The In Goop Health summit had everything you would expect: a line of activewear-clad women waiting in line to expose their backsides for an injection of B12 vitamins’ various forms, edible and therapeutic; panels of “experts” positing questionable points of view on topics ranging from diet and mental health to “the other side”; a slate of wellness activations tuned toward achieving your glowiest, healthiest, goopiest self. The Goop summit at differing points felt like an attempt to out-wellness death — the oft-referenced “other side” — and the unknown. As Jay Lombard declared from the stage during a talk on “The Other Side,” “People exploit fear for political purposes or other purposes.”
It was Goop’s second all-day summit, and like the first meeting of the Goopies in summer 2017 in Los Angeles, it sold out. While the summit is an easy mark for outsiders to tear down due to some of the questionable points of view on stage, attendees were happy to be there, and the event was well run. There were many second-time summiters, and many were quick to acknowledge the event as a luxury. Tickets were available for $650, for the Tumeric level, and $2,000 for the Ginger level, which allowed access to a special lunch and fitness offerings. A third “Weekender” option, which included a room at the 1 Hotel for two nights, facials, and extra GP time, was out there for those who went looking. (Price tag: $4,500.)
The day took place inside a conference center at Pier 17, with the East River sparkling from outside the windows. The day was focused on looking inside the self. That message extended to the table of “imperfect produce”; apples, pears and oranges that are “weird-looking” but still “taste good.” Everything in the open layout of food stalls, swag for sale and “wellness adventures” were primed for optimal self-care.
The morning began with opening remarks from Gwyneth Paltrow (“GP”), a sound meditation, and audience-wide reading by Laura Lynne Jackson, a medium who channeled an ethereal vibe through her gauzy white dress and long platinum hair.
“I will get pulled to someone and I’ll just go over to wherever that pull is and start sharing information. The way it works, too, is the other side really chooses who gets a reading and they direct me,” she told the crowd, landing upon a few women to relay messages from their deceased loved ones.
“It’s all real,” gushed the friend of a woman who had been chosen from the crowd to receive messages from her recently deceased mother.
“It’s having trust and faith in the unseen that can change your life. What they’ve taught me is that earth is a school where we are all learning together a collective lesson in love,” Jackson told the crowd afterward in a panel discussion. “The other side has told me what you do in a coffee shop on a Tuesday, whether you smile at someone or say something nice, could save somebody’s life in Africa on a Friday.”
Science, often Goop’s cold-hearted foil, did manage to seep its way into the day. Occasionally, panelists got ahead of the curve and addressed the rational, or lack thereof. The Higgs boson particle was dragged into a talk on “The Other Side.” In “Mind Games,” moderator Elise Loehnen posed the question to a panel of medical doctors and one yoga teacher: how do you marry science and spirituality? “There is a ton of data that having some kind of connection greater than yourself no matter what that spiritual connection is — mother nature or collective consciousness…” said psychiatrist Anna Yusim, “Having that in your life helps healing in a very powerful way.”
GP summed up what gels Goop’s audience during her opening remarks. “Our insatiable curiosity. We love science and data, and we make a lot of our decisions using data, but we also love the unexplained and unexplored, and the sweet spot in between.”
In other words, they got what they came for.