I went to the GOOP Health event in New York because I know you wanted me to go. Think if it as repayment for every post of mine you liked or shared.

I was on the fence about it, but my friend Dara Kass (also a doctor) convinced me to check it out. She said she would be my second and dangled a free place to stay in New York, so I volunteered as tribute.

I didn’t advertise I was going and I’ve been a little quieter on social media this week as I didn’t want people to realize I was in New York and put two and two together. The detective work that my Twitter collective can produce is mind-boggling.

I was initially worried they wouldn’t let me register, but some quick homework told me they had offloaded registration to a 3rd party so I thought it highly unlikely there was a no fly list. I did consider that I was just full of myself and they just didn’t care about me attending, however, along the way I received a tip that the GOOPsters hate me more than gluten, cow’s milk, and McChemicals combined so I think they just never thought I would go. Knowing that and managing to get in made it worth every penny.


I registered under my own name and even spoke with lots of people who work at GOOP, some very high up. At one point I was less than 6 feet from Gwyneth herself. No one recognized me with the exception of someone who follows me on Twitter (I’m sorry I forgot your name, it was a long day!) who approached when it was all over to ask if I was Jen Gunter and to tell me she liked my writing. Thank you!

The start of the day was very Hunger Games. I felt as if I was walking up to an arena. They gave us fancy slippers and almost everyone put them on except me. If shit got real cult-wise or they tried to throw me out I wanted to be able to run. Katniss would never give up her shoes.

The event hall was filled with beauty treatments sold as wellness as if a scent or facial cupping could do anything except make you smell or swell. There were B12 injections from an anesthesiologist who looked like an understudy for the show The Doctors. He is apparently both an osteopathic and a medical doctor. Yes, he went to medical school twice. We asked. I watched him give an injection without gloves. Gloves are not required for injections, but it grossed me out although not as much as the long line of women waiting to pull down their yoga pants and receive a vitamin shot without giving a history or having a physical exam. There was no fucking way I was getting an injection. I’ve read The Stepford Wives.


There were non toxic manicures that smelled as bad as regular manicures, some weird facial station that involved a mask that looked like an early prototype from Phantom of the Opera, and Sonic Womb music.

I know. I can’t even.

I circulated around the stations eating tiny and surprisingly bland potions of chia pudding and avocado toast with over cooked eggs. There was a drink that tasted like the inside of a spa. If you actually rinsed down a spa and put the effluent into bottles this is what it would taste like. There was also charcoal lemonade. It tasted like lemonade. The guy handing it out said it was good for “toxins.” I explained that charcoal was an antidote for poisoning and by the time one recognized that they had been poisoned by an ingested toxin it would be too late to administer oral charcoal. I also reported I was toxin free. He didn’t care. At “In GOOP Health” the truth is irrelevant and words are meaningless.

The coffee was good. No enemas though.

The actual content started at 10 a.m. GP (her formal name, no one calls her Gwyneth) was the mistress of ceremonies and for such a seasoned actress she said “um” a lot. She looked fine, but up close she looks her age so there is no magic in GOOP skin care products. The glowing twenty-something skin on the magazine covers is just the power of Photoshop.

There was an intensely boring 15 minute meditation session where “binaural” music, which sounds like Dory from Finding Nemo speaking whale but played backwards, helped everyone’s inner self travel to the center of the earth and back. Mine scrolled Twitter. I was thinking of that Scooby Doo Mystery Incorporated episode where music turns Velma and the gang into placid teen Zombies, but as dogs hear different frequencies Scooby remained clear-headed and was able to save the day. I wanted to stay alert and be everyone’s Scooby Doo.

Then the fucking carnival rolled into town. There were back to back sessions where we learned that death IS NOT REAL. And it’s great. Laura Lynne Jackson, a “research medium” (see, words don’t matter), told us how she worked with clients to connect them with their loved ones. She strolled the crowd and her spiritual guide, who I assume is named Cash Only, helped her select three random women (the first was related to a GOOP employee, color me shocked).

Here are the questions the “research medium” asked to prove she was making a connection with relatives from the other side:

Do you have a plant?
Did you dad know anyone in the military or have a military connection?
Does your name or the name of someone you know have an L or an M?
Do you have a dog?
Do you have a cat?
Was your dad a bad communicator?
Do you like shoes?
Do you have a website?
Have your recently bought a purse or thought about buying purse?

We were in a room full of women with an average age of 40 who could all afford at least a $650 ticket for a shit show of nothing. Of course these questions will ring true as they are an exact description of the phenotype of GOOP attendees.  L and M are also two of the most common letters. This was pure Barnum.

The “research medium” then took the stage with a neurosurgeon Dr. Eben Alexander, who died and came back to sell books about heaven, Dr Jay Lombard, a neurologist who could barely get a word in  because Alexander loves the sound of his own voice, and Bryce Dallas Howard.

Dr. Eben Alexander wrote Proof of Heaven and claims he was dead and saw heaven with his dead brain. Shockingly there are some holes in his story. In reality he did not die he had delirium and a medically induced coma, both of which can give vivid dreams and hallucinations. Yes, he was sick and had a great recovery but he did not die and he did not see heaven.

This fascination with death was 50% of the day and not in a productive “lets talk about how we die in America” kind of way, but in death is trip reserved for the privileged, like a cross between the movie Flatliners and cultures that believed in human sacrifice where the class born to be sacrificed were brought up to believe death is a goal and an honor. Monetizing death in this way is clearly profitable. The message seems to be I know you are afraid of dying so read my book or cross my palm with cash and I will share with you secrets about death that no one else can.

Either the neurosurgeon or neurologist told us that science says reincarnation is real as some university (maybe in Tennessee?) has tracked and verified 50 cases! Wow. I missed “Proof of reincarnation, a longitudinal study” when it was in The New England Journal of Medicine. At times I could not distinguish between the words of the neurosurgeon, the neurologist, or the “research medium,” but I guess it doesn’t matter as they all agreed with each other. Some things they said include the following:

The brain is a filter that gets in the way of primordial consciousness.
We don’t need evidence based medicine if we have experiences.
God has pure healing energy.
Consciousness is not a noun it is a verb.
The voice in your head is not your consciousness it is a parlor trick.
We turn into light energy when we die.
Language reduces experience. (I almost fell off my chair, WORDS DON’T MATTER).
We can trust the universe as long as we live in love.
The placebo effect is getting stronger over time, this scares Big Pharma.
Spontaneous healing from cancer and infections can happen with love.
A deep spiritual journey can cure anything.
The person sitting next to you at any time was sent there by the universe so trust that.

