The Dove of Oneness Cult and NESARA
Also: a Minor Ecological Disaster and Website Ragnarok
Quick Update: Dragged Into the Light: Truthers, Reptilians, Super Soldiers and Death Inside an Online Cult should be available for pre-order soon. If you want to check out the cover, it’s here.
I’ve been thinking a lot about Shanni Goodwin (known as the Dove of Oneness) this week. She was kind of the original Sherry Shriner for me. She lived in a trailer in the Pacific Northwest and collected vast sums from people who were obsessed with her, even though she was only a name on a screen.
“Dove” as people referred to her was no more interesting than Sherry Shriner. As one of the original NESARA scammers, she had the same proclivity for nonsense and the same disdain for rational discourse.
NESARA is also called the economic reset. For long, tragically boring reasons people believe that the government is going to cancel all debt and close the central bank and that they could invest in it and collect dividends.
“The Dove” could have gone even bigger than she did and made a blue fortune, but a think a lot of these minor cult leaders don’t want to get huge.
Mega-church leaders need lawyers and accountants to make sure they don’t pay a drop of tax while not going to jail for fraud. Shanni Goodwin didn’t need anything fancy, she just didn’t want to have a straight job either. Or maybe she couldn't get one.
I spoke with Sean Robinson who did this great deep dive into the Dove of Oneness back at the turn of the century (I’ll never get tired of saying that). It’s so well-reported and clever it makes you forget that reporters used to run down local stories and that newspapers would pay them to expose fraud and corruption. Simpler times.
The Dove died and never was prosecuted. Actually, she never broke the law in an overt way. NESARA is a very special, double-edged Ponzi scheme. Some people make money by claiming to sell shares in it, but Shanni made her money more as a promoter. Her followers supported her mission, which was to provide information about NESARA and to pressure the government into finally enacting it.
People sent money not because they expected something tangible, but because they supported her work as a holy person just trying to hold the government to account for the righteous.
The turn for me was the realization that we only think it’s dumb because we think it’s weird. I started to wonder how sending money to “obvious” frauds might not be much different than what we think of as “normal” tithing.
Once that fell away, I began to see how cult beliefs are only strange in that they are outside the mainstream, they’re not objectively weirder. As with too many so-called differences between the fringe and the mainstream, they are cousins. That is to say, people were well-trained in sending religious people money for a promised, non-tangible reward long before the internet.
After decades of supporting the political efforts of preachers and churches who promise to make the country more righteous, is it really weird to support one who says they can help get your mortgage canceled?
Tithing is a habit that it easily co-opted, so it only makes sense that we ask why we do it. Are we supporting specific works, or just paying a fee to feel better about our spiritual futures? If it’s the latter, it doesn’t really matter who gets our money.
This week’s updates:
The distance between our grand plans and our final executions only gets longer when nature is involved. I wrote this week about triggering a minor ecological disaster by mistake.
This week’s episode of Day Drinking on Delmarva takes a look at (among other things) blowing up our websites. I don’t attempt to monetize my websites, so it made sense to do away with the hosting costs and having to tinker. I have gotten almost completely out of the website maintenance game. Now I just write and I’m getting a lot more writing done.
I’m on Clubhouse and considering starting a weekly discussion about conspiracy theories. If you’re on and are interested, let me know. If you’re not and want to be on, I have some invites (although I think it’s pretty easy to get one).
Have a great week. The weather almost certainly has to break soon.