Whilst Googling around for something entirely unrelated, I stumbled on a discussion paper published in January of 2023 about Effective Altruism that argues Global Health & Wellbeing is basically a facade to get people into the way more controversial core of longtermism. I couldn't find something posted about it elsewhere on the forum, so I'll try to summarise here.
The paper argues that there is a big distinction between what they call public facing EA and Core EA. The former cares about global health and wellbeing (GH&W) whereas the latter cares about x-risks, animal welfare and "helping elites get advanced degrees" (which I'll just refer to as core topics). There are several more distinctions between public EA and core EA, e.g. about impartiality and the importance of evidence and reason. The author argues, based on quotes from a variety of posts from a variety of influential people within EA, that for the core audience, GH&W is just a facade such that EA is perceived as 'good' by the broader public, whilst the core members work on much more controversial core topics such as transhumanism that go against many of the principles put forward by GH&W research and positions. The author seems to claim that this was done on purpose and that GH&W merely exists as a method to "convert more recruits" to a controversial core of transhumanism that EA is nowadays. This substantial distinction between GH&W and core topics causes an identity crisis between people who genuinely believe that EA is about GH&W and people who have been convinced of the core topics. The author says that these distinctions have always existed, but have been purposely hidden with nice-sounding GH&W topics by a few core members (such as Yudkowsky, Alexander, Todd, Ord, MacAskill), as a transhumanist agenda would be too controversial for the public, although it was the goal of EA after all and always has been.
To quote from the final paragraph from the paper:
The ‘EA’ that academics write about is a mirage, albeit one invoked as shorthand for a very real phenomenon, i.e., the elevation of RCTs and quantitative evaluation methods in the aid and development sector. [...] Rather, my point is that these articles and the arguments they make—sophisticated and valuable as they are—are not about EA: they are about the Singer-solution to global poverty, effective giving, and about the role of RCTs and quantitative evaluation methods in development practice. EA is an entirely different project, and the magnitude and implications of that project cannot be grasped until people are willing to look at the evidence beyond EA’s glossy front-cover, and see what activities and aims the EA movement actually prioritizes, how funding is actually distributed, whose agenda is actually pursued, and whose interests are actually served.