredients. They reformulated their crust. It tasted better than any recollection I had of Amy’s Pizza before. It was great. I was very impressed. I like Amy’s in general. They tend to use high-quality ingredients. They’re a company that gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling. They also sent me their tortilla casserole with cheese, also vegan and gluten-free, and their chili mac and cheese. Both of them had beans in them if I recall. They were very filling and flavorful and it was so nice to be able to have those foods and they sent them to me.

I got them and I had one of the dishes for lunch, one of the dishes for dinner, and then one of the dishes for lunch the next day. Within 24 hours, I finished all three. Previous to receiving those, I was given a shipment of their soups and that got me hooked on their soups. I will say that the soups are even more exciting because they cost between $3 to $4 with mostly if not entirely organic ingredients, depending on the soup that you purchase. They’re super handy to have in your home, especially during this time of quarantine because they last a while. I wasn’t a huge soup fan, but I got on an Amy’s soup kick and find them incredibly satisfying and filling, especially their split pea soup. That’s probably my favorite. They have 2 or 3 different versions. One of them is light in sodium and it’s satisfying. I would sprinkle on nutritional yeast and some hot sauce. Sometimes I dip gluten-free bread in there. I was very grateful that I was not eating a keto diet because none of these foods are vegan keto-friendly, but they’ve hit the spot. That’s my big brand shout-out.

The second one I learned about and I thought it was so cool. It would have been a neat thing to bring up in our episode about ethical consumerism. This is a company that is a mobile app called Merryfield. It’s launched and it’s an app that rewards shoppers for buying everyday products that don’t contain artificial junk or unnecessary chemicals. They have this comprehensive quality standard of better for you brands. I haven’t used it yet, but I want to go through all my receipts because what you do is scan your receipts in somehow and the app will reward you if you have purchased any brands that they consider high quality. I don’t know what you get in return. Let me look at this. I got a press release and the press release was from a wonderful PR person that I’ve known for many years. She’s worked with Whole Foods and all these other great brands. I was excited to hear from her.

Let’s see what happens. What is your reward that you get? All it says is that you get rewarded. What do you get in return? You have to go to the website. It’s the one thing with this press release that was not 100% evident. The PR release and the website keeps saying rewards, but what the heck? You can redeem your rewards for gift cards from top brands. This is cool. You can get gift cards for Airbnb, Whole Foods, REI, a bunch of other stores that I don’t shop at, so I’m not going to mention them. They give back to different organizations. They’re focused on No Kid Hungry, which is an organization that helps with ending childhood hunger. That sounds cool. There are a lot of great brands on there that I certainly purchase. Beyond Meat is on there, so if you purchase any Beyond Meat. I’m going to go through all my receipts and check it out. Califia Farms is on there, RightRice, which is great. This sounds pretty good. How about you, Jason?

It’s a dope concept. The idea of rewarding people for ethical, mindful consumerism is a cool idea. I’ve never quite seen that before.

I continue to click around their website. What’s also neat is it’s pretty educational. They have a watch list on there. It reminds me of the Skin Deep database, which is great for looking up personal care. They have a food personal care and beauty and household section on Merryfield’s website where you can go and learn more about certain ingredients and what they consider bad for you, good for you, what’s prohibited or restricted, and why. You can click on each of the different ingredients and learn more about them. It’s very educational and it is going to help me better understand my purchases as well. I wish I had known of this when we did that episode. Hopefully, people who’ll read that episode read this one as well. Jason, what is the brand or brands that you would shout-out before we get into the frequently asked queries?

I was introduced to an interesting beverage. I’d never heard of this brand and I’m not saying that because I am the arbiter of all things wellness and health. Whitney and I both keep up on the industry pretty hardcore. The brand is called The Bitter Housewife. They have a sparkling soda drink. It’s called Bitters & Soda. It’s zero-proof. There’s no alcohol, zero-calorie and it’s sugar-free. It’s super delicious because it’s a very complex combination of cinnamon, sarsaparilla, ginger and dried cherries. It’s delicious. I have been excited to have this because it’s spicy, it’s complex and it’s interesting. I received a case of it from my girlfriend, Laura’s mom. It’s a Portland brand. The woman’s name is Genevieve Brazelton and it’s super delicious.

