Podcasts/Sacred Tension-HOH Context Switching73a85
HOH_Context_Switching73a85 SUMMARY KEYWORDS people, kettle chips, life, masks, focus, thinking, patrons, community, feel, yogi bhajan, healy, absolutely, twitter, cult, treat, new religious movements, fringe, workers, important, kettle SPEAKERS Timothy McPherson, Stephen Bradford Long
Stephen Bradford Long 00:20 hit record. 54321 Check, check, check, check, check. Say something Timothy.
Timothy McPherson 00:30 Something Timothy.
Stephen Bradford Long 00:31 Very good. Oh, your your levels are looking a bit low. Say that count of five real fast.
Timothy McPherson 00:39 12345
Stephen Bradford Long 00:42 Okay, we're good. All right, well, people will probably slowly trickle in to the let's hold on P. Why do people constantly treat people in the service? Like we're robots are not human. That's a great topic for today. Okay, well, hello, everyone. Welcome to the house of heretics podcast. The patrons only show where Timothy and I talk about bullshit for your listening pleasure. We are live on my Discord server in the patrons only channels on Discord. So if you want to take part in the live discussion, here it is every Wednesday morning at 11am Eastern Time. And any tear of my Patreon gets you access. All right, however, because I am profoundly negligent, and getting guests for Sacred tension. This might also be the main show this week. On sacred tension, we will see so everyone be on your best behavior. Put your dicks away. Put your tits away. We need to not horrify the public. Sounds good Timothy?
Timothy McPherson 02:00 Yeah, I will. I will do my best.
Stephen Bradford Long 02:03 Good. Very good. How are you love? How's life?
Timothy McPherson 02:10 Oh, that's not too bad. Nothing really new to report around here. Except that people still don't like masks in my era neck of the woods. And, and so I beginning friends as in their, like mid 20s who have been going into the hospital with bad cases of COBIT. And I mean, really bad cases
Stephen Bradford Long 02:32 with so with breakthrough cases.
Timothy McPherson 02:35 No, this person wasn't even immunized this friend of mine.
Stephen Bradford Long 02:38 Oh, okay. I said, Well, I mean, it's the breakthrough cases that scare the fuck out of me. And, you know, I, it feels kind of like, early 20 22.0. Because for everyone who doesn't know, I manage a grocery store. And let me tell you managing a grocery store during a pandemic is one of the most terrifying fucking things I've ever done in my life. And that first, those first few weeks, those first few months when the pandemic hit and 2020 I was just like, I'm just going to die, is what I was thinking, like I, I'm working with the public, we're keeping the community fed. And we you know, it's a small local market, basically small, locally owned market that's very interconnected with our valley and with the families here and with the communities here. And I was I was like, I can't not do this. And like people are counting on me, but also, this is genuinely dangerous. And I could I could get this and it kind of feels like that over again with the Delta variant. I am vaccinated and my understanding is that being vaccinated makes one much less likely to have a severe case of COVID If you get it if you do have a breakthrough case, but still, I'm I'm spooked by it. It freaks me out. So I just keep I'm just keeping the air circulating in my store, making sure everyone is keeping their distance making sure everyone is wearing masks except when people threaten us with violence which has happened. Yeah, last year, one of your stores sorry, going.
Timothy McPherson 04:35 Yeah, I was just you so your store stores still requires your customers to wear masks.
Stephen Bradford Long 04:40 Right. Well, so yes, we are. We're back to requiring it. There was a season between you know, there was that there was that season when restrictions were easing between everyone getting vaccinated and the beginning of Delta. Right. When, when everything started opening up again, and so we saw arted opening up again. Yeah, I mean, we started easing restrictions but now now it's back and I am so okay with that in part because a I think masks are really fucking kinky. They're all these hot guys wandering around my store with masks on and it's kind of hot. And to the best thing about mask is that I don't have to smile at people.
Timothy McPherson 05:27 But I've noticed actually that people can still still tell if you're smiling or not. Yeah,
Stephen Bradford Long 05:33 I don't care. I will. I will. I will Hannibal Lecter death glare you over my mask I am so I have so sick of smiling at these faithless degenerates. Who know I shouldn't call them the thankless degenerates. I'm just tired of smiling. It's it's not fun. I am a super introvert. There are times when all I can do is just when it takes enormous effort just to make eye contact with people. But that said, Yes, we are back to doing masks. And I am so okay with that. But we'll see. We'll see what happens. How are you?
Timothy McPherson 06:25 Well, I'm doing okay, our our Starbucks store that I'm working out still has no seating allowed inside. So I'm very happy about that. We get a lot of people who are upset about it. But honestly, I'm with, we just keep on getting cases of our workers coming down with COVID. Or maybe something that they're not too certain about just even just this morning, one of my co workers had texted me and asked me if I if I could give him a ride back home because he had been dropped off and at work and he started coughing and he didn't know why he was coughing. And so manager said you need to go home. So, I mean, he gets paid time off. That's what's really great about Starbucks, he doesn't have to worry about not getting paid during that time. But still, it's frustrating.