Oh, and school shootings happen because the kids who did the shooting were “disconnected from cords of love.” That’s right, if your child commits a terrible crime it is not because they were depressed or had impulse control issues and access to guns it is because they did not receive enough love.

God and nature were used as it suited and twisted to each purpose. God cures. Nature heals. They are different, but the same. I decided to combine God and nature to make Goture. I mean, why not? At one point I actually wrote, WORDS DON’T MATTER.

Next up the diet talk. Dr. Sara Gottfried, an OB/GYN who sells supplements even though ACOG says that is not ethical, Dr. Taz Bjatia, a doctor (originally a pediatrician I think) who says vaccines caused her brilliant child’s reflux to become severe within 24 hours and is a functional medicine expert and is proud of appearing on Dr. Oz, Shira Lenchewski who is a dietician, and Deanna Minich who is a functional nutritionist and has a Ph.D. in Human Nutrition and Metabolism.

Everyone had a book to sell. The session could be summarized as “buy my book.”

Dr. Gottfried’s secret to weight loss is apparently intermittent fasting that she defined for us as GOING FOUR HOURS BETWEEN MEALS, SOMETIMES EIGHT.

No seriously.

At this point I was frantically looking around. Everyone knows this is a cult right?

Gottfried has dinner early at 4 p.m. because despite her natural diet and supplements she is like an old person, but then she is hungry and has to eat again at 8 p.m or 10 p.m. Has no one told Dr. Gottfried this phenomenon is called meals?


One of the dietitians wanted us to eat the rainbow (not Skittles though) and if we eat more colorful foods we will shed our black yoga pants and dress more colorfully. It was at 12:12 that the first piece of real health advice appeared. Sleep more. Really. No advice how to do that just, you know, sleep more.

Other weight loss advice was orgasms (ha ha) and to get your chakras tested because you might have a “solar plexus deficiency.” And “we should eat like animals in the wild.” And sitting makes you “fat and dumb.” And God, you need a better relationship with God and nature or both God and nature. Or Goture.

Dr. Gottfried is also alarmingly fragile. Maybe she should be rethinking what she eats and that incredible fasting regimen? Traveling to New York made her 67% stressed. She has a stress meter to test her stress level. No I did not make that up. Apparently she travels with this technical sounding special machine that tests the balance of her sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system.

People seemed to eat it up. I sprained my neck rolling my eyes.

I. Got. Nothing.

Then we had a two-hour break during which time the people who forked over $2,000 could have lunch with GP and special guests. The lunch for the GOOP proletariat was slightly less disgusting than breakfast, but honestly it all tasted the same. Eating like GP sucks the big one.

After lunch we started with a couples therapy session and the therapist, Terry Real, was quite engaging and provided us with something that had been missing all damn day, common sense. A married couple took to the stage to talk about their communication issues with Terry and GP in front of a room full of strangers and it was the least fucked up thing we heard all day. He never mentioned God or nature or Goture once. Thank you Terry.

During this session GP somehow mentioned blow jobs as a “reward” for your man and there was much giggling. The insinuation I guess that you should offer your sexual partner treats that nice girls don’t normally do as a reward for good behavior in the same way that you give special kibble to your dog when he doesn’t bark even if it is disgusting that you get slobber on your hands or in this case semen in your mouth.

That is fucked up.

If you don’t like giving blow jobs don’t give them. If you don’t like them but pleasing your partner matters because he does things for you that he may not like that is called a relationship, don’t make him beg (unless of course that is part of your kink).

Then the worst person of the day emerged, Anita Moorjani. She told everyone that she died from lymphoma and her brain was dead, like dead, dead, dead. Rotting, mush dead. And yet she was conscious and decided to heal herself. She was once healthy and even took supplements and yet she got cancer (supplements increase your risk of cancer, by the way). However, Anita Moorjani got cancer because she feared cancer! Then her dead, dead, dead brain figured it out and she came back from that beautiful place to pass on the message that fear kills and love saves. She told us the following:

If you follow your passion life takes care of itself.
Your body is smart, it will heal naturally.
It is easier being dead than alive.
When children pass away it is because they chose to come as a gift and then leave. If they leave sooner than you as a parent would like, well, that was the gift the universe thought was right for you.
You can heal cancer with love.
You get sick because your life is not going in the right direction and you are not living enough and are fearful.

Moorjani wants us to believe that love from her dead brain cured the lymphoma that she had refused to treat for over three years (she didn’t mention the part about turning down conventional therapy). She was admitted to the ICU when she was dead, dead, dead (she wasn’t medically dead, she was in a coma) and funny enough she didn’t tell us about the chemotherapy she received. Small plot point, don’t cha think?

Yes her recovery was remarkable, but some lymphomas are also very chemo sensitive.

Moorjani coughed throughout her chat. Yes, her dead, dead, dead brain could cure her cancer with love yet her alive brain could not cure her cough.

Goture works in mysterious ways.

Next up the psychiatrists. I was so here for this because I wanted to see an AIDS denialist, i.e. Dr. Kelly Brogan, in real life. The other two psychiatrists were fine, minimal woo and yes, they use meds. But Kelly AIDS-is-a-construct-of-big-Pharma Brogan never, ever uses medications. She can cure everyone without drugs. She didn’t tell us that she charges >$4,000 for the first 3 hours and her screening questionnaire is designed to rule out everyone who might actually need medications for anything. It is very easy to treat people who don’t need medications who are very healthy and then claim you have a special skill.

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Dr. Brogan doesn’t believe serotonin is involved in depression. It’s like alcohol, she told us. Drinking reduces anxiety but that don’t mean you have an alcohol deficiency. Well of course not, but she also conveniently left out the part where alcohol isn’t a neurotransmitter made by our brain and serotonin is.

