To my knowledge, the guys over at The Spirit Science never addressed the death of rapper Courtney Jamal Dewar (aka Capital Steez) who was a big fan of their videos. This is most likely because this young man took his own life when he leapt off a building in New York City in the late hours of December 23rd, 2012. Capital Steez was often vocal about his “new age” belief system and his music, art reflected his troubled view of reality.
The song “Like Water,” sounds good until Steez drops a reference to the pineal gland or “third eye” in only the third line, “Common Intro: They say signs of the end is near. 1st Verse: And I quote, we came like them niggas in boats. Still think it’s a joke? Your third eye vision is broke” (Pro Era 2012).
The common intro, “They say signs of the end is near,” is a lyric that the reader of this blog post should keep in mind going forward. Because, not only did Capital Steez believe in the new age nonsense surrounding the “December 21st, 2012” doomsday phenomenon, but he was living proof of the negative impact that the paranoid hell of conspiracy theories can have on your life, relationships and work opportunities.
An anecdote from the opening paragraph of the article, “Capital STEEZ: King Capital,” introduces then 17-year-old, Jay Steez, who after a performance in March of 2011 revealed to a friend that he’d picked out a new name for a hip hop group that he wanted to form, called, “Pro Era, short for Progressive Era—a title with a purpose fixed within the two words: they were going to do nothing less than spark a new epoch in the storied history of New York rap” (Rosenberg 2013/2014).
Pro Era’s group name, aside from obviously carrying a new age connotation, was meant to ignite a new “epoch” in the NYC rap scene; Capital Steez would often boast that his rapping ability was tied to his “open chakras.”
The words “epoch” and “era” are commonly found in new age speech and can refer to any number of incoming galactic super waves, spiritual ascensions, or whatever other spiritual transformation that is going to put us all into a higher state of consciousness and enlightenment in another dimension. Basically, there’s always a new end time, dimensional shift date for new age “heaven or hell” admittance; of course all of these “predictions” or BS “prophecies” are purposefully vague in claims so that anything can be said to fit after the fact.
Spirit Science videos that were published before the world ended on December 21st, 2012 made us all aware of this date. In one video in particular, The Spirit Science introduces the idea that we’re entering into the “Age of Aquarius,” but laments that not many people “know what this means;” Spirit Science elaborates at 10:07 minutes into the video “Spirit Science 5 ~ The Keys of our Past”:
“Well, we’re right about here on the precession of the equinox. Just about at point A, remember, this is a REALLY important time for us, not just humans, but all of earth, and perhaps maybe our solar system. This is a chart showing the precession scale with our constellations, the astronomical sign we see in the sky when we hit point A, will be that of Aquarius. Are you ready for this? The big finisher? Can you guess when we’re going to hit point A exactly? The Mayans had figured it out: DECEMBER 21st, 2012” (Spirit Science Central 2011).
After two years of hard work the rap group Pro Era was on its way to achieving their goal of a rap epoch in NYC, according to the Fader article’s author Eli Rosenberg:
“Dewar, rapping now as Capital Steez (stylized as Captial STEEZ), had emerged as one of the most dynamic lyricists from the city in recent memory, a 19-year-old MC with a critical mind and a sharp eye for irony, fresh off the release of a formidable first mixtape, AmeriKKKan Korruption” (Rosenberg 2013/2014).
Notice the “KKK” in “AmeriKKKan?” This was typical of Steez’s anti-establishment style, which is an image that all new agers craft for themselves at one point or another. Rosenberg goes on to detail how Pro Era released their first full album, “PEEP: The aPROcalypse,” on December 21st, 2012; note the continued thematic obsession with end times in the album title “aPROcalypse.”
Another thing that the Fader article, “Capital STEEZ: King Capital,” points out is Steez’s use of new age speak where he would substitute “eye” for “I,” which is something a lot of new age practitioners write in their messages, comments on the internet.
Capital Steez was featured on five tracks on the album, “PEEP: The aPROcalypse,” however just two days later on December 23rd, 2012, he was found dead at the age of 19:
“on a prominent thoroughfare in Manhattan’s Flatiron District. The young rapper had leapt off a building early in the morning before Christmas Eve, propelling himself so far that he landed in the street. Dewar left no note other than a terse last message he blasted out to his friends and fans on Twitter, one minute before midnight: ‘The end.’ He jumped into the cold December night just moments later” (Rosenberg 2013/2014).
Rosenberg chronicles how tragic Steez’s death was, but for all of the write-ups on musics sites and blogs that no one had any real information as to why this young made had taken his own life, “None of the city’s newspapers reported it, and of the outlets that did, not a single one was able to confirm it officially…no one seemed to know for certain if it had even happened” (Rosenberg 2013/2014).
New Age Love and Light: The Dark Side
This young man was experiencing an emotional crisis while coming into adulthood and was possibly depressed, although the family is still uncertain as to whether he was dealing with any “mental issues” (Rosenberg 2013/2014).
