Let’s be honest… The BJJ and MMA communities are a mess right now. Major influencers in the sport are busy using their social media reach to spread a TON of misinformation and disinformation.
It started with covid-denial, then anti-masking, and now anti-vaccine (the last strikes me as particularly ironic, because if you want to get back to normal then vaccines are the way to do it).
So what is it about our community that’s so f****d in 2020 and 2021?
For a long time I assumed that this was just the result of motivated reasoning; denying Covid-19 was real allowed teachers to keep their schools open, give seminars, and keep the cashflow going
To me this helped explain why there seemed to be a correlation between the lack of support for small business by government and the vehemence of the conspiracism arising in that country or region.
But now I think this pathology has morphed into something else. It’s conspiracy and contrarianism for it’s own sake, and it seems to be completely immune to data. It seems very cultish to me, which is why I’ve developed such an interest in conspiracy and cult thinking, and used my platforms to speak out about it.
My latest foray into this dangerous space is this interview with Julian Walker.
Julian Walker has researched, written, and podcasted about cults and gurus, spiritual bypass and quantum woo in New Age circles extensively. He is also a cohost of the (amazing) Conspirituality Podcast.
Today’s episode is really important, and we discuss why certain groups (like BJJ, MMA and Yoga circles) are more into conspiracy theories (starting roughly at 4:43), the tendency for some people to make connections and see patterns where none exist (18:16), end of the world prophecies (48:08), and more.
Here’s the video of the podcast…
And here’s the streaming audio of the podcast if you want to play it in the background as you do something else…
I’ve released this conversation with Julian Walker on my podcast (The Strenuous Life Podcast) as episode 336 which you can listen to on all podcast players, including the following popular platforms and apps…
And finally, if you don’t have a preferred podcast player you can can listen on the Grapplearts BJJ Master App which you can download for free for iPhone and iPad in the Apple App Store here or for Android devices in the Google Play Store here.
More Julian Walker
First and foremost, Julian is a cohost on the Conspirituality Podcast which examines the toxic ties between right-wing conspiracism and New Age utopianism.
- Episode 291 with Derek Beres (Cults and Conspiracies in the Yoga, Wellness, and BJJ Communities),
- Episode 297 with Mathew Remski (Cults, Prophecies, and Deprogramming Your Friends), and
- Episode 325 with Ami Palmer (Wrestling with Trust, Propaganda, and Conspiracies)
And, as always, a review of this podcast on iTunes or Spotify would be SUPER appreciated