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In 1997, Mother Jones profiled Marianne Williamson, then a New Age icon. It is—as was noted by the New Republic when Williamson ran for president in the 2020 primariesa “prescient (and slightly mocking)” piece. Take that for what you will. Williamson has since gotten the treatment from the New York Times Magazine.

The main thing the piece predicts, correctly, is that Williamson would move her self-help style into activism and a political-first attitude. Here’s a section from 1997:

“I’ve always been the first to say that spiritual seeking without service is self-indulgent,” [Williamson] says. “I think the question is: Dear God, how can I serve? Not that I’m trying to figure out what someone needs…I am saying we don’t have the time on this planet to wait until we’re more spiritually evolved to check out what’s going on in this country.” Appendix A to The Healing of America is called “Resources for Activism.” Appendix B consists of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

It’s a nice read, filled with smart points about the evolution of self-help mythology. And it’s got some wonderful one-liners (even if you disagree): “Offering religion without rules, salvation without sacrifice, the former cabaret singer has remade herself into the perfect priestess for a culture steeped in pop.”

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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