Instead of getting professional help, treatment he was watching conspiracy and pseudoscience videos from creators like, “Spirit Science,” on the internet. Steez was needlessly preoccupied with “opening” his pineal gland while self-medicating with drugs and mediation instead of prescribed medication and therapy.
It didn’t help that after coming back from a trip in Canada (The Spirit Science creator Jordan is from Canada) Steez was smoking “weed four to seven times per day” and not getting enough sleep:
“He went on tour anyway, where he had a number of firsts: he did shrooms and lost his virginity, according to his friends, and he went to Canada, where he said to an interviewer that he smoked weed four to seven times a day. But he told his friends back home that he didn’t enjoy eating junk food, getting little sleep and other aspects of life on the road” (Rosenberg 2013/2014).
Depression “is a common but serious mood disorder,” which can be treated in many cases with medication and traditional therapy. Smoking marijuana regularly and taking “magic mushrooms” while getting spiritual guidance from charlatans over the internet distorted this young man’s world view and left him despondent, especially at the end of his life when he was always just out of reach of family and friends.
Steez’s final public performance on December 12th, 2012 did not go well, as he was drunk, frustrated with the turnout, and ended up leaving the stage. About a week later Steez told Cinematic employee, Jesse Rubin, that he was done with rap, “He honestly said a couple things to me that really concerned me at the shoot…Just the look in his eyes. He was just like, I’m just done with this shit” (Rosenberg 2013/2014).
In the weeks leading up to December 21st, 2012 articles like “NASA: Kids Are Considering Suicide Because They’re Afraid The World Will End,” and “Doomsday Phobia Grows As World Awaits December 21, 2012,” are just the tip of the media iceberg.
“Alternative media” sources, such as The Spirit Science, really “seized the day” leading up to this date, which is where some “kids” were getting their doomsday information from. NASA Scientist David Morrison joined the show “The Young Turks” in order to dispel rumours and said:
“A lot of young people believe it, and that’s pretty scary. I hear from kids who say that they can’t, they can’t eat — they’re considering suicide in some cases. So whatever the other effects may be on crazies, it truly frightens children, which I think is wrong” (Spector 2012).
The Spirit Science videos were so popular on the internet around this time that even Steez was into them:
“As Steez’ spiritual outlook evolved, he began forging an idiosyncratic personal belief system from elements of new age spirituality, Egyptian mysticism and numerology. Influenced by a YouTube series called ‘Spirit Science,’ Steez and Nguyen started talking about astral projecting, auric fields, shape-shifting, synchronicity and making sure their ‘third eyes’ were open. They talked about how they were beings of a higher dimension” (Rosenberg 2013/2014).
Steez actively believed that he was an “Indigo Child,” which is a term first used by new age practitioners in the 1970s, “to describe the aura of children believed to posses traits like hyper-intelligence and high intuition, as well as an aversion to authority and a proclivity for hyperactivity” (Rosenberg 2013/2014).
Spirit Science has several different segments on “Indigo Children,” which claims all kinds of things that are not true; especially at 5:07 minutes into the video, “Spirit Science 4 ~ Male and Female Energy,”:
“So let us look at the Indigo Children and super-psychics, there is a new type of children being born on earth. Since sometime in the 80s, new children started appearing with different or unusual traits. Their numbers began to increase, and today nearly 100% of all children born in North America are Indigo Children. So what are these traits? Let’s go over a list developed by Jan Yordy….Indigos are very intuitive, often psychic, and my hear, see, or know things that seem unexplainable. Indigos may have more problems with food and environmental sensitivities since their system is more finely tuned. When their needs are not met, these children appear self-centered and demanding although this is not their true nature. These children have incredible gifts and potential, and may be shut down when not properly nurtured and accepted” (Spirit Science Central 2011).
The narrator goes on to talk about DNA activation, criticize schools and teaching methods before leaping into a rant on “super psychics.” If you’re looking at the long list of traits above, and wondering if any of them apply to you…you can just stop, because before the narrator gave us that list he told us that, “nearly 100% of all children born in North America are indigo children” (Spirit Science Central 2011). So whether or not you want to be an indigo child is irrelevant, because you probably already are one (sarcasm).
The Spirit Science also introduced Steez to the concept of “synchronicity,” which is another new age concept where any coincidence can be evidence of whatever they want it to be. In Steez’s case, he became obsessed with the number 47, “which he felt was a perfect expression of balance in the world, representing the tension between the fourth chakra—the heart—and the seventh—the brain” (Rosenberg 2013/2014). His friend said that he started to see it everywhere, like on street signs, clocks, Facebook, etc.
Steez made a logo that has the same coloring, styling as a Nazi Swastika for some “47” stickers. The stickers were initially investigated by the NYPD, a controversy that Steez took great pride in, but the investigation was dropped as soon as they discovered the sticker was created and used by a local band.
This is common with conspiracy theorists, they enjoy basking in the negative attention from any conflicts that arise from their alternative belief systems…right up until they don’t like it anymore. It’s always worse for these people when they choose to publish their beliefs on the internet under their real name, as this usually leads to regret, shame and a whole other can of worms that the former conspiracist then has to deal with.