It’s her and her husband, Dan, it’s a super small batch. They’re handcrafted in Portland, Oregon. Shout-out to Portland. Apparently, they’ve won a bunch of awards. They have aromatic bitters, grapefruit, bitters, cardamom bitters, which is one of my favorite spices in the world. They were also named Product of The Year by the Specialty Food Association, shout-out to Fancy Food Show. I got a case of their aromatic bitters. Big notes of cherry, ginger and cinnamon. It’s fucking delicious. I put it over ice. Since it is unsweetened, I do add a little bit of either Monk Fruit or Stevia to it, but I love it. I’m not consuming alcohol for several reasons.

One of which is I’ve been having a health situation that does not allow me to drink alcoholic beverages. To have something like this, I almost feel it’s a treat at the end of the day. After we’re podcasting and after business gets done and the things that we do, instead of having a shot of what I might normally have like a Japanese whiskey or something, I kick back with one of these. Big shout-out to The Bitter Housewife. If you have not yet tried this, see if you can get your hands on it and you’ll be satisfied. Whitney, I’m going to bring you a couple of cans because I want to see what you think about it.

Thank goodness. I’ve been waiting for you to say that. Thank you in advance. I can’t wait to try it. We teased on an episode a while back about you trying a beverage. I don’t know if I told you what it was because we got sent a case of LaCroix of their new flavor. I’m curious what your thoughts are on it after having several cans of it on your road trip.

MGU 104 | Conspiracy Theories

Conspiracy Theories: People who believe in conspiracy theories can feel special in a positive sense because they may feel they are more informed than others about important social and political events.

 

I got burnt out on it pretty quickly. The lemon flavor, it’s like a limoncello, it’s not necessarily my favorite flavor profile, lemony limey stuff. As an example, back in the day, things like Sprite were not my go-to beverage or soda flavor. Things that are generally lemon-flavored are not super high on my list of preferred tastes.

I liked it. Did Laura like it?

She liked it better than I did.

I’m glad it didn’t go to waste and I’m glad I didn’t give you the full case of it. I drank some of it too because I absolutely loved it. It’s my favorite flavor of LaCroix. If you are a sparkling water lover and you’re not turned off by the lemon-lime flavors as Jason is, then you should give the limoncello a try. I thought it was fantastic. I have one more case that I’m supposed to give to our LaCroix loving friend. I’m hoping that she wants to share it with me because I would love to drink more and I haven’t seen it in stores yet. You might have to go on a little LaCroix hunt or look on their website to find specific flavors in order to get your hands on it. It also could be a limited-edition flavor. I have no idea, but we were fortunate enough to get to try it.

With no further ado, let’s dive into Frequently Asked Queries, our segment in which we read some of the search queries that people type into Google in which they come across our website for the podcast. It’s always a fascinating rabbit hole to dive into. I have a few that I thought could be interesting here. Number one, I thought this was funny and this could have been a tagline or maybe it will be part of our tagline for the show. The query was, “Any fool can be uncomfortable.”

For our audience, you probably don’t know this unless you are very close to us. Whitney and I have a term of endearment toward one another. We call each other fuhl. Also, one of my French bulldog Bella’s nicknames is Bakfuhl because that’s what she’s saying when she barks. She makes a weird noise when she barks. The fact someone combined foolishness and uncomfortableness, they’re like, “Who is this? How do they know us?” It’s very meta that they knew that. What does that mean? Any fool can be uncomfortable. I don’t know what else to say other than that’s a very inside joke for us, Whitney.

I don’t know what else to say either. I thought that you would be amused by that, Jason.

Very much so.

We wish that we could find out why people search what they do, but that’s part of the mystery of the universe, I suppose. The next one that is interesting. I bet you don’t have the answer to this, Jason, but maybe you do. As you are guessing the answer, maybe I will look this up. The query was, “Can two chameleons live together?”

I have no clue. I was the very fortunate caretaker as a child of a chameleon named Luke the lizard because I was obsessed with Star Wars and Luke Skywalker. I remember getting this chameleon, Luke, when I was five years old. He lived a long time. This chameleon lived 5 or 6 years. He was very sweet. I remember I had to feed him crickets and mealworms and he would change color. Shout-out to Luke the lizard, whatever form you’re in now, brother. It was very fun having a lizard, but I never had a second one. I do not have the information or acumen to properly answer this question.