Someone, I couldn’t tell if it was Brogan or Elise Loehnen the Chief Content Officer of GOOP who was moderating the session, thought it was cool that they met a woman who almost died in childbirth and that was cool because she was willing to die for her beliefs. You have to respect that, was the implication.

Okay then.

The final lecture was the celebrities. Yeah women! We have to support each other! GP mispronounced Gillian Flynn’s name and still can’t believe Chelsea Handler doesn’t want kids. For all of GP’s wokeness she seems very stuck on a traditional patriarchal view of women and especially of being “feminine.” This was woo free and Drew Barrymore, Elaine Welteroth, and Chelsea Handler were engaging speakers, but it was not revelatory in any way and frankly was boring. It had such potential. I managed 45 minutes of it and then I had to leave and I was not the only one.

GP referenced a passage in Flynn’s book, Gone Girl, about being the “cool girl” and how that spoke to her. After the full day of GP’s vision come to life I was left thinking that GP still wants to be the cool girl. For all her supposed don’t give a fuck bravado she seems desperate to be thought of as edgy and the rebel niche that has spoken to her is being “out there” health wise. It also makes a lot of money. I guess GOOP wellness is GP’s version of sitting on the school steps and smoking and selling cigarettes at one hell of a mark up. Science is the girl who points out that smoking causes cancer and who doesn’t peak in high school.

I’ve never been to such a dull conference. There was nothing constructive. This was not the place or space to find even three things to do or change heath wise. It was a place to come and steep in the cult of GP and to be told that death is cool and that love cures everything. That cool, edgy wellness means a woman should trust her body to cure itself because science doesn’t know shit and experience is all you need. That God/nature/Goture has a plan and even if that includes some creepy dude sitting next to you telling you to smile, it’s all good because the Universe wants him there. And if your kid gets sick or you get cancer, well, I guess you just didn’t love enough.

My son who lived three minutes and my son with heart disease and my son with thyroid disease well, apparently neither they nor I loved enough? How a fetus might love wasn’t discussed. Or God hates us. Or Nature. You can’t say there is a grand Goture plan and love cures all and then not assign a love deficit as a fault for illness. Words might not matter to GOOP and GP and her traveling side-show but they matter to me.

I’ve been to many terrible medical conferences with soul sucking black holes as speakers. If I hadn’t been so enraged at the messages that a child dies because of insufficient love and that loves cures cancer I would have fallen asleep. I also wanted to see it through. Now I know the truth of “In GOOP Health” and it is ugly.

After 10 hours of bad food, uncomfortable chairs, and parlor tricks it was over. The swag bag was filled with tons of face creams and serums that I will never use because what I am doing is apparently working better than what GP does. The sunglasses are nice though. The backpack looks cheap, but Twitter tells me it is expensive so that makes me like it a little more.

On the way out I noticed the vegetables were dying.

They must not have received enough love.



**Corrections, Feb 1. The person who said they didn’t sign a consent for the B12 injections contacted me and now thinks they did, so I removed that part. Also, I clarified the toxin section. Yes, I know that charcoal can bind toxins, but what I was trying to say was practically it isn’t typically useful for toxins because by the time you realize that you have ingested a toxin it is likely way to late to give charcoal. It was clunky. Hope it reads better now.

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  1. What never fails to amaze me is that people can’t figure out for themselves what is based on science, reasearch, and reality. If they spent more time, energy, and money on the pursuit of healthier organic food, exercise, and more productive real life experiences we wouldn’t need an actress with no credentials to spew useless advice.

    1. The ignorant were never taught the essentials of a reputable source. Fact vs. opinion. Science vs. psuedo-science. It’s really a sad oversight and due to putting education at a low priority, paying educators poor wages we are going to be living in an even more ignorant world. It’s where do you out the money, the emphasis? We put it into the military and glamorize movie stars, media stars and sports stars. VERY SAD. I’ll say I’m sorry to Thomas Jefferson and the writers’ of the constitutiion and we all should.

  2. Agree 100% with everything said about GOOP’s so-called “medical” articles and advice.
    But I think there’s one thing GOOP and Paltrow have got right – the importance of what they call “clean” make up and body products.
    As a scientist working in native wetlands and habitat conservation, I know that far too many hand washes, soaps, shampoos and other products contain chemical composites that are simply toxic to our ecosystem – even if they are “safe” for us to use.
    If you’re just washing your hands or moisturising, then you should be using something as simple as possible, something that breaks down and doesn’t contain things like dioxines which build up in our waterways.
    Most countries have now acknowledged the risk to our oceans from plastic microbeads, which were in our cleansers, facial scrubs and hand washes, but are now (after much campaigning) being replaced. But there’s plenty of other things in our personal care products that can be equally as toxic.
    That’s why – like the GOOP folk and other environmental campaigners – I will continue to use simple products like Dr Bronner’s rather than something from Johnston & Johnston.



    Dreamy Sleep Spray

    This lavender-based relaxation spray will help you sleep soundly and have spiritual, lucid dreams everynight. It contains, moonbeams, poppy juuce and sand rumored to be from the legendary Sand Man. Also contains juice from an apple tree owned by the descendants of the composer of Lullaby and Goodnight and just a pinch of excrement from a Sacred Cow Gwyneth met while filming in India. Guaranteed spiritual dreams or your money back. (By money we mean nothing.)

    Lucky Day Lotion

    This green shamrock scented lotion contains a blend of pheromones and pureed four leaf clovers picked from an Irish forest rumored to contain optimistic leprechauns.. To that we add the delicate fibers of a million dollar winning lottery ticket and just a sprinkle of organic-certified fairy dust,. Once bottled the product is attuned to the sonic vibrations emitted by a loose slot machine located in glamorous Monte Carlo. This formula causes you to attract luck.all day long. Or wear it everyday to keep bad luck away. Guaranteed! (Not really guaranteed)

    Keys to the City

    These fashionable keys on a ring are made of 14 carrot gold and were blessed using a mystcal chant which charged them with transcendental energy from Gwyneth’s personal spirit guide . Try these keys in any door you desire. Only doors to the most exclusive events might open. And your keys might get you in for free. Come hob knob with the rich and famous. (We are not responsible for keys that don’t open doors).