Even though the investigation over the “47 stickers” was dropped right away, this didn’t stop Steez from developing paranoia concerning the stickers negative impact on his life in the last days before his death, “According to his sister Tamara, Steez told his mother that day that he was worried about being under investigation for his ‘47 stickers,’ and that ‘the only way he would get rid of that whole situation [was] if he hurt himself’ (Rosenberg 2013/2014).
Steez’s paranoid conversation about the stickers and hurting himself occurred on December 21st, 2012, at the same time Pro Era’s album “PEEP: aPROcaplypse,” was released.
These were the behaviors and ideas that made Steez seem “out there” to music executives and had him “talking bluntly about his ‘ascension,’ his massive weight loss and how ‘truthfully in my mind, I’m living in 2047’ (Rosenberg 2013/2014). None of these things helped him to secure a long-term future in the rap industry as his beliefs made him an outsider and alienated him from family and friends when he was in need of this particular support structure the most.
On December 22nd, 2012, while at Pro Era’s release party for their new album, things took an even darker turn for Steez:
“One of the people present, who has asked to remain anonymous, says that Steez told some of the Pros that he was thinking of killing himself by jumping off the building where Cinematic had its offices. A handful of Pros tried to talk him out of it. ‘Nothing was working, says Sanchez. ‘Nothing. It was like too late. He made up his mind already’” (Rosenberg 2013/2014).
Why they didn’t say anything to his family or authorities is up for debate, but it’s clear that a greater effort should have been made to prevent this young man from taking his own life. Hindsight is always 20/20, but in this case there were more than enough red flags to suggest that Steez needed professional help. While the statistics of suicide and the mass hysteria surrounding “December 21st, 2012” are a topic for another blog post, it’s worth noting that there is at least one other teenage suicide related to this particular doomsday phenomenon.
The article, “Suicide teen feared end of world,” reveals that “Records taken from the teenager’s computer revealed that she was investigating the end of the world in the lead-up to her suicide…as well as how many paracetamol tablets she would need to take to produce a fatal overdose” (AFP 2012). The events in this article occurred on September 24th, 2011.
Whether or not it’s fair to implicate alternative media sources, like The Spirit Science, for the negative impact their misleading content has on the public is debatable. But what’s not debatable is that Capital Steez watched The Spirit Science’s videos and that this “new age” content was a major influence on who he was at the time of his death. Because of this, I’m not so sure that the general public can view misleading media sources like, The Spirit Science, as completely innocent since they are complacent in the continued production, propagation of harmful nonsense on the internet.
The Spirit Science does not make corrections and often offer up excuses as explanations for their behavior; they advocate alternative medicine and healing that has not been proven to work. The guys at Spirit Science are parasites who infect the minds of anyone who is temporarily gullible enough to pay attention to them; it’s time that they grow up and start taking responsibility for their actions.
If you haven’t already, check out my previous blog, “The Spirit Science: Facebook Deletes Misleading Content and Clickbait,” for more information on The Spirit Science.
As for Capital Steez, one quote came to mind when reading his story:
“For who so firm that cannot be seduced? This is the motto of all seducers: Who is so firm that they cannot be seduced? Anyone can be led astray—any of us, all of us.” – Joseph J. Romm
AFP. “Suicide teen feared end of world.” News.com.au: May 19, 2012. Website: http://www.news.com.au/world/suicide-teen-feared-end-of-world/news-story/f78728c52e1e88e7491b4272d8ad513e
Handwerk, Brian. “2012 Prophecies Sparking Real Fears, Suicide Warnings.” National Geographic: November 09, 2009. Website: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/11/091106-2012-movie-end-world-fears-maya-predictions.html
Pro Era. “Like Water (Capital STEEZ, Joey Badass & CJ Fly).” YouTube: May 31, 2013. Website: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fg08Hjwdo0
Radford, Benjamin. “The Truth About 2012 Doomsday Hype.” LiveScience: November 05, 2009. Website: https://www.livescience.com/7937-truth-2012-doomsday-hype.html
Sieczkowski, Cavan. “Doomsday Phobia Grows As World Awaits December 21, 2012 (VIDEO).” Huffington Post: December 13, 2012. Website: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/13/doomsday-phobia-grows-china-december-21-2012-mayan-apocalypse_n_2292136.html
Spector, Dina. “NASA: Kids Are Considering Suicide Because They’re Afraid The World Will End.” Business Insider: December 07, 2012. Website: http://www.businessinsider.com/nasa-kids-are-considering-suicide-because-of-doomsday-prediction-2012-12?IR=T
Spirit Science Central. “Spirit Science 4 ~ Male and Female Energy.” YouTube: December 30, 2011. Website: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iiaVazF1SIY&t=332s
Spirit Science Central. “Spirit Science 5 ~ The Keys of our Past.” YouTube: December 30, 2011. Website: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adyqBP5selM
Rosenberg, Eli. “Capital Steez: King Capital.” Fader: December 2013/January 2014. Website: http://www.thefader.com/2013/11/26/capital-steez-king-capital