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QuestEon

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On Defooing
« on: December 04, 2012, 02:45:17 AM »
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Clarity on defooing

Stefan Molyneux is remarkably persuasive. After all this time, I'm still surprised at how often we can let him frame the boundaries of an argument or definition. In other words, even if one sees though his persuasive language on a specific argument, he can create a very skewed framework around an entire discussion, if one isn't careful.

For example, here's some absolute clarity about the term defooing.

Today, when Molyneux uses that term publicly, he typically tries to frame the discussion solely around "abuse" and "parenting." When we follow suit and limit our understanding of defooing to those elements, he has already won the conceptual battle, because none of that is true. Defooing is rarely limited to parents (just ask Stefan's brother or Christina's sister) nor is it necessarily a response to abuse. One can never have a productive discussion about defooing until that is fully understood.

Here's the truth:

Defooing is a brand name (yes, just like advertising--a brand name) that Molyneux invented to cover up his theft/co-option and perversion of someone else's idea. The word defooing belongs solely to Molyneux. Molyneux is not the first to develop an idea about "leaving your family for your own good," but his version is like no one else's (outside of those found in destructive cults). I've never seen or heard a professional therapist use the word and do not expect to (unless they are specifically condemning it, as the Ontario College of Psychologists did when they found Christina guilty of professional misconduct.) 

I'll discuss the roots of defooing below. But first, there are three defining elements unique to defooing that make it totally unlike any other "leaving your family for your own good" concept that has come before:

1. Defooing is not based on actual abuse, but "thought crimes." I covered this in Persuasion 2 of Is FreeDomain Radio a destructive cult? (Part 2). This idea is traceable all the way back to his "foundational" essay on Freedomain Radio, which I covered in The Foundation of FDR. It is absolutely essential to understand that defooing has nothing to do with actual abuse, no matter how many times you hear otherwise.

2. Defooing is absolute. In other words, you leave everyone. This makes perfect sense to the mind of someone who suffers from "splitting." Because defooing is based on "thought crimes" rather than actual abuse, it becomes easier to lump the defoo-ees together because you are leaving them for their corrupt thinking rather than their actions. Molyneux says as much at the end of the aforementioned foundational essay: "If you want to perform the greatest service for political liberty, all you have to do is turf all of your unsatisfying relationships. Parents, siblings, spouse, it doesn’t matter."  (In the FDR world, an "unsatisfying relationship" is a relationship with anyone who refuses to agree that Stefan Molyneux's philosophy is the unimpeachable guide to virtuous living). The majority of defooers, including Molyneux and his wife, leave all family/extended family members and most/all friends. In a number of personal counseling sessions with his followers, Molyneux has "proven" that the parent the FDR member feels close to is actually worse than the parent he or she disdains. Therefore, both must be abandoned. Soon, siblings who refuse to get on board are deemed corrupt, followed by friends, etc.

3. Defooing is an act targeted to a specific age group. This is slippery but very important. As I covered in Prying them loose, FDR was created to catch young people at the point of individuation. Or, as Molyneux says it, he needed to "reach the kiddies." (Current FDR members remain unembarrassed that Molyneux thinks of them as "the kiddies.") I'm not saying that Molyneux has specifically claimed that defooing is something one must do in one's late teens/early twenties (although I wouldn't be at all surprised if he has). I am saying that FDR is targeted to that age group, defooing is an essential part of its psychology/philosophy, and 1 + 1 = 2.


The Bradshaw/Molyneux collision

As far as I can tell, the "owner" of the defooing concept is John Bradshaw. However, it must be immediately understood that Bradshaw's original idea was both nobler and healthier than Molyneux's strange corruption of it. I believe that much of the foundation of Molyneux's confused psychology was adopted from Bradshaw, which must have required incredible feats of mental gymnastics for Molyneux. Bradshaw describes himself as a theologian and studied to be a Catholic priest. Bradshaw developed his thinking based on a God-centered universe, which means that Molyneux--while appropriating those ideas--has had to sterilize them for our use. :)  Like Molyneux, Bradshaw studied at Toronto University and, like Molyneux, he began his career in business before turning to psychology.

Also like Molyneux, Bradshaw believes himself to be a child of abuse who was abandoned by his father. (Bradshaw's father was an alcoholic.) Like Molyneux, Bradshaw grew up troubled. Eventually, Bradshaw became an alcoholic, as children of alcoholics sometimes will. He found his way into and eventually became the most famous figure in the "recovery movement," as well as a "popular expert" on dysfunctional families. I think Bradshaw actually coined the term "dysfunctional families." He also developed the "wounded inner child" concept, which has also been deeply assimilated into FDR.

