The gumshoes over at Page Six have uncovered a detail of pressing concern: the officiant of Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck’s upcoming wedding. Bennifer 2.0, of course, have a love story for the ages, so one would assume the person charged with sealing their long-awaited union would be incredibly impressive. Maybe another very famous person; maybe The Pope. Turns out it will be a podcaster-slash-“Purpose Coach” with a proprietary tea at Erewhon.
The officiant is a guy named Jay Shetty. He is not, as I first typed in Google, Jay Sherry, the historian of psychoanalysis and German intellectual history who just released a book called The Jungian Strand in Psychoanalytic Modernism, although that would be a fun twist. But Shetty is also an author and former Hindu monk, whose book, Think Like a Monk, summited the New York Times bestseller list (“Advice, How-To & Miscellaneous” category) in late 2020. Shetty’s origin story, according to the Guardian, started at business school in London, where he met a monk named Guaranga Das — “an old Indian man in robes who has shunned material wealth and status” and “the exact opposite of what Shetty values at the time” — only to wind up following Das around the UK and eventually, training to become a monk himself.
Shetty’s flirtation with shunning material wealth and status was fairly short-lived. After leaving the ashram, Shetty took an IT job at the Fortune 500 company, Accenture, and later got poached by Ariana Huffington to make videos. He has now embraced the “beautiful theme of conscious capitalism,” which he spreads on his health podcast, “On Purpose;” through his digital coaching network “Genius;” in online classes on “The Monk Mindset;” and to his 11.5 million followers on Instagram, 4.5 million followers on YouTube, and some 28 million followers on Facebook. Shetty’s social media presence, which consists primarily of positivity videos and inspirational quotes, has gotten him in some hot water in the past; in 2019, another YouTuber pointed out that Shetty had pulled a Fuck Jerry by plagiarizing inspirational text he passed off as his own. He wound up deleting 113 unattributed quotes.
But Shetty has moved past that; just this year, he became the “Chief Purpose Officer” at the meditation app Calm. And now evidently, he will be officiating Jennifer Affleck’s three-day ceremony at a fake plantation in Georgia that everyone is very careful to call a “mansion.” Mazel.