    Magic Work Wand

    Having a bad day because there is too much to do? Say the magic words and wave this sparkling black onyx and diamond magic wand in the air. The mother of pearl tip shoots out a magic mist that charges the air with pure Productivity Particles so you can get work done at a much faster pace.. The peppermint scented magic formula contains a water base infused with ground candy canes from Santa’s Workshop, dust from an under construction Fortune 500 Company building, sweat from the brow of a man working on a chain gang and the fibers from a pair of Dickies pants worn by a serial employee of the month. Also contains tiny flakes of pearls collected from the waters of the world’s most luxurious business class resorts
    $19,000 (Less than a common worker’s yearly salary!)


    This classic all purpose miracle elixir has attracted excited, hopeful buyers for centuries. Our brand of snake oil is bottled fresh, and contains the oils of the most mysterious snakes found at the site of each of the SEVEN WONDERS OF THE ANCIENT WORLD. To that we add dust from the ruins of antiquity, and ground pearls of wisdom, found in the lands where history’s greatest sages roamed. Then we add salt from the Dead Sea and boil it in sunshine. Use this oil for everything and anything…cleaning, cooking, magic, healing, drinking, motor oil, castor oil, windshield wiper fluid, or put it in one of our $75.00 Detox Smoothies…. You name it. It also cures 20 differebt kinds of cancer, attracts prosperity and banishes unsightly wrinkles. This legendary product has been priced so people from all income brackets can benefit from its many uses. (May lose effectiveness during shipping).
    $799 for 0.5 oz.

    These aren’t real products but they were inspired by hers., lol
    Just kidding of course. 😆 Can you tell I was bored today.

    1. I think I peed my pants reading this. Maybe I need the vagina rock. Hilarious!!! Made my fucking day.

  4. As the mother of a dead child I just have to say fuck the lady that said this: “When children pass away it is because they chose to come as a gift and then leave. If they leave sooner than you as a parent would like, well, that was the gift the universe thought was right for you.” It’s as stupid and hurtful as telling a parent that “God needed another angel.”
    Sorry to get all salty on your blog, but while the child was a gift, the death was the taking away of that gift. Period.

  5. Love her comments. I laughed so hard it made my day. I just love these gurus but even more fascinating are the people who swear by them. I remember my sister who told her daughter-in-law that she should eat the placenta when she gave birth. If you look hard enough you will find some really strange ideas out there and the more strange they are the more followers they have. These people seriously need to get a life

  6. Couldn’t have been that hard to read if you picked out the spelling and grammar mistakes, are you the word police? Who really cares, you do! You can volunteer to proofread!

  7. I’ve always liked GP, but this has really turned me off of her. Why is she doing this? She already has more money than she will ever spend in this lifetime (or her next lifetime), according to her and her pseudo science. I feel like she has really had a tough time of it emotionally since her father passed away, and that his passing has something to do with all of this.

  8. I can definitely see why they hate you. You present a calm, rational easy-to-read analysis of why their product is utterly worthless. And I need to go read everything else you’ve written just for the one liners

  9. Thank you for taking one for the team so to speak. I don’t follow Goop. I’m young enough to see when something looks fishy; and old enough to remember reading about Snake Oil Salesmen. Goop is a Snake Oil Salesman. We talk about people drinking the Kool aid, well judging from your account and the amount of money that these people spent to listen to this nonsense; A whole lot of people want to drink the Kool Aid. and I so agree with you regarding Paltrow wanting desperately to bee the Cook Kid. She did this when she said she wanted to be a singer. Then when reality hit and that didn’t happen she started this. She’s smart in a way. She knows what rich and probably bored women want and she is selling it to them. I don’t know who is to blame; the Snake Oil Salesmen or the people waiting in line to buy what they are selling.

  10. Dr. Gunter—

    I was a patient of Dr. Brogan’s for five years, and I believe I am alive not because of her but IN SPITE of her. And it’s bullshit she doesn’t believe in medication, even for pregnant women. Could you and I communicate confidentially via email please?

  11. “(supplements increase your risk of cancer, by the way)”
    …is a rather unscientific, sweeping generalization, given that “supplements” is a *really* broad category, and there’s no way that there is research evidence that proves that “supplements” increase your risk of cancer.

    1. Actually, there is.
      Single vitamin replacement is fine for deficiencies, but supplements at best give you expensive pee and at worst cancer. Look it up in JAMA. The last editorial said is was unethical to use these kinds of vitamins as placebo and no further studies were required. Have a nice day!

      1. Cancer prevention is not the reason I take some supplements. It’s to fill in the gaps of my admittedly less-than-perfect diet and to feel better in the present. Eye doctors have recommended eye supplements to me and I’ve been taking them for 15 years. I’m 68 and I have no eye problems. I understand how antioxidants might be counterproductive when dealing with actual cancer but it seems dubious to me than they’d do harm otherwise. I will google for more info, though. That JAMA site is usleess to the layperson. All I found when searching “supplements and cancer” there were endless articles, some of which seemed either to promote the use of supps or simply claim they they didn’t prevent cancer.

  12. So by that logic then, Ms. Paltrow’s own father wasn’t loved enough since he died of complications due to cancer. Did anyone ask the goopster that? Dr. Jen, you truly do the Lawd’s work.

  13. Thank you for writing this! My mother was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer a year ago and initially turned to alternative therapies – it cost her $15,000 to spend 3 weeks in Mexico learning about how juicing and coffee enemas would cure her of her lung cancer. These alt therapies seem to prey on vulnerable segments of the population who turn to them as a last resort, and I see GOOP as an insidious extension of that trend. Thank goodness my mom finally agreed to try conventional therapy as well; she eventually ditched the juicing and is still alive today as a result.

  14. If you, or any other of the attendees, got the flu from attending this conference during flu season, rest assured, you didn’t get this from contact with all the flu viruses on surfaces, you got this because the Goopites don’t really love you. They just love your money.

  15. Thank you for this informative and fun read. Question: you state that supplements either causer or have a link to cancer. Can you refer me to the research you were thinking of?

