Marianne Williamson was not pleased when prominent feminist writer Erica Jong and her daughter Molly Jong-Fast, a popular liberal commentator, both doubted Williamson’s contention that prayer could change the course of Hurricane Dorian. So she messaged Jong to complain.
The contretemps began when Williamson, who has preached a New Agey message of love and spoken of President Trump’s “dark psychic energy” during her extreme-long-shot bid for the presidency, tweeted on Wednesday that “millions of us seeing Dorian turn away from land is not a wacky idea; it is a creative use of the power of the mind.”
Hurricane Dorian has managed to stay just off shore of the Eastern Seaboard as it pounds multiple states with heavy rain on Thursday — but the storm devastated islands in the Bahamas earlier in the week, causing at least 20 deaths.
Williamson’s message drew predictable ridicule from Twitter’s chattering classes, to the point that she deleted it just minutes later. Some time later, Williamson messaged at least one of her critics privately.
“Sorry to see you’d call me ‘weird,’ Erica,” Williamson writes, in part. (It is unclear when Jong did so.) “I understand your daughter is young and doesn’t know better but given your own career and the fact that we’ve met, I would have thought you’d at least be open to a non-corporate political voice in the mix.”
Molly Jong-Fast is 41 years old.
The screenshot Jong-Fast tweeted included a response from her mother to Williamson. “I do believe in the need for love and empathy as you do!” the Fear of Flying author writes. “But can we communicate to non-readers who are determined to pursue hatred?” Williamson followed up with a lengthy rebuttal, but it did not appear to pacify Jong-Fast, who retweeted many messages critical of the candidate on Thursday.
After deleting the original tweet linking prayer and hurricanes, Williamson defended her position on the matter in follow-up tweets on Wednesday.
Despite indications to the contrary, Williamson’s campaign insisted that she did not actually think thoughts could alter a hurricane’s path.
“It was a metaphor,” spokeswoman Patricia Ewing said in a statement. “When others speak of prayer and the mind it’s considered profound, but Williamson is held to a different standard.”