I suspect Bradshaw's ascendancy and Molyneux's quest for understanding about his own dysfunctional family collided at some point and started Molyneux down the psychology path. Unfortunately, at FDR, Bradshaw's ideas are filtered through Molyneux's world-view, which has turned them into tortured caricatures of themselves.

For whatever it's worth, I have a guarded respect for Bradshaw, as I prefer my psychology based on scientific research, thank you. He seems to have helped people. I have no way of knowing if there has been harm as well.


The roots of defooing

Bradshaw confronted the truth that you may have a family so dysfunctional, you can never have a healthy relationship with any of them. At that time, you may need to abandon your Family Of Origin, as he termed it, and create your own Family of Choice. Again, I suspect that Bradshaw is the owner of that idea. But, as you can see, Molyneux neatly amputated the healthy part of the idea (creating your own Family of Choice) and concentrated solely on abandonment. I leave it to you to decide why. I have always suspected that Molyneux has toyed with the idea of the FDR "community" becoming the Family of Choice for his members but something has always held him back from taking that last step.

As we're looking at the roots of defooing, there are some very important things to note--things that often slip through the cracks:

When Bradshaw is talking about abandoning dysfunctional families, he's talking about hardcore abuse, families torn apart by alcoholism/addiction, or families with a parent suffering from a severe, diagnosable personality disorder. Although Bradshaw may believe that "95% of families are dysfunctional" (he has been quoted as saying that but there is lack of clarity whether he actually did), I am absolutely certain that he does not believe that 95% of families should be abandoned. Unfortunately, due to the nature of "splitting," Molyneux cannot conceive of any other response. I have no doubt that Bradshaw would find Molyneux's foundational essay hilarious or horrifying.

For years, prior to Bradshaw and certainly since, trained therapists accepted that there are times when it is necessary to abandon a family member, even if religion and the state insists you accept them. Molyneux hardly invented the concept. His only original contribution was the notion that there are no unchosen positive obligations. In short, you don't owe your parents anything, no matter what god or the state says.

I believe that's true, in an absolute sense, but only in that sense. It's an idea that fits neatly only into Molyneux's black-and-white world. Those of us who do not suffer from splitting have very gray, complex, and unique relationships with each family member and friend and that is the difficulty (and sometimes beauty) of it. Still, I admit it can be helpful for some to hear that if you are continually being hurt, and there appears to be no solution, you don't have to hang around.

But I am certain that neither Bradshaw nor any competent psychologist (including, according the board who found her otherwise guilty of misconduct, Molyneux's wife Christina) would ever advocate defooing as it is practiced at FDR. The weak explanation that Molyneux "recommends his members defoo only under a therapist's care" is both (1) a lie, because a number of his members have done otherwise, and (2) an attempt to obscure the truth that such members seek out a therapist only after they have been convinced by the "community" that they have been abused. I'm still waiting for FDR members to show up at a therapist's office with this intro.


The worst thing

To me, one of the worst aspects of defooing is little talked about but very clear when you look at its roots. Bradshaw, the men and woman he counsels, and, as it turns out, Molyneux himself were at least a decade or sometimes two older than the average defooing FDR member. (And at the risk of over-repetition, Bradshaw does not counsel the majority of his readers/followers to abandon their families. It is only for the worst-case families. He does not talk about abandoning one's family with joy or treat it as a virtue.) This age group, which includes Molyneux, has typically already worked out the tougher aspects of being an independent adult before tackling their inner demons.

I don't think you can find a comparison anywhere to the targeted youthfulness of Molyneux's defooers, except in destructive cults. Certainly not with Bradshaw or any legitimate therapist. It's important to understand my point here. Children should never suffer from abuse and removing a child from an abusive home should be considered as a solution at any age. But targeting a group of people in their late teens/early twenties and intentionally glorifying defooing is an act you will not find duplicated anywhere except in destructive cults.

