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Jonathan P Sears aka “Spiritual as fuck” JP Sears (1981–) is a YouTube comedian and "emotional healing" coach known for parodying new age hippies while also appearing to peddle pseudoscience, including veiled attacks on vaccines and the American Heart Association, which kind of defeats the point of his parodies. He has downplayed the risks of the coronavirus and has become quite well known for COVID-19 denialism. He first gained popularity for his satirical parodies of various quality of the wellness industry in a series called ‘Ultra Spiritual Life’ on his YouTube channel, AwakenWithJP. He's made videos full of conspiracy theories and anti-vaccination talking points.
Sears often follows libertarian themes of railing against political correctness, social justice warriors and people getting "triggered", dedicating a video to why he dislikes them. He is an advocate of capitalism, being an MC of the 2018 Capitalism Conference, and regularly appears on The One Percent Podcast hosted by Ryan Moran (who strives to be like David Koch). Sears says in a clip on “One Percenters” about personal responsibility that millionaires are “just regular people” and that after Covid-19 "some people say it’s a depression, I say 'Fuck that! It’s a time of opportunity.'” The Conspirituality podcast has documented Sears' "wellness grift".
2020 US Election
On election night, Sears joined 'Plandemic' director Mikki Willis, 'Vaxxed' producer Del Bigtree, Joyous Heart, and others in Austin for a prayer meeting for Donald Trump amongst other activities such as marketing a housing development called the "nation of Texas". He's also pushed false claims about the election which spread doubt regarding Biden's victory. He supports Trump's claims in a video titled "How a civil war could start." Furthermore, during the aftermath of the Capitol building takeover, his videos pushed debunked conspiracy theories about things such as the QAnon Shaman actually being a BLM supporter or all the protestors being undercover Antifa, his argument consisting of the fact that some had been at both rallies, ignoring that lunatics may attend their opponents' rallies to harass them, as in the case of the QAnon Shaman.
“” Is anybody still pretending the Covid pandemic is about a virus?
He's downplayed the risks of Coronavirus and floated it as a conspiracy to sell vaccines by Big Pharma. He refers to masks as “face suffocators”. He says he has escaped YouTube’s crackdown on COVID-19 misinformation because the artificial intelligence that scans video transcripts can’t detect sarcasm yet.
On 7 February 2020, Sears said the stress from media was worse than getting Covid-19, saying “In America you get nothing but click bait headlines about the Coronavirus that inflict fear and stress onto you that, which is questionably worse for your health than if you were infected with the virus." He repeated the theme again a month later in another video called 'Coronavirus — It's Deadlier Than You Thought' published on 11 March 2020 where Sears downplays the risk of the coronavirus saying:
We're hoping and praying that a drug company company coincidentally comes out with a vaccine that's somehow magically created with long-term studies to show its safety and effectiveness against the coronavirus within the next few months. Such a vaccine will be rapidly sold to hundreds of millions of people around the world and would also make the panic and sensationalism by the news outlets look like they were in the most deceptive yet elaborate marketing schemes the world has ever known even though that's definitely not going to be the case given that the news is honest a hundred percent of the time and doesn't have a vested interest in spreading fear like a virus to boost its ratings and ad revenue. Is is safe to say that the news is being honest this time as well? Yes it is now, considering that the coronavirus symptoms are very similar to flu symptoms and the fact that the coronavirus has infected a little more than 500 people resulting in 22 deaths, flu has infected 32 million people resulting in 18,000 deaths, is it wise to have a thousand times more panic? Indeed it is…
Yes, yes it is wise. There are now millions of cases in the US and hundreds of thousands have died. If you think the massive rises in deaths would make him think again — you'd be wrong. In a recent video, May 6, which marks a decline in humour, titled ‘What It's Like to Believe Everything the Media Tells You’ he mixes anti-vax arguments with conspiracies about being microchipped, Bill Gates, the World Health Organisation, downplaying the risks of Coronavirus - a smorgasbord, if you will, of some his worst takes. In the video, he likens "mandatory vaccines" to rape, saying that "the best medicine is like the best sex, nonconsensual, they work on the same premise." He acknowledged the misinformation by saying on his Instagram, "I’ve got a new video that I can’t release on IG [instagram] or FB [facebook] because of the censoring that’s happening, my accounts would be in too much jeopardy. So I’m only releasing it on YouTube. " He did it in front of a blue and red pill. He said in a follow-up video that the intention was not satire but “The message I spoke is giving a lot of people to voice their perspective…The purpose of the video…is I want to voice my voice I want to represent my truth” and “I’m a red pill person.”
On 22 March 2020, he encouraged his Instagram followers to take the Corona Challenge by drinking Corona beer and posting a picture with the hashtag #CoronaChallenge accompanied by a video that downplayed Coronavirus risks.
