opinion

OPINION: 'Pete Evans is not a truth-teller. He's just a man who makes nice salads.'

Pete Evans wants me to tell you something.

For weeks, he’s been inviting the “mainstream media” to stop misrepresenting him. The former TV chef has been claiming censorship. He’s been saying that everyone wants to silence him.

Today he gets his way.

Tonight, Channel Nine is airing a segment on 60 Minutes about the conspiracy theories that have flooded the mainstream in the era of coronavirus. The poster-child spokesperson? Pete Evans. The man once dismissed as a reality TV “celebrity chef” now considers himself a truth-teller so dangerous, he might just get assassinated.

And I’m writing this story for Mamamia and using only Pete Evans’ own endorsed words to illustrate it. Every picture in this story is a post taken from Evans’ Instagram feed, one that has 236,000 followers.

And he’s right about one thing.

He is dangerous.

Let’s start with this one.

That’s right. Pete Evans is one of the people who thinks that the coronavirus is a scam, a plot cooked up by governments across the world in a bid to control us.

And he also thinks that the Black Lives Matter protests that have spread across the world in the last 12 days are an extreme Left conspiracy, started by covert political operatives.

He does not believe that this global outpouring of grief and fury over systemic racism was sparked by the unjust murder of an African American man on the streets of Minneapolis. He doesn’t think that George Floyd’s fatherless daughter is one little girl too many who has lost a loved one at the hands of police and that people of colour the world over are raising their voices to campaign for a justice that is hundreds of years overdue.

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No. He thinks this worldwide movement is a sham that the rest of us are too dumb to decode.

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I invite you to read and feel into these words that someone sent me. Or simply scroll on ????❤️

A post shared by Pete Evans (@chefpeteevans) on

Pete Evans’ view on the protests being a Far Left conspiracy are shared by one of his new favourite people, Donald Trump.

It’s unclear when Pete became a Trump supporter, but it seems to have coincided with the time he became enamoured with David Icke, a holocaust denier who thinks the world is run by shape-shifted lizards from outer space.

For a week or so in early May, Evans kept his “link in bio” fixed to an interview with conspiracist darling David Icke that was so controversial it was banned by Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Icke is another powerful voice barking about the “plandemic”, but you might be familiar with his name from that time last year when he was prohibited from visiting Australia because he was deemed a dangerous anti-Semite.

Icke has written and spoken extensively about his belief that the world is ruled by powerful forces from elsewhere in the galaxy, who take human form but can’t entirely suppress their reptilian true selves. For Icke, hiding behind the flesh and blood facades of the Royal family and the Clintons are tongue-twitching lizard beings who are manipulating world events to push us ever closer to a totalitarian fascist state.

Clearly, he’s Pete’s kind of guy.

When Evans began sharing links to Icke’s interviews his feed became home to a flood of racist and anti-Semitic comments. It marked a noted shift in the tone of what, until then, had largely been a platform for delicious-looking paleo recipes, twinkling videos of his stunning northern NSW farm and the odd whacky claim about light machines curing COVID (a claim that saw him slapped with a $25,000 fine from the Therapeutic Goods Administration).

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Now, on Planet Pete, the man who rails against “fake news” and “mainstream media” happily shares opinion pieces from Fox News, which, as the media mouthpiece of the President Of The United States, is about as mainstream as it gets.

 

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????????❤️????. My most truthful post to date. #conspiracytheory

A post shared by Pete Evans (@chefpeteevans) on

It’s interesting that the media has become Evans’ enemy, considering he has made his fortune from it for over a decade. Channel Seven made Evans’ name a household one on its once highest-rating show My Kitchen Rules, where he literally swallowed his principles as he tasted dishes that included all kinds of contraband for a paleo devotee, like pasta, rice, pulses and cheese. By at least Season Three of the juggernaut success, Evans had started building his The Paleo Way lifestyle brand that primarily hinges on cutting out all the food groups he was chowing down on MKR.

There is no question that innumerable people have been helped by ridding their diets of processed foods that weren’t working for them. The trust that Pete Evans is now using to sell his dangerous views on everything from 5G to the flu jab was won by helping many, many Australians live healthier lives by eating more plants and less rubbish. His Paleo way online community overflows with comments from primarily women who say that overhauling their diet has helped them solve health problems that “traditional” medicine never could.

But the message that eating more healthily will make you feel better is no longer Evans’ primary one.

Now, he wants all those people to follow him “down the rabbit hole”, “take the red pill” and come along as he becomes the truth-teller who exposes the global plot to inject us all with mind-controlling mandatory vaccinations that are the fault of Bill Gates, communication technology and something-something China.

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A post shared by Pete Evans (@chefpeteevans) on

And to some extent, it’s working. Last week, as cities around Australia hosted Black Lives Matter protests highlighting the 432 indigenous people who have died in police custody since 1991, a different kind of demonstration was gaining traction. Glamorous Byron Bay influencers like Abigail O Neill have been posting videos of them chanting “My Body, My Choice” at marches against 5G and ‘no jab, no play’ rules. The Rugby League players who refused to abide by the rule that to play during the pandemic they should be vaccinated against the flu have won cult-hero status. Politicians say that anti-vax messages in their inboxes are at an all time high.

It’s an increasingly popular toxic hybrid of Far Right theory, anti-science rhetoric and good old-fashioned paranoid-thinking that makes Evans’ days of suggesting newborn babies drink bone-broth look positively innocent.

Today, Pete Evans gets to speak his truth, with the breath-taking arrogance of someone who truly believes that they – and only they – can see what the rest of us can’t.

And we get to see the Emperor without his clothes. TV cameras or no TV cameras, what’s exposed is just a man, spending too much time in the Internet’s dusty corners, believing his own bullshit.

The pandemic has claimed almost 400,000 lives. Those families who’ve lost their loved ones all over the world know it’s real.

The Black Lives Matter movement is speaking the names of thousands of people whose lives were lost to systematic racism over decades.

Pete Evans is not a heroic truth-teller. He’s a dangerous narcissist who makes nice salads.

And today he gets to tell you that in his own words.

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