8 Most Bizarre Things About Democratic Presidential Candidate Marianne Williamson

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8 Most Bizarre Things About Democratic Presidential Candidate Marianne Williamson

Marianne Williamson is one of the two dozen or so (seriously, who can keep up?), Democratic candidates for President. She's an author, activist, and lecturer who founded Project Angel Food, a volunteer food delivery program that serves home-bound people with HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening illnesses. She's a do-gooder. She's a spritiual guru. She's the godmother of the self-help movement. She's an interesting character, to say the least. 

Williamson was born in Houston in 1952. She went to Pomona College in Claremont, California but dropped out in 1973 during her junior year and moved to New York City to pursue a career as a cabaret singer. She got sidetracked by "bad boys and good dope" and floated around the country working as a cocktail waitress and temp. 

In 1979, she became absorbed in A Course in Miracles — the 1975 book by Helen Schucman that aims to give readers a spiritual transformation — and it changed her life. Williamson moved back to Houston where she opened and ran a metaphysical bookstore and coffeeshop. Williamson said in a 1992 interview that the book was her "path out of hell." She had been involved in a number of unhappy romantic relationshships. She was abusing alcohol and drugs. She had a nervous breakdown. A Course in Miracles saved her. That same interview revealed Williamson's fringe beliefs, including the fact that the "nothing occurs outside our minds" and that "sickness is an illusion and does not actually exist." Willamson believes that consulting A Course in Miracles can solve every problem. 

Williamson became the leader of the self-help/spiritual movement in California. She was (and still is, she gives her lecture on A Course in Miracles frequently at a theater in Los Angeles) a spritual leader. Her 1992 self-help book A Return To Love was a monstrous hit and New York Times best-seller. She is the author of 13 books in the self-help/spirituality category, seven of which were New York Times best sellers. 

Marianne Williamson is not a seasoned politician and she's a longshot for the Democratic nomination. That said, she certainly is the most interesting candidate. Which is as good a place as any to jump into our list of eight most bizarre things about Marianne Williamson.

1. She used to run her own church

Kanye did not do it first.  Marrianne, who is Jewish, was a Minister at Detroit's Christian Church of Today, a non-denominational church with 2,500 congregants, for five years starting in the late 1990s. Steven Tyler was a frequent musical guest at her services. 

2. She was roommates with Laura Dern

In the 1980s, Marianne Williamson and Big Little Lies star Laura Dern were roommates for a brief time. Dern wanted to become legally emancipated from her parents but was only allowed to do so if she lived with Williamson, who was a family friend. 

RELATED: 12 Powerful Quotes From Marianne Williamson At The Democratic Debate

3. She officiated one of Elizabeth Taylor's weddings at Neverland Ranch

In 1991, Marianne Williamson officiated Elizabeth Taylor's eighth wedding to her seventh husband (she married Richard Burton twice) at Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch. Larry Fortensky was a construction worker 20 years younger than Elizabeth Taylor. Williamson told The Hollywood Reporter that Taylor was "very excited" when she asked her to officiate her wedding. The ceremony was atttended by a who's who of Hollywood including old guard star Liza Minnelli and Nancy Reagan. When asked what she felt during the ceremony, Williamson said "all kinds of things."

4. She's been called Oprah Winfrey's spiritual adviser and BFF

The Hill described Williamson as a longtime "spiritual counselor to Oprah Winfrey." Wow, that's cool. However, rather than admit that, Williamson's team put out a press release saying (in part): "Also not her occupation: Oprah's BFF or Oprah's guru. (Or any title that rightfully belongs to Gayle King.)" Wait just a minute. So Oprah calls Williamson her friend and spiritual adviser and Williamson denies it? That takes balls —especially when she's running for office and trying to be relateable to average Americans. But here's the thing: Williamson was, if not is, a spiritual adviser to Oprah. Williamson appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show a number of times. 

RELATED: Who Is Marianne Williamson? New Details About The Woman Who Announced Her Bid For Presidency

5. She believes AIDS can be cured by visualizing Darth Vader

Marianne Williamson encourages her followers to heal themselves through mindfulness instead of medicine. She has suggested that visualizations can cure AIDS. She called HIV/AIDS "Angels In Darth Vader Suits." She told followers: Imagine the AIDS virus as Darth Vader, and then unzip his suit to let an angel emerge. See the cancer cells or AIDS virus in all its wounded horror, then see a golden light, or angel, or Jesus, enveloping the cell and transforming it from darkness into light."

6. She lived on a commune

Marianne Williamson spent time on a commune in New Mexico where she lived in a geodesic dome. You know, the kind from the mid-90s Pauly Shore film Bio-dome. In a 2009 interview, Marianne said she spent her time there growing vegetables. You know, this is probably the least weird thing about her. 

RELATED: Amy McGrath Is Challenging Mitch McConnell For His Senate Seat — And We're Here For It

7.  She reportedly helped Steven Tyler quit drugs

In an interview with Rolling Stone in 2012, Steven Tyler credited Williamson with helping him recover from drug and alcohol addiction. However, when Steven was in rehab for sex addiction, she reportedly told him, "What do they expect? You've been a rock star for 20 years."

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8. She's an Avatar fan girl

You guys, go to Williamson's Twitter feed and go back a bit — say to 2010 when the James Cameron film Avatar came out. Her Twitter is basically an Avatar fan account. In a serious of pretty bonkers tweets, Williamson praises James Cameron with all the fervor of an acolyte that has just found God.

After the Oscars:

Avatar as a metaphor for the state of things in the U.S.

Amy Lamare is a Los Angeles based freelance writer covering entertainment, pop culture, beauty, fashion, fitness, technology, and the intersection of technology, business, and philanthropy. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook.