No Bad Days: an interview with William Knight
By DAPHNE DHALGREN
Illustration BY TYLER ALEXANDER
“Hour by hour, you can create a whole new reality simply by the thoughts that you think. You claim to know this already, but why are you still living a life that you dread?”- @grandrisingapp
Put simply, the act of manifestation refers to the use of concentrated thought and will in order to produce desired changes in material reality. A more intensive version of “mind over matter”, manifestation posits the notion that everything is interconnected and that thoughts directly affect the outcome and direction of your life; happy thinking will lead to happiness, sad thinking to depression. Affirmations as mantras and simple visualization techniques are combined to fuel the intent behind a wish or goal, with more focused efforts being more likely to come to fruition. Manifestation and its underlying “law of attraction” have served as the foundation for a modern neoliberal metaphysics, keeping the mystery of a religious faith without any attendant dogma or stricture. The most fervent missionaries of this faith are health and wellness influencers taking to sites like TikTok and Instagram to share the secrets behind their success.
Enter William Knight: a social media personality who due to his recent fame needs little introduction. As @grandrisingapp, he has become well-known for his piercing gaze, distinctive fashion, and oft-memed tagline “there is no such thing as a coincidence”. Sharing manifestation techniques is itself the bedrock of William’s channel with many videos consisting of him instructing the viewer to repeat phrases like “you will be the first millionaire in your family”, acting as part pep talk, part money spell.
His other posts brush the edges of headier fare, such as pineal decalcification and lucid dreaming. He’s got a handful focusing on proving the existence of extraterrestrial lifeforms, including a three-part series on an entity known as “Skinny Bob”. Another video deals with the sunken cities of Atlantis and Lemuria, not the seats of a former terrestrial glory, but proof of an underwater culture of merfolk. Some even get into the connections between the film industry and the interests of the monied elite.
Many of his clips act as promotion for his Grand Rising project, an affirmations app based on “neuro-linguistic programming”, a theory of communication popular amongst hypnotherapists and pop psychologists. NLP is founded on the same premises as manifestation, namely the notion that thoughts directly impact material reality, but with more of a focus on subliminal messaging and unconscious desire. Some NLP aficionados see it as a means of “hacking” the social sphere to get what you want, while others see it as a means of self-improvement. The Grand Rising app itself is currently in its early stages, primarily functioning as a daily affirmations app, with future functionality being added to create your own manifestation techniques and systems.
NLP and manifestation techniques not only have taken the place of folk magic in the 21st century, they both undergird a method of digital engagement adopted by those looking to make it big through “content creation”. In this sense manifestation is indeed real; entire ideologies, political systems and identity categories can be memed overnight into existence. Posting videos online can launch you into a fantasia of international flights and corporate partnerships, making throwaway jokes can land you a book deal. A handful of mega-companies have shaped the internet into an enormous nervous system situated in nodes across the planet, a pulsing pleroma of the 21st century woven into the fabric of daily life that can alter the real lives of its users. Those who’ve learned to harness the forces of this dynamo have found the way to gamify life and make their wishes come true, bending reality to their whims. It naturally follows that a spiritual movement built on the notion of a totally networked world with the individual at the center would explain the overnight boom of viral fame.
Interested in hearing directly from the source, I reached out to William with a few questions. I was lucky to get the opportunity to speak with him about manifestation, his past as a gamer, and his plans for the future.
1.) You’ve stated that you were planning to become a viral sensation in August. Is there any significance to this particular month, and was your early start the result of intentional manifestation techniques?
I set intentions to go viral in August because that is when my app Grand Rising will be available for Android devices. For months I would see thousands of Tiktok comments from people asking about the Android app so it made me feel bad that it wasn’t available. I even started to slow down on creating TikTok videos. If you know anything about manifesting you know that time is relative and you can’t control the time frame for a Manifestation. For months I had been successfully using techniques to spread my messages on Tiktok. I then switched my manifesting rituals to go viral outside of Tiktok in August but it happened two months early. I immediately felt like I wasn’t ready but of course I remembered, there’s no such thing as a coincidence.
2.) You describe yourself as a new influencer and tech entrepreneur. In what ways do you feel that technology, especially social media, is impacting the ways that people control and channel information and energy?
Social media has been amazing for spreading knowledge, information and energy. I had no experience in the tech world but I was able to teach myself and successfully launch an app all from social media tech gurus. I also learned so much about spirituality and manifesting from other influencers. If you’re mindlessly scrolling everyday, social media can be chaotic but if you are consciously pointing your energy to certain accounts that help you then social media can be extremely powerful.
3.) A tech news site I found claims that the Grand Rising app uses neurolinguistic programming to provide relevant affirmations for the user. Without giving away the secret too much, could you explain how NLP plays into the way the app functions?
Most people believe affirmations are to help you feel better in the moment when you read them or say them out loud. The truth is my app is designed to send you affirmations repeatedly so that your subconscious mind sees them. It doesn’t matter if your conscious mind reads it, all the power is hidden in your unconscious mind.
4.) You’ve mentioned in interviews that you used to have a Youtube game review channel. Are you still an active gamer and if so, what are your favorite games to play?
Yes! I used to review new tech devices, smartphone games and apps as a teenager. I was always obsessed with games as a kid I was extremely addicted to Pokémon, GTA and RuneScape to name a few. I don’t game like I used to but I just joined Twitch so I am excited to get back into gaming and finally understand all the new gaming memes that people make about me.
5.) What does the future hold for you, both with the Grand Rising app and in general? Do you have any major plans coming up?
Grand Rising is about to receive a huge update. It will go from an affirmation app to a manifesting app that includes a ton of manifesting activities to do everyday. I am excited to show people how to create their own reality using very simple mind techniques. My journey has just begun. Thank you so much! 🙂
At its best, manifestation is a means of reintroducing an element of the mystical to a world gripped by rank cynicism and sociopathy. At its worst it’s an example of the latter, such as when the author of the “law of attraction” canonical text “The Secret” Rhonda Byrne claims that fatalities caused by natural disasters are the result of the victims “being on the same frequency” as the deadly events. William doesn’t traffic in this sort of delusional blame game and instead offers uplifting messages of improving one’s mindset to turn dreams into reality. At the time of writing this article, he has been posting cryptically about forming a “coven”, likely referring to a community of people aligned with his beliefs. Time will tell what exactly the future holds for William and his channel, but the popularity of his doctrines shows no signs of slowing down.
Daphne Dhalgren is a midwit Oracle of Delphi dying of thirst in the desert of the real. her main interests include limit experiences, online occultism, and the phenomenology of targeted individuals. she can be found on twitter at @ku_lilitu.