Episode 70

Published on:

16th Apr 2023

Oprah Winfrey: Self Actualising Your Destiny

Oprah Winfrey is someone who truly needs no introduction. She's a legend of daytime television, a warm and charismatic juggernaut who steam-rolled her way to the very apex of media success. Now, an extraordinarily wealthy woman, she's busy with philanthropy and helping others manifest their inner light so as to truly Be in this world.

Certainly, in a category apart from IDW knuckleheads or bottom-feeding YouTube types, Oprah is nevertheless a self-help and spiritual guru in the truest sense of the word; both in the eyes of her audience and by her own lights. In the interview we cover, she talks frankly about her own philosophy of life and gives advice to others that they might emulate some portion of success. Inevitably not discussed are various controversies around her promotion of pseudoscience, endorsing self-help gurus like James Arthur Ray, anti-vaxxers like Jenny McCarthy and giving a massive leg-up to noted internet doctors, Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz. "The Secret" by Rhonda Byrne, which promotes the Law of Attraction, is not explicitly mentioned, but Chris detects hints of it vibrating throughout the conversation.

So join Matt and Chris as they conclusively demonstrate why they remained the perpetual block-sucking kids at the nursery, while Oprah rode her self-actualised rocket past the first grade to become a billionaire media mogul.

Also on this week's episode discover whether Oprah earns a place on Guru island, if the intro segments will be tightly edited, how Chris prepares for job interviews, and just how many of Matt's enemies are Nazis!


Show artwork for Decoding the Gurus

About the Podcast

Decoding the Gurus
A psychologist and an anthropologist try to make sense of the world's greatest self-declared Gurus.
An exiled Northern Irish anthropologist and a hitchhiking Australian psychologist take a close look at the contemporary crop of 'secular gurus', iconoclasts, and other exiles from the mainstream, offering their own brands of unique takes and special insights.

Leveraging two of the most diverse accents in modern podcasting, Chris and Matt dig deep into the claims, peek behind the psychological curtains, and try to figure out once and for all... What's it all About?

Join us, as we try to puzzle our way through and talk some smart-sounding smack about the intellectual giants of our age, from Jordan Peterson to Robin DiAngelo. Are they revolutionary thinkers or just grifters with delusions of grandeur?

Join us and let's find out!
Support This Show

About your hosts

Christopher Kavanagh

Profile picture for Christopher Kavanagh
A Northern Irish cognitive anthropologist who occasionally moonlights as a social psychologist. Chris has long standing interests in the psychology of conspiracy theorists and pseudoscience. His academic research focuses on the Cognitive Science of Religion and ritual psychology. He lives happily in Japan with his family.

Matthew Browne

Profile picture for Matthew Browne
An Australian psychologist and numbers-guy. He does research on all kinds of stuff, but particularly enjoys looking into why people believe the things they do: religion, conspiracy theories, alternative medicine and stuff. He's into social media in the same way people slow down for car accidents.