According to a quick Google search, one person says, “The truth is you should never house two or more chameleons together. They much prefer living alone.” They’re like you, Jason.

Alone is relative. I have five animals and a girlfriend who visits often. I’m not as much of a hermit as people make me out to be, even though I have hermitage tendencies.

Be a little more humble about your perspective, rather than claim to have the truth with a capital T. Click To Tweet

Two male chameleons will likely fight with each other over territory, but you might be able to have a male with other female chameleons.

That means baby chameleons are on the way. Do you want a family of chameleons?

That sounds pretty cute to me.

A family of chameleons? I suppose if the terrarium is big enough.

It depends on the sex apparently. That’s your answer if you’re looking for it.

He was very sweet. I used to take Luke out of his terrarium and pet him and he would be in my lap and I’d let him run around my room. That’s probably the most unusual companion animal I’ve had.

Did he change color and all that?

He did. It was very cool.

For a serious query, maybe you do have the answer to this one, Jason. “How do I know if my cat is depressed?”

First of all, if the cat is demonstrating any behaviors that are out of alignment with typical cat behavior, perhaps if your cat is active and it likes its food and jumps around a lot and is an active cat. If the cat is probably no longer as active and is rejecting its food, it could be sick. In terms of emotional depression, it’s interesting. I’m by no means the most apt source for animal communication. I know there are people like our acquaintance, Sarah Lee who’s here in LA. She’s an animal communicator, but I don’t know. For me, on a very basic level, if I notice that my cats are disinterested in playing or cuddling or eating, then I’m like, “Something must not be right with them.” It’s a very anthropomorphic attitude toward other creatures. Our definition of depression, how the fuck do we know if animals or cats or dogs get depressed? That almost feels to me like we’re taking our very specific human understanding of our emotional content and projecting it onto other nonhuman animals. How do we know that they even get depressed? How do we even know how to accurately assess their emotional content at all? How do we know how they’re perceiving it? Do dogs and cats get depressed? That is the better question. I’m not assuming that they do.

I don’t know because I have not paid that much attention. I thought that you might have the answer. When you brought up Sarah, you’re talking about blonde Sarah that went on the vegan Lux tours with us?

Correct.

MGU 104 | Conspiracy Theories

Conspiracy Theories: Stay curious and open-minded. Realize that whatever your perspectives are on the world, they may not be based on facts, and that’s okay.

 

I don’t think she lives in Los Angeles anymore. She’s blown up on TikTok. It doesn’t look like she’s in Los Angeles.

I haven’t followed up with her in a while because of COVID.

Yet you knew she was on TikTok? That all happened during COVID.

I don’t know where she lives now. I’ll probably have to shoot her a DM, but I know that she’s one of the first people that come to mind in terms of hiring an animal communicator.

I am going to link to her TikTok account where you could reach her and follow her. She does a lot of very entertaining TikTok. Her username is @TheVeggieBarbie and she is blonde and beautiful. Perhaps that’s where she got her name from, but she will often use her beauty to get across interesting messages about a cruelty-free lifestyle. I haven’t seen much about animal communication.

If you are just joining us, dear reader, or you have been with us through 104 episodes, thank you for reading. As always, Whitney and I appreciate you, your shares and your reviews on iTunes on Apple Podcasts. We appreciate the feedback that we get from you and you sharing this show. Whether it’s on our Instagram account or Facebook account, Twitter, Pinterest or YouTube. We love your feedback and sharing these episodes with your friends and family, or maybe even your adversaries. We don’t know who you’re sharing them with. We appreciate that you do. If you do want to reach out to us directly, we always love receiving emails from you. Our direct email is [email protected]. You can always shoot us a direct message on any of our social media accounts. The handle is @Wellevatr.

We also have a bunch of free resources on our website from different paid courses you can take to free eBooks and free video training that you can access at any time. We also send out a weekly newsletter that you can subscribe to on our website. Every Friday, we send out a roundup of our episodes and links to any articles or resources that we think may be beneficial for you on your journey toward health, awareness, love and healing. All the things we talk about. Until next time, sending love from myself and Whitney Lauritsen to you. If you guys have any encounters with aliens, hit us up with the videos. I thought I had a better ending, but I don’t. We love you. We’ll see you soon!

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