Stephen Bradford Long 07:23 Yeah, absolutely. So one person in chat, by the way, since this might be airing publicly, let's not use people's names from the chat. So we're one person from chat says, why do people constantly treat people in the service industry? Like we are robots or not human? So Timothy, we are both in the service industry. Right. Yeah, you know, I am. People treat me like that less. Now, because I'm a manager. And so now it's like, whenever I show up, it's like, oh, the human has arrived. Whenever I have to fix fix an issue, but the general workers who are not in management, totally get and I still get treated. Like I'm not human, every now and then. But the non management definitely gets treated that way. And yeah, I I I have a really hard time understanding why. Like, why why is Yeah, I do not understand. I don't get it.
Timothy McPherson 08:51 I think part of it has to do with this mind set, maybe maybe this is held over for why we Okay, now this is me just spouting off the top of my head. I don't always like doing this because I don't have concrete data in my heads to say, this is what it is. But this is what I'm thinking about. You know, we have this mindset if somebody is serving you, then that means they're below you status wise. Oh, yeah. And, and because of that, you can treat them less than what you yourself would want to be treated. And so that's the concept that I am understanding probably would be the best way for that. And when you brought that up to me, it reminded me of my time that I lived in Germany. Now I love the German people so much. They are really great people. However, they are terrible in the service industry.
Stephen Bradford Long 09:59 This is There's a stereotype is this racist against Germans right now?
Timothy McPherson 10:03 I don't know if it's racist against Germans, but it this is an Well, this is definitely anecdotally. So if you go if you go into a typical McDonald's, maybe about 50% of the workers who are there are not German, there are foreigners are from another country and willing to take take those jobs be very similar to the workers that we have who are in the farming industry who, who come from Latin America to work here. Right. And you don't see as many Americans doing the jobs that Latin Americans do.
Stephen Bradford Long 10:43 It's definitely class. There's definitely a class based thing going on. And also, I The impression I get is that it is it is an issue of status and class. But deeper than that, the way the public Pete some people in the public treat service workers. I think it it, it's also deeply rooted in you. You have less attainments and are and are therefore less deserving, you deserve this position. And I cannot count the number of people who seem to have a real cognitive dissonance when I tell them my background what I tell them oh, yeah, I was, uh, you know, I was a vocal performance major, I was a classical musician in school for four years. I have a master or not a Masters goodness, not a master's yet I have a I have a Bachelors of music, just that just having a bachelor's throws people for a loop. The fact that I can get on air every week and talk semi coherently about politics and philosophy and religion really seems to upset people. It and people are like, Why are you still here? People have actually asked me that. Why are you still here? Why do you still work in the service industry? When why? You know, what are you doing in this kind of job? And I my answer is always there are a lot of people like me in jobs like this. That's just the way it is. Welcome to the 21st century. Welcome to millennials. And, you know, there's this profound disconnect. When it comes to class and, and class assumptions. It's almost like the class assumptions from the 70s and 80s just have not changed in a lot of ways. And those class assumptions fundamentally dehumanizing just be and you know, it isn't to say that it isn't just to that is not just to say that they are that they were okay then but they aren't okay, now. It's like, no, these class assumptions are fundamentally dehumanizing period.
Timothy McPherson 13:24 I think, well, I don't think everybody is like that. And that's probably, you know, another generalization, we might need to squash a bit because I mean, maybe this is just me personally, but whenever somebody does an act of service for me, I feel intensely grateful. Same for that. And I'm like, if somebody does something above and beyond what people expect other people to do is done. For me. I feel intensely honored or maybe humbled that somebody would do that. And so I tried to treat that person then with extra respect. But so same, the only thing the only thing I can think of is like when people don't do this, they're dealing with some sort of inferiority complex where the easiest way to make yourself feel better is to try to make others treat others worse, and that's really stupid. But it's, it's this back to psychology that that's so easy to do this, a bullying type of thing.
Stephen Bradford Long 14:35 That and people are so I noticed this phenomenon every summer so I live in the Asheville, North Carolina area and which is a huge vacation spot. And so every summer we got flooded with vacationers, a lot of them are awesome. A lot of them are also using vacation as a form of marital counseling because they're marriages are falling apart. And they are and they hate each other. And they are trying to use their vacation as like a as as a last ditch effort to relax together and save their relationships and save their families and save their mental health and so on. And vacation can't do that. And so people are under like, massive psychological distress, and there's no where they can put it. It's like, there's nowhere they can release it. And so they just, they just unleash it on service workers. Like, they I watched it happen all the time, I see people who are deeply on who are deeply upset with life, probably for good reasons. You know, like, I see people who are deeply unhappy, deeply upset, deeply lonely. And it's like, they have no healthy place to put these feelings. And so it just explodes onto the service worker in front of them for which is absolutely unacceptable and not okay, but I think is also indicative of like a deeper societal issue, which is people are feeling really alienated right now. And alienation means that they don't have a place to put things.
