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Do you think that Molyneux is a victim

Author Topic: Is Stefan Molyneux a victim himself?  (Read 21380 times)

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Kaz

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Re: Is Stefan Molyneux a victim himself?
« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2015, 11:10:23 PM »
0
Here's the letter that Stef posted on FDR.
https://board.freedomainradio.com/topic/8515-a-letter-about-me-from-my-brother-to-my-father/

Actually, His brother doesn't go in to much detail about countering Stef's claims about his mother's abusiveness. On second thought, I'm not really sure what to believe about Stef's supposed abusive childhood.


Wow. The brother doesn't mix words. He is entirely dismissive of Stef and his "philosophy". He categorises it as a pity-scam and cheap attention whoring. Whats interesting is that in many old podcasts I recall Stef describing his abuse as the worst kind (e.g. Nearly being choked to death and starved like a POW). They are the most serious kinds of torture and if true, I find it hard that a brother could deny them. Perhaps Moly is, as we suspected, totally full of it. The brother says so.


In a few words, the letter says so much about victimhood.  I am so glad it was posted.  I will have more to post later.

I found it interesting that the letter refers to an identify change in stefan. The brother alludes that Moly seems to have heard of this power-through-victimhood and completely run with it. I wonder when that was? Perhaps when he went through Internal Family Systems therapy?


Yes, power through victimhood.  How else could he continue to successfully and shamelessly e-beg if he didn't identify as a victim?

It is easy to see a victim as powerless, but they are conflating hopeless with powerless.  Being a victim gives one a lot of power without the responsibility that should go with it.

Just because you have left FDR, it doesn't mean that FDR has left you.

"Taking responsibility for something and self-blame are horses of two entirely different colors. The former is empowering; the latter is paralyzing." ~ John Rosemond, Ph.D

Rafaman

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Re: Is Stefan Molyneux a victim himself?
« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2015, 11:13:13 PM »
0
Please qualify your answer with your thoughts.  Thank you.

If everything is true what Stefan has told about his bad childhood then he is a victim of that.
But I don't fully understand what you mean with "is stefan a victim himself?".
Do you mean he is still a victim? If he is, then who do you propose is his current abuser?

I changed my vote.  Yes he is a victim - a very successful victim.  Apparently one doesn't have to have a persecutor to be a successful victim.

I think we can see from his brother's letter that Stef might not be entirely a victim of brutal child abuse but more a victim of his own parental expectations. Moly's brother, Hugh, alludes that Stef wanted/demanded certain things as a child and seems not to have recieved them (whether that be more attention or being the center of the household or being praised more often- who knows). Hugh recieved that same parenting and thinks its a very hard stretch to compare that to a concentration camp.The FDR podcasts paint Stef as writhing on the floor bashed by a psychotic mother. I don't think Hugh would overlook those types on incidents even if they didn't happen to him personally -but it is possible. Me thinks, that Stefan is pulling the cloth over our eyes on this one again. His narcissism says "I'm wounded, I need help, but don't you dare tell me I'm wounded you have no right, you don't know what I've experienced Im doing what I need to survive". Its the classic hall of mirrors pointing inward for the narcissist - its all about him.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2015, 11:34:27 PM by Rafaman »

Kaz

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Re: Is Stefan Molyneux a victim himself?
« Reply #17 on: June 30, 2015, 11:24:26 PM »
0
Please qualify your answer with your thoughts.  Thank you.

If everything is true what Stefan has told about his bad childhood then he is a victim of that.
But I don't fully understand what you mean with "is stefan a victim himself?".
Do you mean he is still a victim? If he is, then who do you propose is his current abuser?

I changed my vote.  Yes he is a victim - a very successful victim.  Apparently one doesn't have to have a persecutor to be a successful victim.

I think we can see from his brothers letter that Stef might not be entirely a victim of brutal child abuse but more a victim of his own parental expectations. Moly's brother, Hugh, alludes that Stef wanted/demanded certain things as a child and seems not to have recieved them (whether that be more attention or being the center of the household or being praised more often- who knows). Hugh recieved that same parenting and thinks its a very hard stretch to compare that to a concentration camp. Me thinks, that Stefan is pulling the cloth over our eyes on this one again.

