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Marianne Williamson, the New Age author and Democratic presidential candidate, posted, and then quickly deleted, a tweet suggesting that it was “not a wacky idea” to collectively visualize Hurricane Dorian turning away from land.
“The Bahamas, Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas ... may all be in our prayers now,” Williamson wrote Wednesday morning. “Millions of us seeing Dorian turn away from land is not a wacky idea; it is creative use of the power of the mind. Two minutes of prayer, visualization, meditation for those in the way of the storm.”
Williamson posted the tweet on Wednesday morning and deleted it less than two hours later, replacing it with a more neutral “Prayers for the people of the Bahamas, Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas. May the peace of God be upon them and their hearts be comforted as they endure the storm.”
The Category 5 hurricane devastated the Bahamas this week, killing at least seven people with dozens more missing. Thousands of homes were destroyed.
“We are in the midst of a historic tragedy,” said the Bahamian prime minister, Hubert Minnis. “The devastation is unprecedented and extensive.”
“It was a metaphor,” the Williamson campaign told Yahoo News in a statement. “When others speak of prayer and the mind it’s considered profound, but Williamson is held to a different standard. Because the comment led to confusion it was replaced. Everyone please pray for the people of the Bahamas, Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas. May the peace of God be upon them, may they and their families remain safe and their hearts be comforted as they endure the storm.”
Williamson, whose dogma is based on a New Age text called “A Course in Miracles,” had a series of viral moments in early debates touting the power of love over fear and the danger of “dark psychic forces.” Her anti-hurricane idea is similar to the “thoughts and prayers” generally expressed by politicians following mass shootings.
This summer Williamson defended comments she made that were seen as anti-vax, including calling mandatory vaccines “draconian” and “Orwellian.” Williamson denies that is her position, although she has a history of similar statements.
The bestselling author failed to qualify for next week’s presidential debate due to low polling numbers, generally recording zero percent in most of the Democratic National Committee-approved surveys. She did reach the requisite 130,000 donors to qualify, although at least some of those donations came from Republicans who thought she would embarrass the rival party.
Visualizing the hurricane away is not the only unconventional anti-hurricane policy that’s been suggested recently. Last month, Axios reported that President Trump asked advisers multiple times if it made sense to fire nuclear weapons at hurricanes to slow them down.
"They start forming off the coast of Africa, as they're moving across the Atlantic, we drop a bomb inside the eye of the hurricane and it disrupts it. Why can't we do that?" a source told Axios, paraphrasing Trump’s remarks.
Trump has denied he suggested the tactic, but a 2017 National Security Council memo details one of the conversations in which he brought it up.
Physicists say doing so would spread radiation over a large area and wouldn’t work; the power of a hurricane is orders of magnitude greater than even a large nuclear explosion.
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