  16. Dr. Jen – Meg in Toronto here. I want to thank you for contributing your voice, your brains, your strength to chipping away at this ridiculous, harmful establishment. Like a lot of women, I actually used to think GOOPy content was actually empowering. The truth is, it promotes a very ancient belief that we are ‘less than’, on a quest to fill a deep, dark, void in ourselves. And while some of us DO feel that void, this type of unfiltered, unscientific/unexamined stuff isn’t there to help us at all. It’s a profit-driven wellness machine with a deadly feedback mechanism: Each time I choose to subscribe to a belief on that website or others, it reinforces in me that feeling that I NEED this to find out the truth.
    Anywhoozles, thanks Dr. Jen. I’ll follow you down your particular garden path any day 🙂

  17. omg I was only able to read up to lady who died from lymphoma only to reawaken because she realized blah blah blah horse****. How were you able to sit through all of that? I aspire to your ability of being able to speak up/write about the nonsense plaguing our fragile society. Please do not stop what you are doing =]

    – sane person (also physician)

  18. Wonderful post. I see these types of gals (and it’s always gals) from time to time. One note: there is a small typo in this sentence: “If they leave sooner that you as a parent would like, well, that was the gift the universe thought was right for you.” – “sooner that you” should be “sooner than you” 😉

  19. I’m a practicing physician in Oregon where the the quackery of GOOP feels like the normal belief system, and sometimes I feel like an outlier sometimes for espousing science and skepticism. (Could be my pt population skewing my perspective since I’m psych.) I wanted to point out the reincarnation research that actually does resist and seems to have been referenced by those speakers. Definitely shunned, but endowment funded so the research continues in the case studies of young children who claim to remember past lives in a small corner of the University of VA.
    A primer: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/bering-in-mind/ian-stevensone28099s-case-for-the-afterlife-are-we-e28098skepticse28099-really-just-cynics/
    Probably the only article ever published on the topic in a well known, respected medical journal on this topic: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/342332?redirect=true

    Despite the thousands of collected case studies, as you can imagine, no one is interested in publishing articles on this topic. I was a psych resident at UVA and saw the room full of filing cabinets holding them all. It’s impressive.

    1. In terms of the Scientific American article: frankly, I’m not impressed by “thousands of case studies”. Basically what you have is children “remembering” another life, and then someone tracking down a human that fits those characteristics. Even if you leave aside some obvious explanations (children subconsciously remembering things said in their presence, adults remembering incorrectly what their children have said, actual fraud), when you look at the huge population of the planet it would be strange if there *weren’t* stories like this, just from random chance.To say these things “can’t be explained by ordinary means” is disingenuous at best.

  20. I’ve heard bits here & there about GOOP & thought that’s just unnecessary & crazy (& potentially harmful in some cases), it’s like a cult of wealthy women who have lots of money to spend on pseudoscience! Your post here about their health event confirmed that, & I got a laugh out of it too. I don’t suppose Amanda Chantal Bacon of Moon Juice was there? I read an article about her a while back, & that’s who came to mind as fitting right into the setting.

  21. Big egos, glamour, elitism and being “special” can poison any organization that originally had good intentions. I see it all the time. Thank you for your article and sharing with us your experience.

  22. Hilarious! I love this blog.

    Curious about your statement that supplements increase your risk of cancer… Could you (or anyone reading this thread) point me in the direction of legitimate/scientific sources to read more about this topic? I was aware there are not many studies proving supplement efficacy but have not heard any of negative impacts yet and would like to learn more.

    1. In general, antioxidant supplements can be dangerous for many cancer patients because antioxidants scavenge reactive oxygen species in tumor cells just like they do in healthy cells — and many cancer treatments rely on the damage exerted by reactive oxygen species to kill tumors. In people at risk for particular cancers, supplements can actually abolish the inverse association between vegetables and carcinoma seen in low-risk people.

      This article explains some of the clinical studies on cancer prevention that have used supplements like beta carotene, retinol, vitamin E, etc: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24618374
      They all either had no effect or negative effects for the populations researched. A brief overview of some of the studies cited in the paper:
      * CARET (Beta-Carotene and Retinol Efficacy Trial) on populations at risk for lung cancer: “28% excess of lung cancer on β-carotene and retinol. There was also an excess of mortality from all causes, lung cancer, and CVD.”

      * Retinoid studies on populations at risk for or suffering from various cancers: “…retinoid studies show modest short-term gains in the clinical setting but not in population studies, where there is some evidence of harm.”

      * Folate studies on populations at risk for colon, prostate, and breast cancers: “The folate arm of the aspirin and folate trial showed no reduction in risk of colorectal polyps; indeed, there was a 70% excess of advanced lesions and a 2.3-fold excess of multiple adenomas at the second follow-up. … The Women’s Antioxidant and Folic Acid Cardiovascular Study showed no reduction, over 7.3 years of follow-up, in total cancer or breast cancer.”

      * Vitamins E and C: “Intervention with vitamins C and E showed no benefit for prostate, colorectal or lung cancer in Physicians Health Study II (PHSII), no benefit against major CVD and no association with total mortality. However, vitamin E was associated with a 74% increased risk of hemorrhagic stroke.”

      * Selenium: “Selenium supplementation did not alter prostate cancer risk in those with low baseline selenium status but increased the risk of high-grade prostate cancer by 91% in men with higher selenium status (P = 0.007).”

      There are a lot of other supplements and studies in the article.

  23. And “we should eat like animals in the wild.” Thank you for relaying that bit of wonderful advice from the GOOPathon. I’m going to go out now and hunt down a deer, and tear it apart with my teeth and claws.

    I think you are a brave woman with a strong constitution, to go through all that without running out screaming.

  24. “When children pass away it is because they chose to come as a gift and then leave. If they leave sooner that you as a parent would like, well, that was the gift the universe thought was right for you.”

    That must have been an incredibly awful thing to hear while surrounded by clueless nodding heads.

  25. On the way out I noticed the vegetables were dying.

    Vegetables? What vegetables?
    ** look again at the picture**
    Aaah, those vegetables.

    Yeah, shame of a waste of some good lettuce. For a convention put under the aegis of “nature’s way” and “balanced life”…
    I’m tempted to use things like “privileged dilettante” and “rich people issues”.

    I have been reading this excellent report three times, and finally the penny dropped.