Yes and Hugh mentions that in doing so, Stef does a disservice to himself and to those who have real suffering due to being actually victimised by an actual abuser. 

People in the latter category often feel shame and usually don't want to draw attention to what they suffered, even when it is warranted.

« Last Edit: June 30, 2015, 11:27:35 PM by Kaz »
Just because you have left FDR, it doesn't mean that FDR has left you.

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Rafaman

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Re: Is Stefan Molyneux a victim himself?
« Reply #18 on: June 30, 2015, 11:50:31 PM »
0
Please qualify your answer with your thoughts.  Thank you.

If everything is true what Stefan has told about his bad childhood then he is a victim of that.
But I don't fully understand what you mean with "is stefan a victim himself?".
Do you mean he is still a victim? If he is, then who do you propose is his current abuser?

I changed my vote.  Yes he is a victim - a very successful victim.  Apparently one doesn't have to have a persecutor to be a successful victim.

I think we can see from his brothers letter that Stef might not be entirely a victim of brutal child abuse but more a victim of his own parental expectations. Moly's brother, Hugh, alludes that Stef wanted/demanded certain things as a child and seems not to have recieved them (whether that be more attention or being the center of the household or being praised more often- who knows). Hugh recieved that same parenting and thinks its a very hard stretch to compare that to a concentration camp. Me thinks, that Stefan is pulling the cloth over our eyes on this one again.

Yes and Hugh mentions that in doing so, Stef does a disservice to himself and to those who have real suffering due to being actually victimised by an actual abuser. 

People in the latter category often feel shame and usually don't want to draw attention to what they suffered, even when it is warranted.
Stef has created these barriers, these divisions. Almost like a young child he refuses to budge, everyone must adjust and accommodate his standards. Stef can't let that go he is an injustice collector and won't let anyone forget about that. His podcasts are him sulking - what 30-40 years later? That time could be spent helping others or doing something you enjoy, no with Stef he is brooding with that stupid grin on his face pretending he is happy. Instead he gets a little pleasure each time someone defoos and kils his own parents via proxy. Its all fake, Stef isn't happy he is sad and his own self inflicted victim.

Kaz

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Re: Is Stefan Molyneux a victim himself?
« Reply #19 on: July 01, 2015, 04:31:58 AM »
+1
This scene from the Story of Ray Charles says so much without a word and it still makes me cry:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkmvuV6PK20


Before this, Ray's mother is very severe with him, refusing to pander to his difficulties.  I just contrast this with the false compassion of Moly and all those who hold similar views that allowing for any kind of childhood distress is abusive.

Just because you have left FDR, it doesn't mean that FDR has left you.

"Taking responsibility for something and self-blame are horses of two entirely different colors. The former is empowering; the latter is paralyzing." ~ John Rosemond, Ph.D

QuestEon

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Re: Is Stefan Molyneux a victim himself?
« Reply #20 on: July 01, 2015, 09:00:31 AM »
+4
I'm glad you started this thread. I'd like to try to answer your question and also clarify what I mean whenever I use that word in reference to an FDR member or Molyneux.

Starting with my tendency to refer to FDR members (current and ex-) as "victims," here is my reasoning. If someone has been assaulted or swindled in some way, they always will have been victims. Literally, grammatically speaking, they always will have been an assault victim or victim of fraud. Most of us don't like throwing the future perfect verb tense around (if that's what it is), so we just say "they are victims," which is still accepted as grammatically correct.

Setting aside all of the cult/undue influence stuff for a moment, it can be said that anyone who contributes money or anything else of value to Freedomain Radio has been swindled. They are quite literally being promised that if they engage in a certain behavior, they will enjoy a life of virtue and happiness. They are promised this by a character--who mainly exists as a YouTube personality--claiming to have achieved such a life.

Calling everyone who has been an FDR True Believer a victim does not imply that they are now living a life of victimhood (however one interprets that), any more than one can predict how an assault victim responds to the attack. Very few FDR members seem to remain in a state of victimization, since nearly all True Believers seem to figure out the FDR illusion and move on after a few years (or sooner). Of the vast majority who move on, some seem to never to mention FDR again. Some (thankfully) join this forum and fulfill its simple mission of warning people about the "bully down the street." However, no matter how (or whether) ex-members recover, it remains grammatically correct to refer to them as "FDR victims."