Timothy McPherson 16:26 I know this is gonna sound like a really small thing. But I remember, just this past week, I was taking an order from somebody who got very short with me, it was through the drive thru and, and I wasn't thinking too much of it. But she was, she was just very short and upset when I didn't hear something correctly on her drink modification, but I mean, you know, it happens. And so I just asked for clarification. Got it. And she, when she got to the window, she was so apologetic to me about oh, treated me. That's great. It was like, she was almost crying in the way. And I felt and then I just felt really bad. And that's like, it happens, like people get get hurt, you know. And, of course, and I, and I tried not to think too much about, oh, this is the way you're treating me because of this job. But at the same time, I'm thinking, you know, people are coming here because they need to feel better.
Stephen Bradford Long 17:22 Yeah, help them feel better. You're their drug dealer. You're there. Exactly. You're their drug dealer, administering, you know, something that will hopefully help them get through the day and not, you know, eat their children or something. Oh, God, what was I about to say? I can't, I can't remember. Oh, you know, and one of the things that I try to remember, there are some people who are just awful. I mean, there are some people who were I'm like, No, you're just being a bully right now, please leave the store. Like there are some people like that. What I try to remind myself of is that I really have no idea what's happening in people's lives. And as I as I get to know, the public, because I've been working at this location for over seven years. And so I get, I've gotten to know a lot of these different communities and a lot of these different individuals and families who come into the store. And the thing that is always so apparent to me, is the level of ambient suffering that is just going on in everyone's life all of the time. Like, every single person has a broken relationship somewhere. Everyone has heartbreak somewhere, everyone has a serious medical issue themselves or has someone close to them who who has won, especially now in the age of COVID. Everyone is going through some kind of mental health struggle, everyone is going through some kind of financial stress, everyone, everyone is going through like deep seated existential insecurity and it becomes really, you know, people open up to me, when you people open up to you when when you see them every other day to get their groceries and you're like, Hi, how are you? And they start telling you how they actually are. And it just becomes incredibly apparent to me. How suffering have there's this ambient level of suffering 24/7 For most people, and that doesn't justify how they treat service workers. But it does help me realize that sometimes they are completely unaware of it. They are completely unconscious of how they are treating me or treating another service worker, because they every single brain cell is taken up with pain, every single brain cell is taken up with the loss of their mother or their dad having, you know, having Alzheimer's or a breakup that they just went through. I mean, it's it all of these things are very mundane and very normal, like every single person will experience this, and yet, it's intense. So that's what I try to remind myself of. And it helps, it helps quite a bit. Um, you had a question about my notifications?
Timothy McPherson 20:50 Well, yeah, you had tweeted earlier this week that you had turned off. Most of you notifications, and you were doing something different with them. I can't remember how you.
Stephen Bradford Long 20:59 Oh, there they are. Deliver quietly. Yes, there we go. To deliver quietly on on my iPhone. Have you ever seen I had apps go on? No, go. And I
Timothy McPherson 21:13 had asked you what I had asked you if that meant also your text messages?
