Ep.79 – The Flying Monkey ‘High Road’ & Sugar-Coated Shame | Candice & Tracy

Beginning next week, we’ll be shifting the conversation here on the main feed away from wellness ‘cult’ure convos. But first, back in early February, Candice invited Tracy Stamper to record a last-minute release for Patreon, and it soon after became one of this pod’s most downloaded bonus episodes to date.

Flying monkey is a term popularized in cult recovery spaces.  Borrowed from the storyline of the Wizard of Oz, it describes a high-demand group dynamic wherein hardcore loyalists reinforce ideology and allegiance to the group by policing behavior, expression, and dissenting opinions. But the thing is, in the world of new age wellness, flying monkey behavior isn’t always easy to suss out. It often masquerades as concern and/or sugar-coated redirections that are directed toward those who are wavering in their devotion; aka no longer ‘all-in.’ And in more extreme instances, it can look like victim shaming (see Ep.59).

Shrugging off good-girl conditioning, Candice & Tracy share never-told stories about what’s been happening behind the scenes, and how dogma placed in service to good intentions can actually do more harm. You’ll hear what it’s been like fielding ongoing criticism from Org loyalists. They take a critical look at “the high road” – what is it, really?… offer a closer look at ‘soft-power coercion’… and also at how gaslighting can get dressed up in holy garb. Also, is there a razor thin line between compassion and complicity? Candice references how the groundbreaking work of Regina Jackson & Saira Roa has been helping her to wake up to her own blindspots and moral complacency. And Tracy reflects on her own flying monkey behavior back in the day, and then offers a compelling counterargument to those who’d rather we STFU because “what about my business?!” Which leads to an in-real-time reality check around why – despite their shared desire to move away from the subject – they’re still talking about the Org. (Can we be done now, pretty please?!)

Referenced In This Episode:

The stories and opinions shared in this episode are based on personal experience and are not intended to malign any individual, group, or organization.

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