Two videos—one from within and one from without—expose the dark nature of Stefan Molyneux’s teaching.
Well, your humble narrator turns his back for a few weeks and all sorts of stuff happens! First, cult expert Steven Hassan had a gleaming opportunity to educate a legion of Joe Rogan fans about destructive cults and the true nature of the Freedomain Radio “community” and more-or-less dropped the ball. (I’ll probably need to post a Quickie! about my perspective on that soon…)
Then—right on the heels of that—two more surprising videos emerge. The first is a compelling video from the UK’s Channel 5. The second is from a former member of Freedomain Radio. It’s fascinating that both videos have appeared at nearly the same time—as they are related in a way. They reveal the impact of FDR’s dark psychology from two different perspectives, within and without.
Life outside, when someone’s trapped inside
The Channel 5 documentary “Trapped in a Cult” depicts Barbara Weed, who’s son Tom was somehow convinced by Molyneux that his sensitivity to animal cruelty was a manifestation of his own unacknowledged child abuse. While Tom never suggested being beaten or otherwise tormented by his own parents, he did say that his father would become angry, throw things around the office, and yell at the family cat.
Based on that evidence alone, Molyneux conjured up an extreme scenario of a household that was a “fucking gulag,” a “personal slaughter-house,” for Tom “where he is bludgeoned daily.”
Before Tom’s family knew what was going on, Tom consumed hundreds of Molyneux podcasts about the awfulness of parents and participated in personal conversations with Molyneux, during which Molyneux compared Tom’s childhood experience to a woman being raped.
Over time, both Tom and his then-girlfriend were convinced by Molyneux that each had been victims of severe parental abuse, just as Molyneux had convinced his own wife of the same months earlier.
Coincidences abound, I guess.
Thus began a years-long vigil by Tom’s parents. In the Channel 5 documentary, Tom’s father talks about his son’s surprising departure and how both parents are now waiting, hoping for a conversation about why. While the documentary also tells the story of two others victimized by different cults, the Weed/Freedomain Radio story continues throughout, so the entire show is worth viewing.
The documentary—while intriguing and informative—is unfortunately a little sensationalist, a typical tone for television “exposés” of cults (seriously, TV guys, can’t you get another playbook?). I think the public hungers for a good, solid unemotional explanation of mind control, undue influence, and how cults work, instead of spooky music and mysterious visual effects. (That’s why I was disappointed in Hassan’s performance on Rogan—if there’s one guy able to do just that, it’s Hassan.)
Ah well, here is the documentary (Note: the original video has been removed from YouTube; this user-recorded clip is the only remaining version):
Notes from the inside
“So, you’re a Stefan Molyneux listener and you think Stefan is just a guy on the internet, just as he claims to be, right?”
– Truth About Freedomain Radio
What makes the Weed documentary so compelling is that it neatly coincides with the release of a video from a former Freedomain Radio insider who publishes under the name Truth About Freedomain Radio. He apparently was a member of the “community” about the same time that Tom joined.
Truth joins a number of ex-members who have recently come forward to expose the manipulative nature of Molyneux and his “community.” Through a series of videos (all of which are recommended viewing and all available under the Members section of QETV!), he has painted a picture of a man whose youthful naiveté and trust was ill-used by a community leader posing as an authority figure on, well, just about everything.
This latest video, an Open Letter to Freedomain Radio Listeners and Supporters, is striking in its raw, emotional honesty. He speaks from the heart, without artifice, creating a more compelling warning about the psychological dark side of FDR than anything I’ve written!
Bookends on stories of time lost
Together, these two videos are like bookends on stories of time lost and emotional pain endured by following Molyneux’s advice on relationships. One is the story outside—of parents who have been missing one of their sons for years, hoping for the chance of a simple conversation.
The other is the story inside—of a man now recovering from seven years of manipulation.
When the dominoes fall….
By the way, it’s well worth reading the notes that Truth includes with his videos. I have been a long-time believer that the True Believers who become ardent Freedomain Radio followers eventually find their way out, and it’s a result of seeing first one hypocrisy then another, until their beliefs in Molyneux’s teaching begin to topple like dominoes. Here, according to Truth, are his “dominoes.”
Published on Aug 26, 2015
To Freedomain Radio and Stefan Molyneux listeners. This
was meant to be about self-deprecation, but it ended up turning into this.
Things that have made a big difference for me:
The stories of Greg and Colleen. http://www.freedomfeens.com/2014/08/3…
Wife’s reprimand https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqCXp…
Only 3-4 podcasts with deFOOing as a central theme https://youtu.be/MMFJlk65tl8?t=46s
DMCA – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNjsw… (The Tru Shibes channel they had taken down was not about bullying listeners, only another channel called “Freedomain Damon”)
Part time or full time https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MO90S…
Steve Hassan has been studying cults for 30 years, here is his entry on Freedomain Radio – https://www.freedomofmind.com/Info/in…
Greg on Free Talk Live https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZTot…
Colleen’s first interview http://www.freedomfeens.com/2014/08/2…
Everyone is corrupt except me https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYZ9P…
Donations and the podcasts being free https://youtu.be/VUyXo2FBcXw?t=1m21s
Amazing videos, both. I applaud the courage of those who are now coming forward.
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