Stephen Bradford Long 21:18 Yes, it does mean my text messages. So I don't have any. So I don't have social media on my phone. So Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, are not on my phone. But I still, you know, I think that there is a general problem with focus right now because of the rise of things like social media and digital digital media. And we have these like glowing squares and rectangles attached to our bodies 24/7. I'm not morally opposed to any of that, like, I know that I can come off very strongly anti technology. I'm not anti technology at all. I'm not a Luddite. I mean, we're doing this right now on a podcast on over discord. I do think that there's probably a global decline of focus. But I also am starting to realize that I might personally feel it more intensely, because of the unique wiring of my brain. And so I watch other people who are able to be on Twitter for an hour. And then who are able to be productive for the rest of the day. I can't do that. My it fractures my focus so much. So if say in the morning, if I sit down, and I get on Twitter, or I get heavily involved in a conversation on in Slack for work, or whatever, my my focus has gone for the rest of the day, I cannot use it. It's like this massive, uphill battle to just bring a sense of cohesion, to my ability to think. I'm starting to think that I might be more uniquely fragile, when it comes to my own interactions with technology. And so even though I don't have social media on my phone, I find that there is still this huge amount of ambient noise of distracting noise in my life. Even without Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, on my phone. If I do have those on my phone, it's it's death to me, I literally cannot function. It's incredible. And I want and really it it has occurred to me that maybe I am more uniquely susceptible to this because I look at other friends who are able to I won't say that they perform Fine. I won't say that they are performing optimally with Twitter on their phone, but they are performing better than me. Right? Like they they do better than than I do. However, I've still found that. You know, it just dawned on me that I have this device, which I have given the authority to interrupt my ability to focus in literally any moment of the day. And I think that we have this, this false dichotomy of how we view our lives as a result where we tend to see a you know we are we are drifting through life. And then there are bubbles of focus, there are bubbles of attention. And so it's like we deliberately carve out times of focus where it's like, Okay, I'm going to put on, do not disturb on my phone, so no one can contact me and for this 30 minutes, or this one hour or two hours, or whatever it is, while I watch a movie, or while I get some writing done, or focus on this one task or go for and take a nap or go for a run, or whatever it is, no one can connect with me during that time. But then the rest of the time, we're just floating the rest of the time we are unfocused, that is untrue, we are at every moment, present to something. Period, every moment, we are present, we are engaging with something that requires our attention. Every single moment, if I'm cooking, that cooking requires my attention. If I'm talking to my partner, or to a friend, that requires my attention, if I'm deriving that requires my attention. They're there we've we've carved up life into this incredibly unnatural and unsustainable thing. Where it is that where it's like, we have bubbles of focus in just this sea of distraction. And basically, we have given hours, we have given this technology permission to interrupt us during very important tasks that might seem mundane, but are in fact, the stuff of life the what life is made up of life is made up of boring, mundane tasks that we have to be present to its folding laundry it's working at in the service industry, it is cleaning the house, all of these require our attention. And it's it was almost like this spiritual awakening I had, where I was like, anyone can disrupt any of that, no wonder I'm exhausted. No wonder I'm exhausted 24/7. Right, like it because the science of context switching is pretty clear that context switching is the rapid movement from one topic or one domain to another. And we think that we can do this really well. But we physically can't any distraction, it takes about 20 minutes to reach optimal focus on a single topic, right, it takes and it takes enormous it's like climbing up a mountain, it takes a lot of energy, it takes a lot of focus. And so you're climbing up this mountain, and then you reach this state of focus of optimal focus, it takes about 20 minutes to get there. We are being distracted by our devices every three to 20 minutes, which means we never actually attain a state of optimal focus. And so it's like we get knocked down, we roll all the way back down to the bottom of the hill. And then we have to start climbing back up and again. And the net result of this is extraordinary fatigue. And so you know, it was an experiment I have shut down so no one can summon me. There are no texts, Slack can't summon me, Discord can't summon me right now, that might be a disaster if, if a troll gets in there, but right now, it's like an experiment. And what I've found is that I am not nearly as important as I think I am. I am everything that feels 99 99.9% of the things that feel urgent actually aren't like 99.9% of the things that feel massively urgent and important and that I need to respond to right now. actually aren't. It's fine and if and if and if it is act like if the store is actually burning down. Or if someone really truly does need to get my attention then they can call me otherwise and they will like if it's bad enough if something is bad enough, that requires my attention then they will call me if it's a but I I've found that the vast, vast majority of texts aren't actually important enough to disrupt my focus in the moment. Anyway, Thus endeth the rant? What are your thoughts?
Timothy McPherson 30:22 Guess you put me through a whole bunch of thoughts there. Okay. First of all, you're trying to go against your anti millennialism there.
Stephen Bradford Long 30:32 Oh, yeah. Well, and actually there's, you know, in terms of calling in terms of the calls, yes, yes. Okay. It is because I'm a millennial that I know that it will, that people will only call me if it is supremely important. Because I am a millennial, and I hate calls I hate. I hate calling people. It's so distressing. I will only call someone if I absolutely must, if it cannot wait, which is why I know that other people a lot of other people will call me only when it is absolutely important.
Timothy McPherson 31:20 The thing is, the other thing I was thinking, though, is not just social media that distracts us, though, from tasks that we do, or other things that are going to distract us not just social media, and you're going to always have interruptions in your life, whether or not they're from social media, and you can't control those.
Stephen Bradford Long 31:37 Very true. It's the self interrupting. That is so destructive. You know, well,
Timothy McPherson 31:47 it's like, oh, goodness, my, okay, this is probably me. This is me, give my own weakness here. My, my, the thing that interrupts me from doing tasks is laziness. Oh, say I will. I will procrastinate on some things like, oh, I don't want to do that. I am going to wait now. Yeah. And I'll do something else.
Stephen Bradford Long 32:09 And that's, that's kind of Sorry, go on. Go ahead.
Timothy McPherson 32:14 Well, no, you go ahead.
