Gwyneth Paltrow in Santa Monica on May 16 (Photo: Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Fast Company)

The promos for Gwyneth Paltrow’s In Goop Health conference sounded appropriately New Age awful, what with aura photography and sound baths and bone broth, and ticket prices starting at $500 for the all-day event. Brave reporter Maureen Callahan attended the L.A. event on Saturday and wrote it up for the New York Post so that none of us will ever be tempted to attend a Gwyneth Paltrow conference. Callahan leads with this awe-inspiring sentence:

Gwyneth Paltrow’s inaugural health-and-wellness summit on Saturday kicked off just as you’d expect: well-groomed women wearing yoga pants and expensive handbags hooking themselves up to IVs and oxygen tubes in a parking lot, experiences otherwise associated with the glamour of getting triaged at a disaster site.

Those gritty indicators only hinted at the horror inside, led off by Paltrow’s first speaker, Dr. Habib Sadeghi, who talked for “nearly 90 minutes about ‘integrative photosynthesis,’ ‘spiritual Wi-Fi,’ ‘laterality to the body,’ ‘neuro-vegetative signs’ and ‘the ontological experience called your life.’” His platitudes about the power of positive thinking, combined with claims that we still don’t know what makes birds fly, led to the first of many departures from the conference, as Callahan observed: “About 50 women, most exasperated, streamed out during his lecture, and it’s not hard to see why: By middle age, most everyone has had an experience with catastrophic illness, and there’s no reconciling Sadeghi’s nonsense with that.”

Next up was a panel on gut health that touted frog venom as a cure-all for everything from bad luck to cancer, followed by a physically gruesome onstage facial surgery: “The 10-Minute Facelift With Dr. Julius Few,” which Callahan called “a room-clearing demonstration in which Few sliced holes in a volunteer’s face.”

Still to come was a panel with Paltrow and two of her favorite shrinks, “only one of whom is licensed,” again pushing a powerful thinking movement that sounds suspiciously like The Secret, followed by a parenting panel on “the mother wound.” Lena Dunham didn’t show up for the final panel, leaving Paltrow alone with merely two famous friends, Cameron Diaz and Nicole Richie. You can enjoy more details about this disastrous event from a safe distance at The New York Post today.

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