Yoga, kale, and man-buns: mocking 'Ultra Spirituality' draws millions to YouTube
"I love the idea of having my beliefs, but I also do my best to not believe my beliefs as much."
That seemingly contradictory statement is, in fact, the underlying principle of the online comedy career of the "ultra spiritual" JP Sears.
And it's a career that is not short on success: Sears has tens of millions of Facebook and YouTube views of his parodies, which take aim at New Age spiritualism and alternative health practices.
In his videos, Sears, flowers tucked into his lacy headband, pretends to be an ardent devotee of yoga and meditation and constantly uses things like oil pulling and colon hydrotherapy in his quest for maximum detoxification.
The thing is, in real life, Sears is a devotee of many of the ideas and practices he ridicules.
Sears works as an "emotional healing coach," guiding clients to reconnect with their "own inner source of wisdom," helping them discover and re-balance hidden emotions so they may "have new realizations of inner peace, meaning, and the release of suffering."
So why does he make fun of the things he holds so dear?
"I think the world of spirituality needs more humour. There's an air of seriousness that's pervasive within spirituality," he said. "Over-seriousness goes against the very nature of spirituality."
"In other words, I do my best to be relatively non-attached, even to that which is very important to me. And my spirituality is very important to me."
To hear the full interview with JP Sears, click Listen.