Stephen Bradford Long 32:15 That that's kind of why I did this. It's like, focus is already hard enough. Like life is already hard enough. Focus, and presence are, are brutally hard skills. Even if you are, you know, a peasant, you know, out in the countryside, farming or whatever, it's hard enough. It's hard enough, if you are a farmer or whatever, without technology. Like, I don't know, I kind of feel like the baseline of human existence. It's, it's hard enough, it's brutal enough. There's a reason why, you know, Buddhists, and Stoics have spent, you know, 1000s of years trying to develop these these skills of presence and focus. And the reason is, because it's hard. It's, it's contrary to human nature, even, even at the best of times, even even in situations of the most optimal focus. And like anyone who does a long silent retreat will discover this where, you know, if you go on a silent retreat, and you're like, Oh, finally, I can, you know, I can finally get some peace and quiet and then you discover that your mind is absolutely out of fucking control. You, you find that you, when you, when you actually sit down during a silent retreat, you you discover, oh, my mind is completely out of control. And that is the way it is 24/7. You know, hard life is hard enough, at least for me, and this isn't, you know, I hope, I hope that that none of this comes off as me berating or judging other people for their technology usage. It's like we're all in this together. So there you have it.
Timothy McPherson 34:23 Yeah. Yeah, I, I'm realizing that a lot of that is with you, yourself, particularly. I don't see it affecting me as much.
Stephen Bradford Long 34:37 Yeah, absolutely.
Timothy McPherson 34:40 I mean, of course, you know, we were talking about this a couple episodes ago, where, like, your Twitter followers and mine are like, I have a drop in the bucket compared to yours. And so when you go on Twitter, it's a whole different experience for you than when I go.
Stephen Bradford Long 34:56 It's a fucking circus. Yeah, no, it's absolutely true. And it To a lot of this will probably a lot of this will depend on people's individual neurodiversity, you know, it'll, it'll like depend on the wiring of their own brain. And it's possible that there are some people who are just totally content and able to, to stay present. Despite these interruptions, and not feel like it just completely shatters them. I feel completely shattered it. I mean, it's a feeling of being totally fractured. If I'm on social media, and then I, I can't do anything for the rest of the day, and the entire day is lost. I mean, that's really what it's like, for me, the entire day is lost. And so I, I cannot get onto social media. If I have any hope of doing any writing, or any, you know, having productive meetings, or having a good show, or whatever, you know, it's entirely possible that there are people for whom that's not the case. And it probably also depends on people's individual situations, like I manage a grocery store. I I'm on ordination Council for the Satanic Temple, I run this Discord server, and I'm a content creator, and I run rock candy recordings with Matt Langston. So that is a metric fuck ton of incoming data. Like that's, that's a that's a metric fuck ton of just incoming noise. 24/7. Yeah, anyway. But regarding Twitter, it really, it really is like, the more followers you have, the more deranged it becomes. It becomes more like, you know that that scene of the insane asylum at the beginning of Amadeus. And so I now call logging into social media, the is the exclusion zone entering the exclusion zone, as in the exclusion zone of Chernobyl. So it's like, I only have to, I will only consciously and deliberately log into Twitter, if I want to get a massive dose of radiation poisoning. Because I know what's going to happen in some way, I'm going to see some, you know, bummer piece of news, I'm, you know, people are going to be yelling at me, it's inevitable, it's going to happen. And so it's like, I'm only going to log in if I am mentally prepared to enter the exclusion zone and get a massive dose of radiation poisoning. And anyway,
Timothy McPherson 38:21 right. Well, let's say for instance, last last week, we were talking about that Twitter apology that you gave, were you is that something that you did consciously where you said, Okay, I'm going to take the time to address this issue that I did not explain very well.
Stephen Bradford Long 38:36 Yes, that is, that is something I did very, very deliberately. Yeah. And, you know, in regards to end, a lot of what I'm thinking about now, in terms of focus has actually stemmed from that interesting exchange on Twitter. Because it, it occurred to me that I might actually just have a more catastrophic experience with Twitter because of the nature of my brain than maybe other people do. And so, here I am, like, Oh, my God, this shit is fucking ruining my life. This, you know, this is destroying everything good for me. Why doesn't anyone acknowledge this or see that? And everyone, everyone else is like, yeah, you know, it's kind of bad. But you know, I can manage it. And I'm like, how, how and, and I realized that that kind of disconnect probably just comes down to the nature of my own brain. But yeah, with that clarification that I made on Twitter, I don't care very much if people are mad at me, but I care very deeply if I feel like what I intended to say was not communicated or was not understood. That's, that's what I care a lot about whether people are furious over a message that I feel like is properly communicated, I don't care about that. I do care if I feel like it, I'm being misunderstood, or, or misinterpreted, or like I have not articulated myself well. So moral of the story, everyone needs to send me a carrier pigeon, if they want to get my attention. That's the only way now. That's the only way to get my attention. They have to send me a carrier pigeon, and it might not, you know, this might not last forever. I might go back to turning on notifications. But we'll, we'll see. Anything else on your mind?