I personally believe that on top of this simple transactional victimization there is also mental victimization involving undue influence, a conclusion I reached after studying much of the current literature on the subject, including destructive cults and how they function. You can see my efforts to work through that on my blog. In my opinion, for people to believe that some guy who makes videos in his basement is the only person who has ever been able to unlock the secret of virtue and happiness--believe hard enough that they are willing to discard family and friends at his recommendation--undue influence is a necessary element.

This latter victimization, the mental one, is often far more damaging than the virtue/happiness financial swindle. Personally, I consider it an assault.

Answering the "accountability" question--to what extent are FDR True Believers responsible for any pain may they cause to family and friends?--is so difficult and complex, I'd rather leave it for another thread. But it's a debate I'd enjoy.

Now, do I believe Molyneux is a victim? Taking a bit of poetic license, I'd say "yes." It has to do with what we might call our "better selves" being victimized by a character flaw. For example, we've all heard stories about people who win a tremendous amount of money at a casino but, instead of walking away, gamble it all back and more. We say they were "victimized by their own greed." It's poetic license but it also makes a kind of sense. Any logical person, including that gambler, when suddenly given $10,000 would normally take it and run like a thief in the night. But something weird clicks in their brain and a few hours later they end up owing the house $5,000 instead.

What victimizes Molyneux? I suspect narcissism. I badly want to declare Molyneux a narcissist but I'm held back by my awareness that I have no expertise in psychology and the knowledge that even professional psychologists will not diagnose someone unless it is a patient sitting in front of them.

However, Molyneux certainly appears to exhibit many, many traits of a narcissist. If he is a narcissist, we know that it is a nearly incurable condition and we also know that some behaviors and tendencies of people with that condition are so consistent they have been well identified and documented.

Because those behaviors and tendencies are consistent, well identified, and documented, we might infer that, for the most part, they may be inescapable for the narcissist.

So now you can see what I'm winding up to. Molyneux may cognitively know right from wrong but it may be said that he is victimized by a condition that continually channels him down the same paths of behavior. We could have a separate argument about free will and narcissism but as long as the credible literature on narcissism remains the same, I'm inclined to think (once again, with a little poetic license in play) that he is victimized by his condition.

One of the more hilarious and insightful Tru Shibes videos captures Molyneux describing in great detail how he has taught his daughter not to engage in the bad behavior of interrupting, followed by a cascade of clips with him doing just that. He can theoretically understand good behavior; he just can't do it. (He just has to interrupt. He has the inside track on truth--why let anyone else blab on too long?)

I don't believe in any way that this line of thinking lessens the blame or responsibility for what he has done, it simply helps me understand him better.

If he has this condition, he fits into this world in an entirely different way than the rest of us. Our personality types and behaviors can change over time, sometimes radically. However, the narcissist sees the world in a way that is hard for most people to fathom and for the vast majority of narcissists they will see the world in that oddly distinctive way for their entire lives. I've heard it described that they live in a house of mirrors. That seems apt.

The reason I make this distinction is because I also believe that those who view FDR as an intentional money-raising scam haven't quite got the big picture. A scam is only a scam if the person running the scam knows it. From the beginning, I've had the opinion that Molyneux believes what he is saying body and soul. That is why I often say that if Freedomain Radio is a destructive cult, then Molyneux himself is its first and most ardent member.

I think the distinction is important because it informs us of what the money actually represents to Molyneux. I think the most important role it plays in his life is as tangible proof of adulation. It is a material version of narcissistic supply. He is personally, deeply offended by $2.00 donations because he believes he is providing the secret to moral salvation. If $2.00 is all you can cough up for that, then buddy--you just don't get it. He intends for you to send him as much money as you possibly can to prove you love and adore him for what he has achieved.