  26. Ha ha-I went through loads of weird homeopathic questions for PTSD treatment. Did it help?- ugh- I ended up in emergency treatment for this nonsense!

  27. For my own sanity I participate in “Parent 2 Parent” gatherings, which also includes participation by the disabled person:

    Nothing turns the group more rowdy than relating all of the “helpful” advice we have received from clueless folk. These range from diet, vaccines, ultrasounds, comparisons to Einstein, variations of the “refrigerator mother” to “not looking in the eye” (the latter annoyed the autistic gentleman who joined us, and I am sure it would have annoyed the mom who was blind).

    Though I even got a call from a nurse from the health insurance company on “prevention” after my son had open heart surgery for a genetic heart disorder that involved abnormal anatomy.

    How am I supposed to prevent an unfortunate roll of the genetic dice at conception? Perhaps I should have shoved a jade egg up my vagina. Though I doubt that would have done anything except increase my chances of yeast and/or bladder infections.

  28. Thank you for “taking one for the science team” and reporting on the diatribe that is a GOOP conference. Not seriously shocked; GP is a loon. It’s sad to think that people spent money to come away from a conference so ill informed. It’s difficult to get patients to become adherent to medical therapies that are based on sound empirical research, now I’m going to have to spend weeks trying to convince them they’re not dead, or worse, that their child didn’t die because they weren’t loved enough. It’s also very concerning that individuals would consent to B12 injections without first providing a detailed health history and without signing a consent. I also could not help but notice that the needle weren’t safety engineered.

  29. I was diagnosed with advanced endometrial cancer, and it was not for lack of love. My blood was sent to a lab, and they discovered I had a rare gene mutation — from either my mother or father — neither of whom are still living, and had I not had my year of chemotherapy and fiv months of radiation, I would be dead, dead, dead. I was given a 50% chance of living, and I chose western medicine— chemotherapy + radiation + more chemotherapy, eastern medicine (traditional Chinese herbs), acupuncture, yoga, that yoga massage and traditional talk therapy. I am still here after eight years. Had I chosen to live on love, I believe I would be dead, dead, dead. I had a 3 1/2 year old daughter and decided I was going to do all that I could to be here for her.

  30. the whole “Love cures” and “Nature cures” and “God cures”….is a horrible thing to tell anyone, as let’s face it, we all die. But pushing “your child died because you didn’t love your child enough.” or “The UNIVERSE decided you had enough time, and decided to give your child a painful slow death…” is simply cruel. GOOP may talk a lot about LOVE, but, empathy appears to be lacking. How many women, ignore traditional medicine, to be trendy and not have to take that icky chemotherapy. When it becomes trendy to not vaccinate, not take chemotherapy, not accept that sometimes, we get sick, and it’s not our fault. Having a chronic illness, that has changed my life, I’ve been told by other “snowflakes” if I ONLY DID THIS AND THIS AND THIS, I would not have this disease. It’s a genetic defect, which I have traced through the family, but, LOVE and also, raw food…or juicing… or medication… or ignoring the pain and it will GO AWAY if I don’t believe in it….will cure me. “You aren’t ill, it’s just an illusion you’ve allowed yourself to believe in.” Hey, you know, the middle class nice friends, make a casserole and drop it off saying “I know it’s hard for you to cook now…hope this helps. Call if you need something, OK?” That’s the kind of LOVE people with an illness need. Not a guilt trip about how they caused their own fake illness.

  31. Your voice is the spark of light in all this dark, twisted b.s. peddled by GP and her greedy friends.

  32. Thank you! Dr. Jen you spent a day listening to the ridiculous nonsense that those of us with medically complicated kids have endured forever. Except it was boiled down, concentrated and with a price tag attached.

  33. I do enjoy your writing. However, there are a lot of grammatical and “typo” errors. It makes it a bit hard to read.

      1. Yeah, editorial corrections should never be made in the public comments section. It’s rude. I’m a writer and editor and I always consider it poor form, and I never usually message a writer about corrections unless it affects a passage’s meaning, or I know them personally.

      2. Hi Dr. Gunter

        Didn’t know how else to contact you. Saw that you are writing a post on maternal mortality. Even more important is to focus on how often women are discharged because they are “crazy”, when in fact they are delirious due to fever, sepsis etc. We’re heading into mental illness before surgical and medical treatment again.

    1. Wow Jane Smith. after all the content Dr. Gunter offered in her blog this is what you had to offer as a comment. Really deep and contributatively informatively a waste of spacishness.

    2. Come on, lady. Nothing about this was hard to read, but the fact that GOOP exists is hard to fathom.

    3. A wee word of advice: do not get grammar pedantic on a blog. Or this will happen:

      Which I believe is the missing video of this relevant but recently moved blog post:

      Humor is how we survive, not spelling and grammar tests. Consider blogs like you would a hand written letter from one of your relatives (remember those?). The ones where you have to interpret a cursive scribble, a misspelled word or the occasional cartoon from a person who is definitely not an artist.

      I say this as someone who has been sent letters written by my mother (who died fifty years ago, when I was a kid) and others to her cousin by my second cousin. Yeah, those have been interesting. Except my mother was an artist, and one letter was an illustrated letter meant for my second cousin’s older brother from before when she was born. It reads like a kid’s book. Ah, the lost art of letter writing. (by the way some letters are from my grandmother, her aunt… before and after her stroke, the difference is striking)

      1. You know Nazis were and neo-Nazis are virulently anti-Semitic (and racist and homophobic) and Nazi symbology actually isn’t harmless and putting it in the comments of the blog to call someone a pedant is kind of a jerk move and also extremely pedantic, right

    4. My my! The condescension is strong with this one. Never fear: if Spider-Man: Homecoming is any indication, you’ve been let back into the Marvel franchise, so you’ll have a very nice revenue stream if Goop (hopefully) fizzles out.

  34. The University of Virginia did a study on reincarnation, and I believe it supported the belief.

    1. really? Reincarnation is a belief designed to support the caste system (regardless of how it is currently applied). To say that it is somehow provable stretches credulity. Please provide a reference! Thanks!

  35. Too bad you couldn’t have snuck some hemlock into that veggie wall. They’d think it was parsley…Joke! Kidding! Still, you did us a favor by exposing all that.

