Last week we mentioned that Jenny McCarthy was one of the top choices to replace Joy Behar on The View, the popular lady-focused daytime TV show. Well, the worst has come to pass: McCarthy is in, Ragnarok is nigh.

This is bad news for people who know that vaccines save millions of lives and do not cause autism, since Jenny McCarthy is evangelical about spreading misinformation that confuses parents and discourages them from vaccinating their kids.

Before McCarthy became known for her anti-vaccination propaganda, we here at Skepchick were fans of her due to her seemingly harmless fruitcake idea that she was a magical being from another dimension. Jenny McCarthy, you see, is an Indigo Child.

Or at least she used to be, as indicated by her Indigo Moms website. That site disappeared around the time McCarthy became more famous for her anti-vaccine stance, but I’m pretty sure that once you’re an Indigo Child, you’re always an Indigo Child. A leopard can’t change its spots, and an Indigo Child can’t change her aura, even with her superior mind powers.

Here are the attributes of an Indigo Child, according to Spiritual Growth Prophecies, an IndigoMoms.com-endorsed site:

Strong willed
Born in 1978 or later
Headstrong
Creative, with an artistic flair for music, jewelry making, poetry, etc.
Prone to addictions
An “old soul” as if they’re 13 going on 43
Intuitive or psychic, possibly with a history of seeing angels or deceased people
An isolationist, either through aggressive acting-out, or through fragile introversion
Independent and proud, even if they’re constantly asking you for money
Possess a deep desire to help the world in a big way
Wavers between low self-esteem and grandiosity
Bores easily
Has probably been diagnosed as having ADD or ADHD
Prone to insomnia, restless sleep, nightmares, or difficulty/fear of falling asleep
Has a history of depression, or even suicidal thoughts or attempts
Looks for real, deep, and lasting friendships
Easily bonds with plants or animals.

To sum up, half those things describe billions of people (i.e., “bores easily” or “looks for real, deep, and lasting friendships), and the other half describe people with possible disorders (i.e., “has probably been diagnosed as having ADD or ADHD” or “has a history of depression, or even suicidal thoughts or attempts.”) One is strangely specific: “even if they’re constantly asking you for money,” really? Sounds like somebody has an axe to grind with their Indigo Child. “No, Prism, you’ve already received your allowance for this week. Oh, what’s that? Dream catchers are on sale at Native Inspirations? Fine, here’s $50.”

The draw of the Indigo Child belief is obvious: would you rather have ADD or be a psychic angel from another dimension? And, would you rather your kid be autistic or God’s gift to help save the world? Jenny once believed the latter when it came to her son, Evan – Indigo children apparently have the ability to give birth to “crystal children,” who are even more psychic than their parents, and more smug about it as well:

Unlike indigo children, these children are not confused about living their purpose here. They know and completely honor their role in saving the world, and can still live in harmony with adults at the same time.

And while Indigos are diagnosed with ADD, Crystals are diagnosed with autism due to their psychic powers:

Crystal children talk about the deceased they would never have known, and communicate telepathically with their families. In fact non-verbal conversation is their preferred method of communication.

Small wonder these more psychic children often don’t speak till they are three or four years old. Many of their mothers became clairvoyant too while pregnant. I’m sure this happened so they would be better able to help and understand their special children.

Doctors often consider crystal children to be autistic…They don’t fit the mold of the average child.

Sure enough, here’s how Jenny describes being attracted to the Indigo idea:

The reason why I was drawn to Indigo, and probably many other mothers too, was the fact that my son was given a diagnosis for a behavior issue. I would not accept this negative label they were trying to put on my son and found out that he mirrored Indigo characteristics. They wanted to put my son on medicine, and I refused after educating myself on how I would be taking away all the beautiful characteristics he came into this world with. Once moms educate themselves, and find out what other mothers of Indigos do for behavior issues, we generally find the answers and solutions for everything. For my son, I changed his diet completely and he has never had another behavior issue in school again.

McCarthy is just demonstrating a very human trait: she believes whatever makes her feel better, whether it’s that her son is an angel instead of autistic, or that his autism has an easily identifiable cause and cure instead of being a bit of a medical mystery with trial-and-error treatments and no real “cure” at all. The problem with this kind of thinking becomes clear when you look through the IndigoMoms.com forum and find a post from a woman whose 3-year old is experiencing terrifying “visions”, which the mother is treating with reiki, a superstitious practice in which practitioners wave their hands over the “patients” to treat them:

My son sees people who have passed over nightly, black hands, people with twisted faces. People looking foir each other. His only non frightening experiences have been with someone he calls upidon, & callie. …

He awoke after sleeping for about an hour screaming, thrashing, and saying no!!!! He had a complete melt down, scratching, biting, hitting with his fist —I have never seen him like this before. My husband and I stayed with him for at 1/2 trying to calm him–or to get him to use words to express his anger.