A common theme of Sears is that media sensationalism whips up fear to sell vaccines; in 2017, he published a video saying "I want to be heavily vaccinated so I can be protected from the diseases that I’ve been told to be extremely afraid of."  Which he has repeated in 2020 for coronavirus. He recently pushed a WHO conspiracy on his Instagram  along with a photo of a news headline "'No evidence’ antibodies protect recovered coronavirus patients, WHO says".Next to a photo of WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus he wrote:
FACT: I'm an absolute idiot. I love being this way. But my friend @dave.asprey is very intelligent. If you like to function with freedom beyond that of sheep, his thoughts below are worth a read. 👁 Here’s @dave.asprey When you selectively ignore evidence you don’t like, it doesn’t mean there isn’t any evidence. It means you’re blind. Why do any of us listen to the WHO leaders when they are so clearly owned by Big Pharma? The hard working front line WHO doctors are not the problem here. We are supposed to trust the WHO to be logical and impartial. They have lost my trust now that they are just another industry trade lobby. .#pandemic #coronavirus #who ...(thanks @nypost for the headline)
Sears has apparently misinterpreted basic math from the CDC, in a manner that appears to show someone unfamiliar with probability. The CDC's website shows, for instance, a .054 mortality rate from COVID for people aged 70+. Now, for those that know probability, that's out of 1, not 100, i.e., it's 5.4%. Sears, however, seems to think the .054 means a .054% chance of death. As a result, Sears is off by a factor of 100 and makes COVID look less harmful than the flu. This is one of several reasons mathematicians have a vendetta against percentages. The danger of COVID isn't even the death rate, per se, but just how fast it spreads. A disease that kills 100% of the time but can only be spread through ridiculously specific conditions such as cannibalism, e.g., Kuru, is of little concern compared to a disease that kills 1 in 1000 but is so ubiquitous that absolutely everyone is assumed to get it at some point, e.g., Measles prior to vaccination. Sears has since made the video private.
He's now moved to the alt-right social media site Parler. A post on 16 November satirizes public health measures with an image of himself in a facemark with the words "sheep" and another saying "I have just mandated that you must wear the Covid Cone...because Covid can spread via anything, including your own butthole, the Covid Cone is the only thing that will protect you from such a source of infection. Wear one for your own protection. After about 10 months, you won’t even notice it’s there."
Spreading False Claims about Bill Gates
In April 2019, Sears posted a video about vaccines with the by-line “Are you pro-vaccine or an anti-vaxxer? Either way, I set the record straight on vaccines.” In the video, Sears peddles the false conspiracy theory that Bill Gates didn’t vaccinate his children and that he’s “spent billions funding the mandatory vaccination movement. No one’s been more offensive to anti-vaxxers than Bill Gates…he spearheads the pro-vaxx movement” and that Gates is a hypocrite.  The argument itself is a straw man logical fallacy because the validity of vaccines is based on mountains of peer-reviewed evidence. Also, if Sears had the minimum intellect required to do the most minimum fact-checking (doing so would mean he’d have no argument) he’d have found it was false. It was retracted by Your News Wire/Newspunch in 2018 with the editor saying "we no longer stand by the statements made in the article" and was shown to be false by Reuters. A few weeks after Sears’s video was posted, Melinda Gates confirmed on Facebook that their children are vaccinated, saying "All three of my children are fully vaccinated. Vaccines work. And when fewer people decide to get them, we all become more vulnerable to disease." Sadly, the meme is still spreading through the sewers of the anti-vaccination movement and is still to be refuted,[note 1] helped along by the likes of Sears who still hasn't retracted his video that is on his YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.
In 2020, Sears mocked the anti-Bill Gates sentiment in the New Age community by satirising a New Age person, saying “Bill Gates is the anti-christ,” but Sears himself has pushed misinformation about Bill Gates. This shows how Sears plays all sides.
“” I set the record straight on vaccines.
Sears is an expert at playing both sides regarding vaccines and performs false balance.[note 2] On May 2, 2019, on 'The Wellness Mama' podcast, Sears uses the frame of people's intentions to sidestep having to evaluate decisions based on evidence. The conclusion is that both anti-vaxxers and people who are pro-evidence/pro-health are both correct because they have good intentions; they both want "you and your family to be happy, healthy, and free of disease". This is problematic because it side-steps the truth. One might want you to be "happy, healthy" but what they offer could promote death and disease.
the disagreement comes in is in these such insignificant realms, which is how to achieve happiness and health for our family.... And I think when we focus on the disagreement of how, we're starting to get into what Tony Robbins would call the tyranny of the how.....So I would ask the audience, “Hey, who is for vaccination? Raise your hand.” And, you know, usually at least half the audience, maybe three quarters of the audience, raises their hands and you could already start to feel the turmoil and the room the tension like, “Oh, I brought up vaccinations.” Then I asked, “Okay, who is against vaccination?” And typically it’s about a quarter of the people in the room. And I just go through this whole routine to come to the conclusion and help people realize the reason why you are for vaccines is you want your family to be happy and healthy and free of disease. And the reason why you are against vaccination is you want you and your family to be happy, healthy, and free of disease. The disagreement is on how to get to happiness and health. But I think there’s the, you know…and it was fun to do this with the audiences because I’d see a lot of like, “Oh yeah, that makes sense, JP.”