  36. No amount of logic will convince women who believe the BS she’s selling. They’ve drunk the goopaide and don’t want to be saved.

  37. I loved every bit of this field report by you Dr Jen. The conference sounds precisely as I had imagined. I can’t thank you enough for what you do. My beautifully science based physician husband now follows you as well as all my reality based, university aged kids. You’re a beacon Dr Jen! To capture my feelings about what you do everyday, I’ve chosen to share this quote of yours with great gratitude!

    “I wanted to stay alert and be everyone’s Scooby Doo.”

  38. Let me just say that one of my bucket list items was to see you attend one of Goop’s conferences! (Yes, I live an extremely dull life!) It panned out just as I had imagined. Thank you, from all of the folks who believe in science!
    I am also enraged that that, so-called doctor, says that children died because they were supposed to! My 23-month-old son died in August 2015. He drowned and was declared brain dead. If I loved him more, would his dead brain have fixed itself??? FUCK HER!!!!!
    Thank you for taking one for the team and attending this shitfest!!! You’re still my hero!!!

  39. I read this at 4:30 a.m. and it was a great kick start to my day. I did my wheezy laugh (only done when something really is hilarious). I’m startled at how so many people can part with so much money and attend this forum. How many people in need did these participants step over or drive by on their way to this conference of crap? GP is a narcissistic parasite who gets her nourishment from these ignorant participants. Dr. Gunter please continue writing about this.

  40. Oh Dr Gunter! Another joyful read as I sit here in my UK general practice (GP but not that one) clinic. Truly Dr. Gottfried’s discovery of food consumption at regular intervals during the day (I believe you called them “meals”?) is a message I will be passing on to my poor deluded patients who have had, prior to this moment, no idea as to how to maintain an appropriate level of sustenance in this toxic world. And those patients who have recently been given cancer diagnoses can relax! I wonder If someone could pop over from GOOP land to advise exactly how love can be used in a clinical setting – previously I had thought that acts of love within the doctor-patient relationship were frowned upon but clearly I was wrong and the NHS will be saved – Thank Goture for GP!

  41. Thank you for going on our behalf, it is appreciated. I am very impressed that you kept your sanity.

  42. I really, really need some explanation of “The voice in your head is not your consciousness it is a parlor trick.”.
    Who makes that trick?
    Was it explained in any way?

    -gets a headacke-

    1. At some point my mom (who was very woo-ish and wackadoo) dragged me to do The Forum (Landmark forum, a cult) and the voice in your head thing was a constant topic. IDK why cults are all about The Voice In Your Head but they are.

      1. I am still as confused as I was before but I think I have a pointer where to check for more info. Thanks!

  43. You are a Canadian treasure! Thank you for everything you do, and for not going batshit crazy halfway through your day.

  44. “Wow. I missed “Proof of reincarnation, a longitudinal study” when it was in The New England Journal of Medicine.”
    I loved so many things in this post but this one made me snort-laugh out loud.

  45. “Spontaneous healing from cancer and infections can happen with love”
    “A deep spiritual journey can cure anything” I reached this point in the article and was so overcome with incandescent rage that I had to take a break – a luxury you weren’t afforded during the 10 hours of hokum you attended. As for the insinuation that people’s children die or commit atrocities “because the cords of parental love were broken”, who the serious f*** does that Paltrow woman think she is? That so many privileged people in 1st World countries seem to believe in such revolting BS is frightening. Actually, it’s beyond frightening.

    Thank you for attending so that so many didn’t have to. I knew GOOP was a pernicious load of codswallop, but WOW!

  46. I get the strong impression you could have had a much more soothing and pleasant day if you’d headed to the nearest park with a lake and listened to the ducks there instead. I mean, you’d still be surrounded by quacks and shit (duck shit in this case rather than bullshit), but at least it wouldn’t cost you $650 a ticket. Maybe it’s something to promote as an alternative?

    I find the whole “we will tackle your fear of death through reducing the weight of your wallet on your karma” thing to be somewhat irritating. But then, I have a strong impression that over the next few decades, the chief challenge for the mortuary professionals is going to be removing the affronted looks on the faces of the people who “did everything right” but still died anyway. Death is, after all, the ultimate egalitarian – once per customer, and once to every customer.

    1. PS: It might be interesting to see what happened to Anita Moorjani if you fed her salted food. Does she proclaim the value of a salt-free diet, by any chance? (Traditionally, zombi cannot be fed salt).

  47. This is your best blog post so far. Full of quotable lines. I think it is your longest post but I was disappointed when I came to the end because I wanted to continue to enjoy such a great read. Congratulations on turning your writing talent into such an entertaining, informative, and important art! As a fellow medical doctor, I am in debt to your efforts to expose frauds like GP and Kelly Brogan.

    Greg Stueve, MD

  48. Thank you for the report! The fact that you didn’t explode in righteous fury is a monument to your self control. You deserve a binge of your choice.

  49. I laughed out loud. Not LOL’ed, actually laughed out loud at “I missed “Proof of reincarnation, a longitudinal study” when it was in The New England Journal of Medicine. ”.

  50. There is nothing about this piece that I do not love. Thank you for sacrificing your time and probably a few brain cells to sit in on this nonsense ‘meeting of the mindless’ conference. As always, you do more for women with every blog post than GP will do in her lifetime.

  51. How you could possibly make it through those hours is amazing. But I know that sitting in that room were many of the same women who come to my office for appointments and proceed to tell me how all of my evidence-based information is wrong and they know better because internet celebrities said so.

  52. Thank you Dr Gunter for facing down the lies and hype of greedy Posers
    Your efforts and eloquence warm my heart, make me laugh and give me hope!
    Kudos to you
    Chris Wendel

  53. That was one of the most lucid, insightful and interesting items I have read. I am so glad you went so you could speak so eloquently and specifically to the topics covered.
    I can’t imagine what it took not to stand and scream out the facts. I would have burst a blood vessel keeping quiet.
    Great work and you are making a bigger difference than you may imagine

  54. As a dietitian, I audibly groaned when I read there was a dietitian speaking at this dog and pony show. I’m embarrassed that we have so many quacks among our ranks. Thanks for braving the crazy – this was a hilarious read!