Timothy McPherson 41:05 Right? Well, yeah, I was just gonna say it had the unintended consequence of me sending you a message and then waiting three or four days for errors? Yes,
Stephen Bradford Long 41:13 I know. So there have been casualties. There have been a few casualties. That was one of them. I'm so sorry. Um, now I'm getting better at like, just having scheduled times that I look at my messages and just batch them were like, in between things like, okay, you know, I have to stock this shelf at work. That'll take me about an hour, I'm just going to focus on that. Once I'm done with that, then I'll look at my messages. You know, I'm getting better at at doing that. So hopefully, that won't be an issue. From from here on out. But yes, I apologize. That was not great of me.
Timothy McPherson 41:59 Which is what I what I what I had asked you that question. I didn't mean for it to be a whole topic.
Stephen Bradford Long 42:06 Hey, listen, I had not even because I was going.
Timothy McPherson 42:12 I was I was just gonna say I just wanted clarification. Like, Hey, did you mean that was also for text messages? Because you had to apologize? I was thinking because he had just apologize for not getting back to me right away. Yeah.
Stephen Bradford Long 42:28 That is exactly why. Well, you know, we've spent the past 40 minutes talking about the most boring topic on the planet, which is my which is my iPhone notifications. Is there anything else on your mind?
Timothy McPherson 42:49 I had something on my mind. But we were talking also about the service industry, which I think actually sort of cool. Yeah. Oh, and I just watched one little episode on Netflix about cults and I thought was really cool. Oh, which one? It was called. The it's called explained.
Stephen Bradford Long 43:12 Hmm by Vox bol?
Timothy McPherson 43:17 No, no, no, it's on Netflix. Okay, cool. It's a whole series called Explain. And they go through various topics. And I didn't want to go binge through the whole thing as I got, like most of this is not interesting to me. But the one that they did about cults I thought was very interesting. And they went, they talked about, you know, they talked about Jonestown. They talked about some old, I guess there was this. The state of New York, New York States was the scene of all sorts of new religious movements. Yes.
Stephen Bradford Long 43:57 So Mitch Horowitz happened. Mitch Horowitz wrote a fantastic book called A cult America and he's like, a scholar of the occult. And he's, he's fantastic. And I recommend everyone read his stuff. But his book occult America a good portion of it focuses on that region of America like New York State, and how it was just this hotbed of new religious movements and, and kind of fringe interesting, weird new religious expressions that have proliferated through America and the rest of the world. It's fascinating.
Timothy McPherson 44:45 Well, it was interesting for me because they showed it showed like these branches almost like a tree of all these branches, the on these new movements that popped up, and many of them I recognized right away a question like Mormonism, the millwrights do Java's witnesses. They all had their founding there in New York State. And then another one I thought was really interesting was the Oneida community. And I look at what Oneida I only know that as a cutlery place, and it's the same thing.
Stephen Bradford Long 45:17 So I don't... I don't know about this.
Timothy McPherson 45:19 It's absolutely the same thing.
Stephen Bradford Long 45:20 What is what is Oneida?
Timothy McPherson 45:23 Oneida is the city in New York, okay. And they had Oh Gus, it was the weirdest thing. I when I just I had to pause it and then it was called the Oneida community. And it was a perfectionist, religious communal society, I'm bringing up Wikipedia, so my apologies there. But I'm founded by somebody named John Humphrey noise. And he had this as basically as an 1848. And so is basically a free love society type place.
Stephen Bradford Long 46:00 Interesting. So it's 148. So it's one of those 19th century American utopian communities that were just like,
Timothy McPherson 46:07 basically, but it was based on free love, like using you could have sex with whomever you want it to
Stephen Bradford Long 46:15 men or like, just the opposite sex like how did how did they feel about the gays?
Timothy McPherson 46:22 I don't know if that was an even an issue. I mean, you know, cuz that's, I don't know what that was like back then. But I, when I was reading it, it seemed to say that there was a problem because every bit all these women at first, were starting to get pregnant all the time. And so the community realized they needed to do something about it and arranged for two, think of women first, which was an unusual thing about that. It was one of the few religious communities that thought of women first. And so they so with young men, okay, this goes out really bizarre. They would groom them, these younger men with women who were over 40 Oh, a lot.
Stephen Bradford Long 47:11
It was, it was a cougar cult, it was a cougar cult.
