Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop health summit came to town Saturday, with the actress hawking potions, lotions and arguably dangerous medical notions.
The one-day event, priced at $650-$2,000 a ticket, attracted about 600 yoga pants-wearing women to the South Street Seaport for 10 hours of meditations, “non-toxic” spa remedies, tarot card readings, anti-aging LED face mask treatments, shopping and other activities centered around Paltrow’s cult-like Goop philosophy. The actress was on hand, along with celebrity pals Drew Barrymore, Chelsea Handler and Laura Linney.
“Our mission is to really open doors and help ourselves and others really get close to what their purpose might be,” Paltrow told hordes of her true believers. “We’re brave, we’re not afraid to ask questions. We like to shine light on things.”
Those “things” included eyebrow-raising medical views.
Panelists at Paltrow’s event included one doctor who has disputed the effectiveness of both vaccinations and HIV medications.
Dr. Kelly Brogan claimed in a since-deleted 2014 blog post that the accepted medical wisdom that HIV leads to AIDS and cholesterol causes heart disease are nothing more than “memes we hold onto societally as truths.”
Brogan’s rhetoric has alarmed experts, who say publicizing such misconceptions is dangerous.
“There are a number of people with HIV who have been associated with this denialist movement, and many of them are dead,” said Catherine Hanssens, executive director of the Center for HIV Law & Policy.
Brogan has even claimed on her blog that “drug toxicity associated with AIDS treatment may very well be what accounts for the majority of deaths.”
Hanssens retorted, “The evidence is in: The drugs work and they are keeping many people alive.”
Brogan has also blogged about drug companies brainwashing the public for profit.
Hanssens sees this as hypocrisy.
“The irony is that it would appear a number of folks affiliated with the denialist movement, including Dr. Brogan, are simply peddling an alternative view in which they hope to make a lot of money.
“Goop is about making money. Brogan is about making money.”
Brogan did not mention HIV or AIDS on Saturday, but talked in general terms of the perils of medication.
“Medications are actually [contributing to] chronic illness,” Brogan told the rapt audience.
The first panel of the day, called Diet+Body, featured Dr. Taz Bhatia, a pediatrican and women’s health specialist who’s questioned the effects of vaccines after “patient after patient [described] a change or shifting in their children.”
Bhatia’s own child, she said, came down with severe reflux within 24 hours of receiving his shots, and over the next few months his weight gain slowed. “I will never forget the day my son received a combination vaccine,” she said on her Web site. But unlike Brogan, Bhatia concedes vaccines do have some societal benefit.
On Saturday, she stuck to Chinese medicine and gut health.
But Brogan, who describes herself as a “Manhattan-based holistic women’s health psychiatrist,” is staunchly antivaccination.
“It is time for us to acknowledge the heinous nature of this one-size-fits-all pharmaceutical assault,” she wrote on her website. “Vaccination itself is predicated on an antiquated misapprehension of individualized immunity.”
Another speaker, nutritionist Deanna Minich, told her fans to taste the rainbow.
“Let’s talk about eating colorfully,” she began. On her Web site, she goes especially wild for yellow grub such as bananas, pineapples and garbanzo beans, saying they will give a person energy and “balance your fire.”
“At least 80 percent of my clients and students struggle with an imbalanced FIRE,” Minich told the Hearty Soul Web site. “[They’re] most commonly feeling burnt out with too much stress.”
On Saturday, she said green foods could help alleviate grief.
Some of the summit’s attendees were skeptical of the snake oil they were being sold.
“It’s easier being dead than it is alive."
One woman said she was “taking everything with a grain of salt” and was especially peeved by medium Laura Lynne Jackson, who told the audience “death doesn’t exist.”
“The other side is real,” she said to one woman whose mother had died. “Your mom is fine.”
Another skeptical attendee speculated that Jackson was “taking advantage of grieving parents” and wondered how much it would cost to hire her as a guide to the other side.
Other panelists claim to have already been there.
Anita Moorjani, who wrote a book about her “near-death” experience, claims she was in a 30-day coma brought on by cancer.
She died, realized in the great beyond that life is “about getting your power back,” and woke up.
“I knew I was meant to live. I was deserving and worthy of having my health,” Moorjani said. “It’s easier being dead than it is alive.”
NYU Langone physician Dr. Dara Kass, who attended out of curiosity, was skeptical.
“Death is permanent,” Kass told The Post. “I learned that in medical school.”