    1. As a retired Dietitian, thank you for addressing the fact that highly educated people can be misled into accepting a speaking engagement as such an event. Yes there are health care professionals who may tread too closely to the line between fact an fiction.

  55. Your best post ever (and that is saying something) – you are the Trojan horse of evidence based medicine!

    1. OMG, I thought exactly the same thing. In fact, I copied and pasted it and posted it on FB.

  56. Brilliant and hilarious! I have the privilege of working in a Pediatric Hospice, and I guarantee you that every one of my patients is loved enough. GOOP is irresponsible and dangerous. Thanks for infiltrating!

  57. Given your contempt for EVERYTHING Gwyneth Paltrow…I’m a little shocked by your appearance at this event? I do maintain a high level of respect for your educated opinions, and don’t see this as abandonment of your intellectual perspective. After all, you are human and can be allowed a trip or two in search of validation for your more refined message behind what you write😍

  58. Thank you so much Dr Gunter for going into such a terrifying environment for the amazing cause – of the rest of us not having to. Goture will reward you richly – with nice crispy vegetables for you and your loved ones.

  59. Wow, maybe I should give up traditional Ob-Gyn practice and promote the 4 hour fasting diet for GP! Wonder what my stress percentage is on my typical work day? Sounds like an entertaining load of crap! Thanks for the report and for being our tribute.

    1. Perhaps some rodents will nibble on them. Everyone loves a rat.

      I had to think of that because my neighborhood seems to have health conscious squirrels. Whenever I plant spinach starts they are nibbled down to nothing within a couple of days.

  60. Dear Dr G:

    After all this, don’t you think you could use some kind of cleanse? like, from the toxins? It’s probably not too late, not even now, to take another look at the catalog and find some kind of – well, you know.


    Anyway, thank you for doing this. (same thing I said to the guy who did my colonoscopy).

  61. If I understand it correctly, some kids who lack love but have access to firearms go out and shoot up their schools but the only parents whose children are killed are those who don’t love their children enough.

  62. As a healthcare worker in British Columbia for 17 years, and as an open-minded, traditional yet modern woman, I feel sick to my sometimes-IBS ridden stomach knowing GP is nothing more than a fraud and a hackster who should be arrested for swindling money and selling dangerous lies. Thank you for this! And I’m glad you at least got a free stay in NYC for it. I’m sure just taking the Subway was more fun that that atrocious event.

    1. Agreed – ditto for me. I’ve been wondering what demo might be attracted to a brand called “GOOP”? rhymes with….

    1. Consider Goop a fashion magazine targeting women consumers, as most do, because that’s exactly what it is. It’s a creepy pseudoscientific magazine that preys on women’s insecurities to compel us to buy shit to make us feel better about ourselves.

  63. I work at a hospital in an ICU with very very sick patients. Last night one who had been hanging on for months finally (yes, finally) died. Her mother came in and started to shake her leg. As if willing her to wake up. It was one of the most heartbreaking displays I had ever seen. The woman who died was in her 40s. Until three days ago, she still believed that there was hope and that she would live. She refused to be made DNR.

    To hear that people honestly believe that you die because it’s easy or because you weren’t loved enough or because you didn’t really want to live it makes my blood boil. This woman was loved. She let her body be put through repeated traumas because she did want to live. She wanted to recover and until she started to lose consciousness (as her brain became poisoned by metabolic waste that no amount of activated charcoal and ‘coffee enemas’ would ever fix) had a very strong will to live. She was in that room for four months. She was never alone. Someone was always by her side. You could hear her mother and sister bawling in the hall for hours after her death.

    Maybe those so-called doctors need to be reminded that for all the love in the world, death is death and it still happens. That no whoo or belief in god or nature or any of it will help. I can say with certainty that this woman would have died all the quicker if she had no medical attention so for all the issues at the end, medicine gave her another ten years with her family.

    1. Mom died of cancer. While I may question her mother’s bizarre interactions with her children, I know Mom was loved. Dad loved Mom so much, that even when we kids were in college they would hold hands and kiss in the kitchen. When she got sick, Dad took care of her full time. All three of us kids loved Mom, and all three of us spent lots of time at home when she had to go on hospice; I, who live on the west coast, came home once a month for the entire year before that. Mom’s co-workers and friends came by the house all the time. Three of them begged to do something special for her, and they ended up cleaning the windows in the “Florida room” because she spent so much time there and it made the view nicer. A group of her AAUW friends wrote a play for her, and came over and performed it. Mom’s former students came by, wrote cards, and called. Mom’s brother came to stay and he and my auntie did anything and everything to show Mom how much they loved her.

      Mom loved herself, too. She saw actual doctors of all flavors, and followed her oncologist’s advice. She had surgery, and chemo, and radiation. She called her oncologist “Doogie” because he was young, and all the nurses at the chemo center loved hanging out with her.

      The world loved the snot out of Mom, and she died anyway. If you were to tell me that Mom got cancer because it was easy (did I mention Mom was a hard worker?) or because she wasn’t loved enough, I would probably smack you in the face. It’s just about the most offensive thing you could say. Mom’s memorial service had so many people show up that we used all of the space available at the funeral home AND people were sitting/standing in the hallway.

      Thank you Shadowkate for working at an ICU. I was in one briefly, and the ICU nurses were amazing. You have a tough job, and I am thankful that you are there to do it.

  64. This is like sending the bravest soldier into battle, knowing they will never return, but the rest of us will be saved. But you made it out!! GP is a dangerous loon – thank you for braving the fire!

  65. I live in Portland, Oregon. Way too many people here subscribe to this pile of shit. If you disagree, you are a fascist or a tool of (name the industry) and therefore anything you say has no validity.

    1. As a 33+year seasoned Science teacher, again, it just makes me shake my head how science deprived Americans have become. Basic concepts, basic knowledge of the Periodic Table, simple biology are missing from their experiences. In days past, when people had to be connected to their daily food, by farming, hunting, etc., there was much more understanding of how the body works, is built and how nature provides plants for our food. That is no longer. We are producing a generation of scientifically ignorant citizens, creating vulnerability of the citizens. GP is getting on their ignorance. Rebecca McCaslin

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