McCarthy had IndigoMoms.com’s “Angel therapist/Quantum Biofeedback Specialist” step in to help. Here is her advice:

Create a special nighttime ritual with your child by calling upon Archangel Michael. By teaching your child how to call upon Archangel Michael ,you are helping them to empower themselves. Archangel Michael is the most well known of all the Archangels. His name means, “Who is like God” and is also called The Prince of Light. He is the Warrior of Light and Protection, wielding his sword of blue flame. His colors are cobalt blue mixed with purple. You may see sparkles of these colors when he is around. He strengthens our spirits and brings clarity and perspective.

Severely agitated toddler who has visions? Why take him to a doctor when you can just pray? Yikes.

Eventually, McCarthy decided that Evan was, in fact, autistic, and the Indigo Moms website was deleted and never mentioned publicly again. McCarthy also decided that Evan’s autism was caused by vaccines, using the same amount of evidence she had used to determine he was a crystal child. She was even suspicious of vaccines back when she thought Evan was a magical being:

Also , in terms of vaccines, I believe they are needed in todays world except I would wait until after 18 months of birth and not incude mercury or monkey brains as perservatives or binders. Ouch! Can you tell Im PMSing LOL

The View is a woman-focused show with a huge audience and enough prestige to snag interviews with presidents, so it’s a little disappointing, to say the least, that one of their hosts is this detached from reality.

Plenty of other people have already pointed out to ABC that Jenny McCarthy spreads quite dangerous misinformation about vaccines and it didn’t seem to deter them. Maybe her Indigo child past will help convince them.

Ha ha, just kidding! Bonkers beliefs are great for ratings. We’re all doomed.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org and appears on the weekly Skeptics' Guide to the Universe podcast. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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8 Comments

  1. Avatar of Heina Dadabhoy
    July 15, 2013 at 3:06 pm —

    My mom once thought I was an indigo child after reading some book or other. It was her way of saying, “I don’t understand you. Here’s this label. I guess you’re just magical hence how incomprehensible you seem to be.” After years of my parents thinking that I was broken, therapists thinking I had depression and/or anxiety, and peers thinking I was a haughty kiss-ass — surprise surprise, I found out that I’m on the Spectrum.

  2. Avatar of Felicity
    July 15, 2013 at 3:29 pm —

    Quick correction: it’s Elizabeth Hasselbeck, who just left The View for FOX News, that McCarthy will be replacing.

  3. Avatar of ineedavacation
    July 15, 2013 at 5:05 pm —

    I have to admit, I haven’t watched the View since I saw Whoopi Goldberg trying to defend that child rapist Roman Polanski but if this is the direction they’re going then it’s just one more reason for me to not to watch. I hope their shit stain of a show gets cancelled.

  4. Avatar of Jack99
    July 15, 2013 at 5:13 pm —

    The description of Indigo Children seems to fit most Gen Y’s. Bring back Conscription, I say – and git off mah lawn.

  5. Avatar of criticaldragon1177
    July 15, 2013 at 10:34 pm —

    Rebecca Watson

    I would find the idea that she believes she’s a “magical being from another dimension” rather troubling in and off itself. If someone came up to me and told me, “hello, I have magical powers, and oh I’m not from this earth” wouldn’t that kind of make you think that something wasn’t right with that person’s head? I’m not surprised she’s an anti vaccination fanatic if she truly believes that as well.

    • Avatar of Jen Rogers
      July 18, 2013 at 1:23 pm —

      There are very many people who feel there are not from this world and that we all came here to serve a purpose. That’s not weird. In fact, I know more people that feel that way than don’t. Have you ever taken the time to have deep conversations with the people you surround yourself with to learn their views? Although, I do not completely agree with everything that ms. McCarthy believes in- I do feel that you should open your mind a little. You would be surprised.

  6. Avatar of Squillo
    July 16, 2013 at 11:11 am —

    I’d rather McCarthy still believed her son was a Crystal Child. Apparently, she now believes that the MMR vaccine stole his soul. ‘Cause autism=soulless, doncha know?

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