- Celebrity chef Pete Evans has morphed into a conspiracy theorist post-MKR
- In July, the anti-vaxxer claimed that COVID-19 'plandemic' was a 'f**king hoax'
- He posts conspiracy theories, food recipes and also has paid-partnerships
- Conspiracy market is huge and his loyal following makes it a goldmine for him
Celebrity chef Pete Evans stands to rake in hundreds of thousands of dollars a year by spreading dangerous conspiracy theories.
Since being dumped from his $800,000 Channel 7 contract to host My Kitchen Rules, he has pivoted to being a wellness guru on social media.
And while Evans has always promoted controversial remedies, he has branched out into coronavirus conspiracies during the pandemic.
He now shares dozens of posts, memes, and videos a week on social media denying the deadly virus's severity while hawking phony 'health' products.
But at the same time as downplaying the dangers Evans has targeted his 1.75million social media followers with sponsored posts for an ineffective $15,000 BioCharger lamp and essential oils that claim to combat coronavirus.
Celebrity agent Max Markson said Evans' enormous reach to an enthusiastic and impressionable customer base was extremely lucrative.
'There's a massive market for conspiracy theories and serious money, even if only one per cent of people believe them,' he told Daily Mail Australia.
'Pete Evans is also genuine, he believes it, so there's an authenticity that adds to his credibility in this market.
'Only a small number of people will follow him, but they will be loyal and engaged. He's got a market and he will be making money from it.'
Markson said controversial essential oils company doTERRA, which Evans frequently promotes, was a market that many people trusted.
'There's a big community that believes in essentials oils and spends money on them, and coronavirus has caused a huge surge in interest,' he said.
'People are earning more than $2,000 a month direct selling them to their contacts so Evans could be earning much more promoting it.'
Multilevel marketing company doTERRA has come under fire for claiming its essential oils can help fight coronavirus, but Evans has made numerous sponsored posts for it.
Markson said an influencer with Evans' following could easily make $250,000 a year from sponsored posts alone - $5,000 each, and a celebrity with loyal fans like Evans could earn even more with a cut of the sales.
'Don't cry for Pete Evans losing MKR, he's got a big following of people who like him, admire him, and respect him, and conspiracy theory people believe in him,' he said.
'It's an implied endorsement if he plugs something.'
Evans' influx of new conspiracy theorist followers would also increase sales of his cookbooks and other projects.
He will soon open the Evolve Health Labs 'healing clinic' in notorious anti-vaxxer haven Byron Bay and is a key investor in the Nightcap on Minjungbal hippie commune nearby.
'When he opens that health clinic, his fans will go there. At least the food will be great,' Markson said.
Among the sponsored content was the $15,000 BioCharger lamp, which he promoted as a potential coronavirus cure.
Evans was slapped with a $25,200 infringement notice by the Therapeutic Goods Administration for making false claims.
According to the product's website, 'the BioCharger NG is a hybrid subtle energy revitalization platform.
'The transmitted energy stimulates and invigorates the entire body to optimize and improve potential health, wellness, and athletic performance.'
There is no evidence to support this. The BioCharger is just an expensive lamp.
Earlier this month Evans promoted controversial essential oils company doTERRA, which has also come under fire for claiming it can help combat coronavirus.
Social psychology Mathew Marques, from La Trobe University, told The New Daily these types of posts, where celebrities sell unfounded treatments or devices, were just profiting off the pandemic.
The celebrity chef, who has a number of top selling cookbooks, has come under fire for his controversial posts.
Evans has been widely criticised for falsely referring to the coronavirus crisis as a 'plandemic' orchestrated by government officials.
But that hasn't stopped him.
Evans listed his Malabar mansion for sale earlier this month as he makes his next move to Australia's hippie capital, Byron Bay, where he is set to open a 'healing clinic'.
According to the company's Instagram account, the clinic will offer 'transformational practices' such as 'cold and conscious breath-work' and 'cryotherapy'.
Evans owns a farm just a short drive from Byron Bay, and has been self-isolating on the property with his family for much of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier this month Evans claimed people who wore face masks to stop the spread of the virus were 'weak'.
The former My Kitchen Rules judge made the dangerous claims in a 40-minute Facebook video.
In the footage, which is no longer available online, Evans wore a red MAGA hat and cited a American Doctor Ben Tapper, who likened eating junk food to putting metaphorical boulders in a backpack.
'[People who] put a mask on, that is another f***ing boulder in your backpack. It is another sign of weakness, suppression, muzzling,' he said, according to The Daily Telegraph.
In July, he claimed that COVID-19 was a 'f**king hoax' and that the pandemic 'doesn't compare to what is happening in the world on a large scale'.
He has also encouraged people to ignore government safety measures, such as the order to wear masks in public in Victoria, and to challenge fines through the courts.
Among his false claims about the pandemic, Evans has previously declared he's immune to coronavirus, and blamed the health crisis on 5G technology.
He also endorsed fellow conspiracy theorist David Icke, a Holocaust denier who was denied entry to Australia last year after protests from the Jewish community.
It is not suggested that Evans endorses the views of Icke relating specifically to Holocaust denial or the Jewish people. He instead supports Icke's views on globalist conspiracy theories and media manipulation.
In recent years, Evans, an author of more than 25 books, has garnered criticism over his views on diets and medicine.
In 2017, he produced a paleo documentary film on Netflix, The Magic Pill, which claimed people suffering from illnesses like cancer, diabetes and autism can reduce their symptoms and cut down on prescription medicine by changing their diet for five weeks.
Last year, doctors publicly called on the cook to stop sharing his own health advice after he released an anti-vaxx podcast.
Evans' central belief is that 'food is medicine' and that by following a Paleo diet, people can develop superhuman immune systems that can withstand all illnesses, including COVID-19.
There is absolutely no scientific basis for this. Following a particular diet does not make a person any less likely to contract the deadly respiratory virus.