During a 2022 anti-vaccination rally in Washington, DC, Sears compared his belief in natural immunity to COVID by saying, "I kind of feel like a flat-Earther." Which makes one wonder whether Sears is a flat-Earther or whether he knows he's a lunatic.
Sears has been a wellness coach for over 18 years, having completed the requirements to be a Holistic Coach Advanced Practitioner through the Holistic Coaching Institute/Journeys of Wisdom in Columbus, a place founded by John A. McMullin that teaches life coaching and also things like 'bionetic homeopathics'. He started doing YouTube comedy videos much later than his coaching, in 2013. He was a faculty member of the C.H.E.K Institute, founded by Paul Chek, from 2006 to 2013. Chek is himself an anti-vaxxer and promoter of pseudoscience. Chek and Sears are reported to be very close friends.
The McGill University Office for Science and Society describes Sears's "extreme self-responsibility" approach as a "victim-blaming mentality aimed at people with diseases--so common in the wellness space--[that] callously ignores social determinants of health and the inability for many people to afford healthier food."
Promotion of pseudoscientific supplements and devices
Sears is known primarily for videos lampooning New Age 'woke' culture despite himself being a proponent of this and an advocate for a variety of faddish health & wellness conspiracies.
A quick look at his past should be enough to tell that some of the very things he mocks in public he may very well endorse in private. His older website featured a section for “Healthy Resources” for his clients promoting Ultra Life Metabolic Type Supplements, functional medicine promoter Daniel Kalish, and the now infamous ground zero for quackery, Joseph Mercola's website.
In the description of many of his videos, he advertises BLUblox as "my favorite evidence based blue light glasses" while calling those who do not believe in them “science deniers” (blue light is not the reason for bad sleep, bright light before bedtime is).
BiOptimizers (magnesium supplements)
Sears has gotten sponsorships for magnesium supplements to “beat stress, get fit, sleep better and recover faster.” However, a recent review of studies has found the evidence for this correlation to be weak. Furthermore, magnesium supplements can cause nausea, abdominal cramping, and diarrhea. As the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements states...
Supplemental magnesium is different from magnesium naturally occurring in the foods you eat... too much magnesium from food does not pose a health risk in healthy individuals because the kidneys eliminate excess amounts in the urine... Doses of magnesium from dietary supplements or medications often result in diarrhea that can be accompanied by nausea and abdominal cramping.”
As with much of the research on supplementation, added magnesium shows efficacy only for people not getting enough in their diets. One inexpensive solution to magnesium deficiency is to simply bump up your intake of certain foods like nuts and milk.
Sears recently joined the alt-right social media network Parler saying that 'Because there is massive censorship happening on the major platforms, I have just joined Parler. Please follow me there as it’s censorship free and I’ll be speaking my mind 100% freely!"
Despite all this, Sears does have rare moments of sanity:
- He opposes police brutality.
- His relationship advice isn't terrible. He does make good points on, for instance, open relationships; you should never try to "fix" your relationships by opening them, they need to be strong enough without opening it before it would be safe to open it
- He occasionally is funny, thus the popularity, and used to mock woo at one point in the past
- As we know, the amount of energy necessary to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it...
- "JOURNALISM 101 If someone says it's raining and another person says it is dry, it is NOT your job to quote them both. It's your job to look out of the window and see which is the truth.".
- JP's conspiracy theory-laden video on Capitol building takeover
- Coronavirus — It's Deadlier Than You Thought by AwakenWithJP (Mar 11, 2020) YouTube.
- CDC COVID-19 planning scenarios
- JP Sears The NEW CDC Infection Fatality Rates!
- Pro-lifers, RIP. The pro-death movement is born. by Dana Milbank (January 24, 2022) The Washington Post.
- Jarry, Jonathan. "The Clown Prince of Wellness." McGill University Office for Science and Society. 19 November 2020. Accessed 12 February 2022.
- Boyle NB, Lawton C, Dye L. The Effects of Magnesium Supplementation on Subjective Anxiety and Stress-A Systematic Review. Nutrients. 2017;9(5):429. Published 2017 Apr 26. doi:10.3390/nu9050429
- Sears' video on police brutality
- JP on open relationships
- If carnivores acted like vegans