Lately, I have been wondering about this latter view regarding Molyneux, about the degree to which he can rationalize and justify his actions to himself. I believe that in his mind, he has probably rationalized nearly all of his hypocritical or unethical actions over time as proper, ethical, and reasonable self-defense. I'm thinking of his attempt to shut down Liberating Minds and destroy the administrator's career, as an example. Or his complete denunciation of academia in response to being questioned by a philosophy student.

However, his obvious lies on the Joe Rogan show and fraudulent actions against Tru Shibes were so blatant, I often wonder if he recognizes those actions for what they were and feels even the slightest bit of contrition. I'm not sure.

So there you go. When I say Molyneux is a victim, I mean he is "victimized" by his narcissism. When I say FDR True Believers are victims, I mean they are victims of fraud at minimum and quite likely undue influence as well. In addition, because they were victimized for any length of time, it is grammatically correct to refer to them as victims irrespective of what they do afterwards. 
« Last Edit: July 01, 2015, 09:29:07 AM by QuestEon »
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money detonator

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Re: Is Stefan Molyneux a victim himself?
« Reply #21 on: July 01, 2015, 09:28:24 AM »
0
@ dr Christ
The first quote is the letter by Stefan's brother and the 2nd quote is the comment Stefan wrote for the board members.

Quote
Quote
"Dad;
 
Consider your job
as a parent is to screw up your kids. The kids job is to get over
it!

After 7 years of
apologizing to Stef, I finally realize three things:

This is a game Stef
plays and he gets out of having to take any responsibility for himself or his
life – its simple when its everyone else’s fault.
It’s his loss – I had
a beautiful time with you in South Africa, I love seeing Mum and I’m proud you
are both my parents.
I will always see the
world as blue and Stef will always see it as green, I love him, but candidly I
think he’s full of shit and his philosophy of righteousness is boring, and at
this point more than a little pathetic.

Your time and
opinions are yours Dad, but I think it’s a disservice to the Stefan I used to
know who was powerful, loving and vibrant to indulge him as some sorry victim of
his past. It’s also a disservice to people that truly have suffered greatly,
such as victims of concentration camps, sexual abuse and other horrors, who are
able to forgive and move forward with love in their hearts.

Just my opinion and
not likely worth the paper it’s written on J!!

Love
[name]

Quote
Oops, forgot to block him in my MSN account!
Thought you'd all like to see that you never have to feel guilty for ditching bad people, and to never waste time waiting for them to change...[:(]"

We should keep in mind that his brother Hugh is deeply involved in a cultish group himself (Landmark Forum) - it is even on his LinkedIn account.  That group teaches that you cannot succeed in life unless you mend your damaged relationships with those in the past.  While this sounds nice, the real objective is then you recruit them into the group.  He tried to get Stefan involved while they were working together, but Stefan did not stay.

CupOTea

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Re: Is Stefan Molyneux a victim himself?
« Reply #22 on: July 01, 2015, 01:56:16 PM »
+1
He may be a victim. Probably is I guess.  Honestly I don't understand him that well and really don't care at this point.  It would prevent me from feeling angry at him and frankly it is infinitely more appropriate to be angry at Molyneux than to be mad at the ex-members or our loved ones who are still in. 
Real men, proper big hairy real men who fight wild animals, naked, in the wilderness, with just a hammer and a copy of UPB, would shout, in their big hairy K-selected manly voices "look at me, I'm K-selected and I'm kicking this bear's ass, and I haven't got any pants on!"   : o )

Kaz

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Re: Is Stefan Molyneux a victim himself?
« Reply #23 on: July 07, 2015, 12:03:41 AM »
+1
Answer to QuestEon’s Post:

I apologise for the delay and length of response.  I spent a long time thinking about this and still was unable to make up my mind. 

I understand by your statement that if someone is abused, then it has happened, thus they were a victim (past tense), yet it is acceptable to use the present tense and say "is a victim" when referring to them.  Just as if they were the aggressor, then it would be accurate to say that someone "is an abuser," even if s/he abused someone 10 years ago and may not have realised what they were doing? 

Many people who have endured abuse feel differently about the term.  Some people think that it is the correct word and use it, while others feel that the word is too loaded.  The organisation that I am involved with uses the term survivor.