FDR members would balk at my use of the word "glorifying" above. In Podcast #589, Cracking the Family, here's how Molyneux describes how he felt discarding his family:

Quote from: Molyneux
I have experienced both the depths of enslavement within my family and the heights, yay! Almost the giddy heights of freedom that I currently enjoy. And really feeling the difference between the two, and feeling just what a tiny person I was when I was enslaved. Just what a tiny, tiny, tiny person I was when I was enslaved and how sad that is—for all of us, all of our potential and our intelligence and our creativity and our wonder, and the beauty of the world, the curiosity, the joy. All of it, pounded into a tiny little nugget of a black hole of nothing stored in this invisible core at the heart of emptiness.

And having felt, really, the difference between the two, it’s just a joy I wanted to share.


"How sad that is for all of us." Yeaahhh...I'd call that glorifying. And sometimes that glorification results in young men and women in their early teens and twenties throwing themselves out onto mean streets, with no support system and sometimes no training, to fend for themselves. The results can and have been ugly.  I suspect it may have cost one of them his life.

As El Dude mentioned in another thread:

However, where it's very obvious to a therapist (who hopefully really understands their client's position after months of work, not just from a few Skype conversations or forum posts!) that their patient is in undeniable imminent mental and physical danger from an abusive FOO, then they would I expect counsel leaving their family, and only then after carefully considering – and talking through – all the emotional, financial and possibly legal implications. On top of that a caring therapist would hopefully be offering solid support networks from any recognised external organisations relevant to the situation (e.g. AA for victims of alcohol abuse). 


None of that appears in Molyneux podcasts. His target audience must fend for themselves. If he were an actual therapist, he would be considered criminally negligent, especially considering the age range of his intended listeners.

----------------------------

I highly recommend that the use of the term defooing is limited only to the Molyneux-branded version described above. Any other "leaving your family for your own good" concept should not be confused with it. Once again, by allowing the notion to persist that defooing is about leaving your abusive parents, we simply fall into the trap of letting Molyneux frame our thinking.

So, wrapping up. Defooing isn't what you are told it is. It's the three things I listed at the top. It started as half an idea stolen and rebranded by Molyneux, then filtered through his tortured black-and-white view of the world. It bears absolutely no resemblance in any way, shape, or form to Bradshaw's intentions or the counseling of legitimate therapists anywhere. As soon as any FDR apologist tries to reframe any argument about the concept around parenting and abuse, give 'em this link!
« Last Edit: July 15, 2015, 03:28:33 PM by QuestEon »
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Conrad

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Re: On Defooing
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2012, 05:28:34 AM »
0
Clarity on defooing

Stefan Molyneux is remarkably persuasive. After all this time, I'm still surprised at how often I let him frame my perceptions. I can see through his language but he can still channel my conceptual framework down his very narrow corridors, if I'm not careful.

For example, here's some absolute clarity about defooing. Conceptually, Molyneux keeps channeling our impressions about it toward "abuse" and "parenting." When we find ourselves talking about defooing in those terms, we've already lost 80% of the conceptual battle to him. Because none of that is true.

Here's the truth:

Defooing is a brand name (yes, just like advertising--a brand name) that Molyneux invented to cover up his theft/co-option and perversion of someone else's idea. I'll discuss the roots of defooing below. But first, there are three defining elements unique to defooing that make it totally unlike any other "leaving your family for your own good" concept that has come before:

1. Defooing is not based on actual abuse, but "thought crimes." I covered this in Persuasion 2 of Is FreeDomain Radio a destructive cult? (Part 2). This idea is traceable all the way back to his "foundational" essay on Freedomain Radio, which I covered in The Foundation of FDR. It is absolutely essential to understand that defooing has nothing to do with actual abuse, no matter how many times you hear otherwise.

2. Defooing is absolute. In other words, you leave everyone. This makes perfect sense to the mind of someone who suffers from "splitting." Because defooing is based on "thought crimes" rather than actual abuse, it becomes easier to lump the defoo-ees together because you are leaving them for their corrupt thinking rather than their actions. Molyneux says as much at the end of the aforementioned foundational essay: "If you want to perform the greatest service for political liberty, all you have to do is turf all of your unsatisfying relationships. Parents, siblings, spouse, it doesn’t matter."  (Unsatisfying relationship = refusal to agree that Stefan Molyneux's philosophy is the unimpeachable guide to virtuous living). The majority of defooers, including Molyneux and his wife, leave all family/extended family members and most/all friends. In a number of personal counseling sessions with his followers, Molyneux has "proven" that the parent the FDR member feels close to is actually worse than the parent he or she disdains. Therefore, both must be abandoned. Soon, siblings who refuse to get on board are deemed corrupt, followed by friends, etc.

