Noted Canadian Skeptic Show Examines Thrive—And Tells the Truth.

A podcast called “Life, The Universe and Everything Else,” a program put on by the Winnipeg Skeptics association, has turned its sights on Thrive. I spent the morning listening to the podcast, and I recommend it very highly. You can play it from your computer here. The host of the show is Gem Newman (founder of Winnipeg Skeptics, computer science expert), and the guests include Gary Barbon, Mark Forkheim, Robert Shindler, Richelle McCullough and Greg Christiansen. You can see information on who these people are, and what their backgrounds are, here.

The Winnipeg Skeptics are a group of skeptics and critical thinkers who apply fact, logic and critical thinking to wild claims made on the Internet. Just as this blog has done since the beginning, the Skeptics have exhaustively examined Thrive and their review is, needless to say, highly negative. While they find some things to praise in the film, they are extremely critical of the film’s shoddy research, its trafficking in bizarre and divisive conspiracy theories, its promotion of far right-wing Libertarian propaganda, and its reductive and harmful worldview that obscures real problems of income inequality, political corruption and environmental degradation.

Thrive Debunked is mentioned prominently in the episode and I’m proud to say this site was used as a significant source to fact-check and analyze the film. You’ll see links to various articles here on the blog page discussing the episode.

At one point, Mr. Newman reads verbatim from the statement made by John Robbins repudiating Thrive and criticizing its conspiracy worldview—a statement published on this blog with Mr. Robbins’s permission.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, very little on the podcast will be news to you. But it is noteworthy that whenever anyone approaches Thrive with a desire to check its facts and think through its conclusions, they invariably conclude that it is faulty, false and dangerous. We can therefore add the Winnipeg Skeptics’ review to the lengthening list of similar reviews catalogued on this site, such as JREF’s, Transition Culture’s and the Praxis Institute’s.

Do give the podcast a listen. It’s very well-done.

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9 responses to “Noted Canadian Skeptic Show Examines Thrive—And Tells the Truth.”

  1. Sally Sevens says :

    Two likes, and two shares – whereas Nassim has over 300,000 likes and over 150,000 shares.. Learn when a battle is lost, you can’t debunk somebody who is claiming he is incomplete and just trying to solve stuff. Go back to your journalism.

  2. Tim Rue says :

    If only you’d spent as much effort on debunking man made government, military, religion and economies around the world with the obviousness of the majority of the 7 billion plus people on this planet to busy living their lives to focus on killing those they don’t even know the name of. Maybe you actually make a difference. And in comparison to what you have done…. Apparently you seek distraction from reality… like many others.

    • Lee says :

      Mr. Rue unlike the ideas put forth in “Thrive” those man made government, military etc are part of reality, so defending them against factless conspiracy theories is not a distraction from reality.

    • Frankie says :


  3. panthervariable says :

    No, it’s important to debunk conspiracy theories as they draw energy and attention away from activism about real issues.

  4. Wyboth says :


  5. Thomas says :

    Unfortunately we live in a complicated world and most people do not get exposed to the realities as we are sheltered from the true events that do occur.
    In some ways we exist in a protective cocoon.
    A. Most Police Officers will know there are some things that happen they can not even talk about with their families. The average person never gets to find out about the grim reality.
    B. The media does not always run the stories and at times they do not find out, and when they do it is usually years later. In addition certain stories are run due to agenda based reasons. Crime is news but if you want gun control and crime control you hammer people with any and all news that are relative to crime. Also if you have other reasons such as disarming the public you run a lot of crime stories. It is a shock tactic. However, other stories never see the news.
    Example: The Conspiracy theories around the 2007 events and the Stock or market crash in 2008 blamed the major companies and some were pointing to the major banks, the major bank story hardly ever surfaced on the news? However,a few days ago JP Morgan Chase was fined billions of dollars. For what? The 2008 incident under a congressional hearing. This used to be a conspiracy theory, the reality takes a while to sink in with some people.
    C. Most employees (and this includes the Military, Essential services, Emergency Services, and almost every corporation). I have known have contracts and those contracts will always include a set of rules and a NON disclosure clause. Ever wonder why Security Staff keep the media out unless the media are met by managers for press and at times they even keep the Police and Ambulance as well as the Fire Department out or delay them until they are ready to be accompanied by management.
    D. The average person only gets involved in dramatic situations by chance or accident unless they are in some way involved in some activity that gives another person or group a reason to commit violence against them.
    E. Recent events regarding the surveillance of US and Global citizens were a conspiracy theory. Even the clued in Security and I T or telecommunications staff were were not aware how wide spread these operations were, as it was kept secret. There are a lot of levels of need to know basis information for employees and management and the work is divided amongst groups that specialise in their areas. Most never find out what others are doing, henceforth, only a few people ever get to know the larger picture. This is done by design. In every military and Government as well as corporate environment.

    Are there conspiracies that are based on absolute false information?

    Yes, there are!

    The difference in between misguided dis information and deliberate dis information is huge.
    Then we have those that are in it for a bit of fun as they are either adding fuel to the fire or making entertaining videos. These are mostly easily picked out and discredited.

    We have to have an unbiased and careful mind set when we look at any information, how many here have never fallen for pranks?
    Then again how many have heard things and ridiculed the person that has given us the information as we thought it was a lie? Only to find out later that they were telling the truth?

    We can feel silly in both situations. However, certain situations are so far out off our comfort zone that we often just choose to disbelieve. That could never happen and why would any one do such a thing? Look at our history, and seriously ask your selves if wars were fought over petty and stupid things? Have thousands and millions lost their lives?
    Let me give you an example:
    Had someone told you the above had happened most would more than likely call it utter rubbish.
    If you follow this up you can find the court case.
    Do court records lie?

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