Another problem I have is that in ongoing complex situations where manipulation is involved, the description of abuser/victim isn't adequate.  I am seeing the situation more in terms of an ongoing dynamic interaction involving interdependent role playing rather than a fixed event that determines who is what.  Jomyon has pointed out that abuser/victim are not mutually exclusive.

Also, Rafaman has pointed out that he thinks that Molyneux is an injustice collector.  It is unfortunate that highly manipulative people fool themselves and others into justifying their behaviour because they are supposedly some sort of victim, even as they are actually exploiting something or someone.

Molyneux’s mental manipulation is not as obvious as his donation scam, which makes it even more damaging and I agree with you that this by far is the more serious abuse.  I would label it mental rape, given Molyneux’s reported description of what he is doing:  How he sees himself as slithering past peoples’ “false selves” (personal boundaries) where he can proceed to break them down so that he can build them up in his image which he has determined to be their “true self” along with Molyneux’s version of their past history.

Is Molyneux a victim of his own character flaws?  The grandiosity, sense of entitlement and lack of respect for another unique being is self evident in the above paragraph, so I agree with your description of Molyneux's behaviour, which is similar to that of many others. 

Additionally, as observed by Rafaman, Molyneux can't let go of anything, yet he purports to be oh so happy.  This sham is part of a paranoid, blaming world view (a description, not diagnosis) where he can find fault with "them"(parents, the government, estrogen, anything) to distract from the reality that he might not really be all that well and happy.

Another way to put this is that he wants all the control and none of the responsibility.  This is why he is never wrong about anything and if anything bad happens to anyone as a result of following his advice then it is taken as proof that his teaching was right that some people are just too abused.
 
I also think that Molyneux believes in what he is doing.  The problem is not only his lack of accountability but his refusal to make the most rudimentary attempt to examine the effects of his actions.  Because of this, he not only wilfully takes the Dunning–Kruger effect to an extreme level, but he blames  ”them”, which makes his problem self-reinforcing and even less amenable to correction.
 
Without accountability, he will make the same mistakes again and again without any insight at all into how they came about and the role he played.  He will, however, get better at having even less insight and manipulating and blaming.  QuestEon, you have expressed disbelief that he can become so audaciously evil in his deeds without them affecting him, but given the above it seems inevitable.  Even so, it is still no less shocking, nor is it unique to him.

Molyneux is not the only one responsible for this.  If it wasn’t for his enablers, he would never have been able to get away with so much for so long.  What complicates matters is that some of his enablers are also the people he has victimised as well.  This is not unique to FDR, it is part of a totalitarian culture where no-one takes responsibility.  I note that FDRL has explored this before with such threads as “were we evil?”

You wrote that even though Molyneux can’t help himself, he is still responsible or to blame.  This statement, along with the paragraphs that proceeded it, demonstrate that being a victim and accountable are not mutually exclusive and I agree with this.

What I don’t agree with is the implication that being to blame is equivalent to being responsible.  It is not!

To be responsible is to be answerable or accountable for ones actions.   It is irrelevant whether one is at fault or not, if one caused something to happen, then one is responsible for it, even if the results were not what one was expecting or what was promised.   

To be at fault is to be answerable for a failure or wrong and to be blamed is to be found at fault, whether it is merited or not.  The focus when blaming is on punishing another and evading responsibility.

An example to demonstrate:  while working at a small business, an employee’s wallet went missing.  Somehow the focus went from the thief to the employee leaving her purse unattended.  The employee is responsible for leaving her bag unattended, but she is not to blame for the theft.
 
Also, from a legal standpoint, in most western countries one is considered responsible for one’s actions after a certain age, but unless there is a zero tolerance rule in place, this is tempered by mitigating circumstances.  A character disorder is not considered grounds for diminished responsibility, as those with it are still capable of determining right from wrong, even if they convince themselves and everyone else that they can do no wrong.

You also wrote “Answering the "accountability" question--to what extent are FDR True Believers responsible for any pain may they cause to family and friends?--is so difficult and complex, I'd rather leave it for another thread. But it's a debate I'd enjoy.”

There is no debate for me here:  Adults, regardless of who they are are responsible for the decisions that they make.  Are they at fault?  That is a different question and imo best left for the people directly involved to work out.

