Marianne Williamson called 'dangerous' candidate after popularity surges post-debate

Marianne Williamson got the country buzzing after her second debate appearance, but critics aren't falling for her unconventional image. (Photo: REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)

Marianne Williamson’s performance during Tuesday night’s Democratic debate, during which she warned of the “dark psychic force” being stirred up by Donald Trump, certainly has people talking. Though many made light of the self-help guru’s New Age-y vibes — “Marianne Williamson is like if the trailer for the movie Cats became a person,” tweeted Jimmy Kimmel — others were charmed, praising her as a refreshing antidote to politics as usual. Despite her jab at his dad, even Donald Trump Jr. pronounced Williamson “amazing.”

But the buzz over Williamson has also drummed a new wave of backlash. Critics of the spiritual author and presidential hopeful are reacting to her sudden skyrocketing popularity by speaking out against her past statements about weight, mental health and vaccinations. Williamson’s 2012 weight loss guide, A Course in Weight Loss: 21 Spiritual Lessons for Surrendering Your Weight, has been accused of promoting unhealthy and fat-shaming attitudes about body image, while her comments about vaccinations and antidepressants have been labeled as “anti-vaxx” and “anti-science,” charges she recently refuted on Twitter.

Novelist Porochista Khakpour, activist Brittany Packnett, political commentator Ana Marie Cox and author Ijeoma Oluo, who specializes in topics like race, feminism and social justice, were among those expressing concern, with the latter slamming Williamson as a “fat-shaming, anti-vaxx, anti-science scam artist.”

On the other end of the political spectrum, conservative Ann Coulter mocked Williamson — who has called for reparations be paid to the descendants of slaves — for hosting a 2016 event in which white participants offered apologies to African-Americans. According to CNN, Williamson called the exercise a "spiritual act of racial reconciliation."

And for all the ribbing aimed at Williamson, others have pointed out that the 2016 primaries featured another unconventional, often-mocked candidate few took seriously: Donald Trump.

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