BLUFThanks to the general lack of control over social media platforms, social media is being used to spread misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines.
In this article, Guardian journalist Sirin Kale discusses the wellness industry and its attitude to COVID-19 and vaccines. Key points:
Much of the industry promotes vaccine scepticism, COVID-19 conspiracy theories and the myth that ill people have themselves to blame.
Wellness ‘gurus’ have described vaccine passports as ‘medical apartheid’ and compared vaccine passports to the social polarisation witnessed during the Holocaust.
The western medical system has been described as a ‘mess’ and is under the pernicious influence of ‘big pharma’.
The work of controversial doctor Zach Bush—considered a ‘Covid denialist’—is being celebrated by many in the wellness industry.
Leading anti-vaxxers are reaching millions of people every day via social media.
One wellness ‘expert’ helped popularise the notorious Covid pseudo-documentary Plandemic by sharing it with her 560,000 Facebook followers.
Popular wellness influencers have compared lockdowns to the horrors inflicted on Polish Jews in the Warsaw ghetto, slavery, the Spanish Inquisition, and the Holocaust.
Many wellness influencers are using ‘cult leader techniques’ to sow fear and hesitancy about COVID-19 vaccines among their followers.
The global wellness industry is worth at least $1.5 trillion (some estimates suggest $4 trillion) with an annual 5-10 per cent growth.
The origins of the (modern) wellness industry date back to the hippy counter-culture of the 1960s and 1970s, which presented itself as a remedy to the drudgery of modern life.
The wellness industry often advocates that health is a choice rather than something genetically predetermined.
For nearly 50 years, the world of wellness has viewed bad health as something that can be ‘shrugged off’, but when the Covid vaccine programme began, the industry ‘metastasised into something far more harmful’.
Rhonda Byrne, the author of the bestselling self-help book ‘The Secret’, once claimed that the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks were in the wrong place at the wrong time due to their negative thoughts and outlook on the world.
Feb 2020 The Conversation The online wellness industry: why it’s so difficult to regulate
May 2020 ABC Australia Millions view viral Plandemic video featuring discredited medical researcher Judy Mikovits
Jun 2020 ABC Australia How Instagram wellness became a gateway drug for conspiracy theories
Sep 2020 Rolling Stone Wellness Influencers Are Calling Out QAnon Conspiracy Theorists for Spreading Lies
Feb 2021 The Guardian How the wellness and influencer crowd serve conspiracies to the masses
Feb 2021 The BBC Does yoga have a conspiracy theory problem?
Sep 2021 CBS News How conspiracy theories "infiltrated" the wellness community
Sep 2021 The Washington Post How wellness influencers are fuelling the anti-vaccine movement