I will like to point out that the Libertarian position of personal freedom makes no sense without the accompanying responsibility.   I have always found Molyneux’s evasion of his own personal responsibility at odds with his views on anarchy.

P.S.  The title of that Tru Shibes video should be on a t-shirt. 

edit: grammar
edit: added url to "were we evil?" thread, a very interesting thread

« Last Edit: July 09, 2015, 06:18:03 AM by Kaz »
Just because you have left FDR, it doesn't mean that FDR has left you.

"Taking responsibility for something and self-blame are horses of two entirely different colors. The former is empowering; the latter is paralyzing." ~ John Rosemond, Ph.D

mikef

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Re: Is Stefan Molyneux a victim himself?
« Reply #24 on: July 12, 2015, 02:53:02 AM »
+1
I will like to point out that the Libertarian position of personal freedom makes no sense without the accompanying responsibility.   I have always found Molyneux’s evasion of his own personal responsibility at odds with his views on anarchy

Completely agree.  Molyenux is an anarchist (or libertarian) in name only.  It's just a way to make money for him.  When it comes to his shirking of personal responsibility he is no different than your average statist.   The most obvious example is the DMCA incident where his culpability was pointed out to him by numerous people, it was clear that he had wronged someone, and yet he showed no signs of wishing to make amends (a core libertarian principle).  He's a fraud through and through.

Kaz

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Re: Is Stefan Molyneux a victim himself?
« Reply #25 on: November 24, 2015, 02:33:27 AM »
0
! No longer available


Title of Video "Understanding The Mind of a Narcissist Pt. 1"  by Assc Direct
Just because you have left FDR, it doesn't mean that FDR has left you.

"Taking responsibility for something and self-blame are horses of two entirely different colors. The former is empowering; the latter is paralyzing." ~ John Rosemond, Ph.D

money detonator

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Re: Is Stefan Molyneux a victim himself?
« Reply #26 on: November 25, 2015, 02:59:41 PM »
0
Title of Video "Understanding The Mind of a Narcissist Pt. 1"  by Assc Direct

wow.  Narcissists cannot let go of perceived slights.  interesting.    :P

The video is eerie because it reminds me of the old Molyneux videos podcasting from his car complaining about narcissists like his mom.

The problem with this sort of thing is it seems to resemble an infinite loop.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2015, 03:02:59 PM by money detonator »

Weston Dupree

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Re: Is Stefan Molyneux a victim himself?
« Reply #27 on: November 25, 2015, 09:41:03 PM »
0
There's a new book on the power aisles at barnes and nobles called The Narcissist You Know by Joseph Burgo. Sounds interesting, but I haven't bought it.

(Hope this post wasn't too useless)

CupOTea

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Re: Is Stefan Molyneux a victim himself?
« Reply #28 on: November 27, 2015, 06:48:48 PM »
0
Title of Video "Understanding The Mind of a Narcissist Pt. 1"  by Assc Direct

wow.  Narcissists cannot let go of perceived slights.  interesting.    :P

The video is eerie because it reminds me of the old Molyneux videos podcasting from his car complaining about narcissists like his mom.

The problem with this sort of thing is it seems to resemble an infinite loop.

I understand that most narcissists are raised by a narcissist.  If you take Molyneux's word about how he was raised, it seems to fit.  The narcissist can't see other people for who they are, but see them as a projection of themself.   There's no nurturing and their baby just becomes a trophy for them.  Its all about taking care of the narcissist's needs.  Does this sound familiar?  Just like Molyneux's rants about parents. 
« Last Edit: November 27, 2015, 08:04:06 PM by CupOTea »
Real men, proper big hairy real men who fight wild animals, naked, in the wilderness, with just a hammer and a copy of UPB, would shout, in their big hairy K-selected manly voices "look at me, I'm K-selected and I'm kicking this bear's ass, and I haven't got any pants on!"   : o )

Elucidated

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Re: Is Stefan Molyneux a victim himself?
« Reply #29 on: December 05, 2015, 02:13:32 PM »
0
! No longer available

Title of Video "Understanding The Mind of a Narcissist Pt. 1"  by Assc Direct