Timothy McPherson 47:18 But because we were these women were less likely to become pregnant. But I guess part of it was as noisy as this man who founded the society, his own wife had had five difficult pregnancies, four of which ended in stillbirths and so so, that was part of the reason and then they died. I mean, then they moved, they slowly died out, but they not before they had turned their little town into little industry place. And one of them was silverware. And I remember Oneida cutlery. You know, that's, that's, that's that same. That's a descendant of that. That cult movement.
Stephen Bradford Long 48:03 So two things, two thoughts come to mind. Yes, go on.
Timothy McPherson 48:08 Well, the other thing that we Reza Aslan was also on there, of course, he's a great yeah, he's.
Stephen Bradford Long 48:16 Yeah, he's really cool.
Timothy McPherson 48:18 I really like listening. Yeah, I really liked listening to some of his thoughts. And, and he was talking about all the great religious movements that started and when you tried to differentiate between cult, Oh, yeah. And what a real religion is he said a joke that they say amongst each other is cult plus time equals a religion.
Stephen Bradford Long 48:38 Exactly. No, it's true. And it's one of the reasons why lots of new religious movement scholars avoid the term cult altogether. And
Timothy McPherson 48:49 yeah, they call it new religious movement.
Stephen Bradford Long 48:52 Yeah, and one thing that Joseph Laycock says is, instead just use the word religion and just call something a healthy religion or an unhealthy religion. Right and you to two thoughts that I had while listening to you talk. One is as you as you look into new religious movements, it is impressive how horny they are. Like, almost invariably so many. I mean, not all of them. A lot of them aren't like, you know, Heaven's Gate.
Timothy McPherson 49:28 Having said that was the first one that popped up my heavens
Stephen Bradford Long 49:31 Heaven's Gate was very not horny there. It was anti horny it was, but it was like an anti anti sex call. But even then, you know, even then it was, it seems like Heaven's Gate. A lot of that was Marshall Applewhite, working through his own sexuality. And so, you know, sex is very important and so many of these movements and you know what's so impressive about so many of these battled many of these new religious movements is is just how horny they are.
Timothy McPherson 50:06 The shakers though were definitely not they were a celibate society that existed for decades.
Stephen Bradford Long 50:11 Absolutely. And you know, the other thing that I was going to say, um, do you it's impressive the how a number of fringe religious movements have infiltrated American capitalism. Have you seen the brand kettle chips? Yes. Do you know who who doesn't have? Yeah. Do you know where that's from?
Timothy McPherson 50:39 From potatoes being deep fried in a kettle.
Stephen Bradford Long 50:43 Correct. It is also Kettle Chips was founded by by Yogi Bhajan. Yogi Bhajan is this very, very controversial religious leader who came to the United States from either India or Pakistan, I forget which. And he is the one who kind of created a Western Kundalini yoga. And he is one of those more controversial gurus in that he. There's lots of sexual abuse allegations against him. I do think that he was a very unhealthy and destructive leader. People just have horror stories about Yogi Bhajan sure about that. Yogi Bhajan. And Kettle Chips know about Yeah, yes. Hold on. Let me look, let me Let me confirm because I might be wrong.
Timothy McPherson 51:47 I'm looking under kettle foods when you look under Kettle Chips was founded by Cameron Healy.
Stephen Bradford Long 51:53 Really? Hold on. No, I'm pretty let's Google Yogi Bhajan kettle chips and see what comes up. That this tangent might have just all been for naught. But let's see, I know that Yogi Bhajan has been kind of instrumental in a lot of businesses, Yogi.
52:15 Harbaugh Johnson Khalsa died in 2004.
Stephen Bradford Long 52:27 Let me clear
Timothy McPherson 52:29 I'm looking it up as well. Healthy Happy Holi organization. Interfaith work. Healing arts which I don't see anything about kettle chips, bud.
