Evolvefest

http://pulseradio.net/articles/2016/02/how-a-tiny-northeast-hippie-festival-transformed-into-a-massive-online-hate-group

Egil Asprem sent me this link from Pulse the other day. It’s a rather fascinating account of how a small New Age group based in New Jersey – largely as a result of one prominent figure, David Andrew Bryson – moved from a left-wing spiritual liberalism to a libertarian right-wing conspiracism. The general themes will be familiar to anyone who has read my work on David Icke or Whitley Strieber, though – as the article states, and which Egil has argued – but it is nice to see another clear example.

“The vibe was definitely weirder that year for sure,“ said Paul, a visual artist that worked at Evolvefest in 2013 and 2014, but has since distanced himself from Bryson and has made repeated requests to have images of his work removed from the festival’s Facebook page. Bryson, for the record, has not responded. “I found myself listening to conversations about chemtrails, or fluoride in the water, or banking cartels ruling the world a bunch of times. It was a lot crazier than the previous year.”

In fact, it reminds me most of Red Ice Radio, a podcast run by Henrik Palmgren operating out of Sweden that I have been following for a number of years. In 2011/12, when I was doing the bulk of my fieldwork for UFOs, Conspiracy Theories and the New Age, the subject matter was focussed on alternative religious ideas, with a strong emphasis on  the four typical tropes of millennial conspiracism – healing, millennialism, gnosis and UFOs – though perhaps somewhat more than typical concern with Northern European forms of paganism. By 2015, the topics are drawn almost exclusively from nationalistic versions of paganism and the alleged repression of the right, with a great deal of racial politics, antisemitism and holocaust denial.

I strongly dislike the dismissive tone of the article, but it has made me think that there might be a market for an article about Red Ice Radio in the future.

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