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Bryant writes: "Demon sperm. What is it? Why is it? Why are we yelling about it? These are questions we're made to answer because, in short, we live in hell."

Dr. Stella Immanuel, center, speaks with members of the group America's Frontline Doctors. (photo: Twitter)
Dr. Stella Immanuel, center, speaks with members of the group America's Frontline Doctors. (photo: Twitter)

Okay. Wow. All Right. Okay. "Demon Sperm," Now? Fine!

By Kenzie Bryant, Vanity Fair

30 July 20


emon sperm. What is it? Why is it? Why are we yelling about it? These are questions we’re made to answer because, in short, we live in hell. There appears to be no immediate escape from the daily affliction of Donald Trump’s presidency, and this time is no different. Where to start on this week’s heinous development? Where to begin? What is it all about? How to stop stalling and just get into it already?

Okay, here we go. Just going to dive in. Here we go. Okay: Understanding how “demon sperm” entered the discourse should start, I suppose, with the woman who inadvertently introduced the phrase to the broader public in the first place, pediatrician and fire-and-brimstone-type minister Stella Immanuel. The Houston doctor joined the group of other medical professionals on Monday in D.C. in what they’ve called the “White Coat Summit,” a Tea Party–driven gathering meant to drive a wedge of distrust into COVID-19 consensus. They have some pretty kooky ideas in general. Immanuel, for example, recounts in sermons and books the devil’s various plots to take over the world, which is obviously wrong because as I stated above, we are already living in hell.

Anyway, their main claim is that there is a cure for coronavirus and it’s hydroxychloroquine (there isn’t yet and it is not). And yet, Breitbart posted the video of the speeches that same day, and within hours, it was the second-most popular video on Facebook, reportedly getting 14 million views in that short time. Madonna’s Instagram co-signed Immanuel’s words, calling her “my hero.” Donald Trump Jr. said the video is a “must watch” (for which he got temporarily suspended from Twitter for promoting false information). And, of course, the president retweeted it to his millions of followers on Twitter.

The drug hydroxychloroquine is meant to treat malaria, and the president has touted it repeatedly as a one-stop shop for all your COVID-cure needs, despite several studies saying that it has limited success with coronavirus patients and puts some people at risk for heart rhythm problems.

In reporting on Trump’s role in spreading the false information, Will Sommer of the Daily Beast dug into some of Immanuel’s other beliefs, and they include something about needing Dr. Anthony Fauci’s pee (?), lizard people and alien DNA (??), and insisting that ovarian cysts are caused by demon sex. So here we are again. What is demon sex? A fun bit of trouble to get into when its hot as Hades out? A particularly bad Tinder date? No, it is sex with demons in one’s dreams and the demon sperm causes the gynecological issues and general maladies in one’s body and marriage.

Would you believe that it didn’t end there with the demon sex and the demon sperm discussed at a national level? Facebook removed the video of Immanuel and others promoting hydroxychloroquine as the COVID “cure,” which the president retweeted late Monday night because, according to a spokesperson, it was “sharing false information about cures and treatments for COVID-19.” By Tuesday, after “demon sperm” fully metabolized in whatever gastrointestinal recesses that process trending topics on social media platforms, Trump commented on the video, suggesting that his was not just another random retweet, but a thoughtful one, unfortunately.

“I thought she was very impressive in the sense that from where she came—I don’t know which country she comes from, but she said that she’s had tremendous success with hundreds of different patients, and I thought her voice was an important voice,” Trump said of the doctor.

This was coincidentally the same week that the leaders of the Big Four—Google, Twitter, Amazon, and Facebook—would sit before the House Judiciary Committee as the U.S. government flirts with the idea of regulating the awesome, often unchecked power over-information and privacy they’ve accumulated in the last decade or so. Also on Tuesday, a memo circulated among Republicans, encouraging them to grind the familiar “censorship” gear, that is the perceived “anti-conservative” bias at work on the platforms.

The timing is probably a correlation-not-causation thing. Like Trump and others probably didn’t intend to promote false claims about life-saving drugs in the middle of a pandemic and also inadvertently start a conversation about demon sex, only so that their retweets would get taken down. Like, if you close your eyes and point randomly to any day on your Google calendar, some addled malcontent in D.C. will have complained about how one of these companies is treading on their right to confuse and endanger enormous swaths of the public. But boy, did they pick an egregious one to focus on this week of all weeks.

How will this story play out? Is it over as one might hope? Or is the final beat in this horrendous cycle also the worst one, in which Mark Zuckerberg utters the words “demon sperm” under oath in response to a question from Jim Jordan? If that were to happen, then at least we would know absolutely for sure this was hell on Earth. Your “kooky” uncle’s Facebook post just writes itself on that one. your social media marketing partner
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