Stephen Bradford Long 52:47 hmm. Let's see here. Cameron Healy. Oh, wait. Kettle Foods Inc. of Salem, Oregon as a maker of healthy gourmet snacks. Cameron Healy found kettle chips. With a $10,000 bank loan and no working capital. Healy then sold his all natural items from a dilapidated van to natural food stores along Interstate five Oregon. According to the company's website he had no let's see here. Healy first had entered the natural food industry in 1972. And he invested $1,000 To start the Golden Temple bakery in Eugene, Oregon. Golden Temple, which grew out of the local yoga and Sikh communities produced granola and whole grain breads, which are distributed to a natural food store throughout the William state Valley Healy, a native of Bend Oregon and son of businesses that have been so interesting because there's definitely one of the things that came up repeatedly. When I was in the yoga community was like, oh, kettle chips, that's Yogi BA, John's thing. Like, that's part of the that's, that's run by his community. And so either the yoga community I was in was wrong. We might have to let's see here. Now people are just hearing us type furiously. He went on to his Oh, here we go. When India born Yogi Bhajan came to the United States in 1968. To teach Kundalini yoga. A revolution was sweeping the nation. Oh, in 1972, members of the fledgling Eugene ashram launched a tiny bakery in Springfield, which they letter later donated To the Sikh community. It grew into Golden Temple, an anchor of Eugene's natural food industry and a major local employer of uncharitable donor. The Eugene ashram grew steadily becoming the Northwest hub for Yogi ba John's brand of Sikhism. His adherence with turbans flowing robes and leggings became a common sight. Over the years members of the ashram married bought homes, sent their children to local schools and became part of the larger community. And 2004 Yogi Bhajan died after devising a succession plan that split control of the community's religious life and its business life, including golden temple now a lucrative international producer of natural cereals and teas based in Eugene. Six years ago, or six years later, a dispute over who owns and controls the multimillion dollar business had erupted into a court battle that is fracturing the community. The fight in Multnomah County Circuit Court has centered around the shift ownership of Golden Temple and then Kettle Chips got a hit somewhere in this article. But probably this is very boring to listeners and no one cares so I'm so he does have like a food Empire he did have a food empire that kettle chips may or may not have been related to in some way. But that's that's what I was thinking of the whole point being it's really interesting to me the ways in which new religious movements get entangled in certain forms of capitalism. And, and how kind of lots of name brand items are actually related to very weird fringe religious leaders. That is, that is the moral of the story.
Timothy McPherson 56:54 Yeah, one of our patrons has shared a link in the chat room, from the San Francisco reporter mentioned in it. And it basically just mentions kettle chips in there, but that the person who founded it was a follower of the
Stephen Bradford Long 57:11 that makes more spot on. Yeah, that makes more sense. And he might have it's, oh, let's see here. He, Yogi Bah, John's charisma and the teachings he brought from India were very appealing and kind of exotic to young Americans in the 1960s. As Cameron Healy, a member of Yogi Berra, John's organization for 23 years, Healy was a founder of the Springfield bakery that grew into Golden Temple. Ah, okay, so the founder, and then he went on to establish kettle chips and Salem in 1978. Okay, I see So, so the founder of okay, that makes that makes much more sense. Yeah. So, you know, it's, it's our culture and I recommend everyone read a colt America because what what MIT Horowitz demonstrate is how deeply embedded weirdness is and kind of fringe religious movements and new religious movements, how embedded they are in American mainstream culture, from products that that we eat, to like films, I mean to like films and like really mainstream ideas, like a lot of that came from the fringe.
Timothy McPherson 58:26 Well, a lot of things that we get in from society come from unexpected areas. Of course, he got the catalog and his great experiment trying to invent a bland cereal. A massive story.
Stephen Bradford Long 58:44 That's right. That's right. Oh, my God. We have to do a whole episode on catalogue at some point we should. We should do a whole house of heretics episode. Kellogg's gave us both breakfast cereal and infant circumcision says one person in chat I don't know if that's true, but very well, maybe this is just further proof that we should do a whole episode on Kellogg. All right. Well, there
Timothy McPherson 59:11 was an Yeah, go on. There was an issue of Yeah, there was an issue of Adam Ruins Everything. Have you ever watched any of that? Oh, yeah, definitely. Yeah, he he talked about circumcision in the United States. And if you go back to what it originally was, people say Oh, go ahead and get get circumcised is what my son my father did. This is so you can look more like his father, but it started off with people trying to control masturbation, so and that sounds instinct definitely like Kellogg would have done
Stephen Bradford Long 59:41 absolutely. So. Moral of the story. Do not control your masturbation. Everyone should masturbate. This is a pro masturbation
Timothy McPherson 59:54 you're gonna and you're gonna release this publicly. Yeah,
Stephen Bradford Long 59:59 of course. Hey, listen, my public show my public show is filthy but more professionally filthy. Like I thought, I talked to sex workers and and sex experts and so on and so forth. Everyone is just on better behavior, the public show.
Timothy McPherson 1:00:22 That should be your description for Sacred tension, filthy but professionally filthy.
Stephen Bradford Long 1:00:27 Absolutely. All right. Well, I we are. We've been going for about an hour, so we should probably wrap this up. But thank you, everyone so much for listening. Dear patrons, you're my personal Lord and Savior. I truly could not do this without you. Also, thank you again, because I had a massive issue with my van last week. And the only reason I was able to afford repairs was because of my patrons. So thank you so much. Like for real that Patreon money saved my car and I don't know where I would be without my patrons right now, every little bit helps. So thank you so much. And for anyone listening to this who wants to join, just follow the link in the show notes and you will get extra content every week, as well as access to the patron only channels on my Discord server. All right, is that it? I think that's it. Bye.
Timothy McPherson 1:01:29 Take care. Ciao.