3. Defooing is an act targeted to a specific age group. This is slippery but very important. As I covered in Prying them loose, FDR was created to catch young people at the point of individuation. Or, as Molyneux says it, he needed to "reach the kiddies." (Current FDR members remain unembarrassed that Molyneux thinks of them as "the kiddies.") I'm not saying that Molyneux has specifically claimed that defooing is something one must do in one's late teens/early twenties (although I wouldn't be at all surprised if he has). I am saying that FDR is targeted to that age group, defooing is an essential part of its psychology/philosophy, and 1 + 1 = 2.


The Bradshaw/Molyneux collision

As far as I can tell, the "owner" of the defooing concept is John Bradshaw. However, it must be immediately understood that Bradshaw's original idea was both nobler and healthier than Molyneux's strange corruption of it. I believe that much of the foundation of Molyneux's confused psychology was adopted from Bradshaw, which must have required incredible feats of mental gymnastics for Molyneux. Bradshaw describes himself as a theologian and studied to be a Catholic Priest. Bradshaw developed his thinking based on a God-centered universe, which means that Molyneux--while appropriating those ideas--has had to sterilize them for our use. :)  Like Molyneux, Bradshaw studied at Toronto University and, like Molyneux, he began his career in business before turning to psychology.

Also like Molyneux, Bradshaw believes himself to be a child of abuse who was abandoned by his father. (Bradshaw's father was an alcoholic.) Like Molyneux, Bradshaw grew up troubled. Eventually, Bradshaw became an alcoholic, as children of alcoholics sometimes will. He found his way into and eventually became the most famous figure in the "recovery movement," as well as a "popular expert" on dysfunctional families. I think Bradshaw actually coined the term "dysfunctional families." He also developed the "wounded inner child" concept, which has also been deeply assimilated into FDR.

I suspect Bradshaw's ascendancy and Molyneux's quest for understanding about his own dysfunctional family collided at some point and started Molyneux down the psychology path. Unfortunately, at FDR, Bradshaw's ideas are filtered through Molyneux's world-view, which has turned them into tortured caricatures of themselves.

For whatever it's worth, I have a guarded respect for Bradshaw, as I prefer my psychology based on scientific research, thank you. He seems to have helped people. I have no way of knowing if there has been harm as well.


The roots of defooing

Bradshaw confronted the truth that you may have a family so dysfunctional, you can never have a healthy relationship with any of them. At that time, you may need to abandon your Family Of Origin, as he termed it, and create your own Family of Choice. Again, I suspect that Bradshaw is the owner of that idea. But, as you can see, Molyneux neatly amputated the healthy part of the idea (creating your own Family of Choice) and concentrated solely on abandonment. I leave it to you to decide why. I have always suspected that Molyneux has toyed with the idea of the FDR "community" becoming the Family of Choice for his members but something has always held him back from taking that last step.

the FDR meditation, especially near the end (IIRC) where he tells people to go toward their new friends, is especially interesting (and creepy) in this light.




anyway, great and very useful and informative article QuestEon

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Re: On Defooing
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2012, 07:41:11 AM »
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the FDR meditation, especially near the end (IIRC) where he tells people to go toward their new friends, is especially interesting (and creepy) in this light.

From that thread:
Quote from: Stefan Molyneux
You are not in control of the meditation, that is why it is so helpful...

It helps us learn to accept the knowledge that is already within us.

 :o  :o  :o *horror film music*

Humorously, the emoticon FDR uses for smiling is sort of eyeing Stefan's text.

Anyway, later in that thread, Stefan says:
Quote from: Stefan Molyneux
Quote from: Twotimestu
Not to bump a topic, but were any more FDR Medi-casts ever made?  If so where may I find them?

No, that was the only one, taken right out of a John Bradshaw book...

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Re: On Defooing
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2012, 08:49:01 AM »
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Great post, QE :)
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Re: On Defooing
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2012, 08:49:11 AM »
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I have always suspected that Molyneux has toyed with the idea of the FDR "community" becoming the Family of Choice for his members but something has always held him back from taking that last step.

I disagree. That's pretty much what the psychologizing in the chat room was for quite a while. It felt like quite a positive social experience for me at the time. I felt like I was part of something there, helping people. It was a place where people could come and be helped (supposedly) in a caring manner. It was like a family.

I don't think it's a coincidence that the Guardian article came out and then, only a few months later, the determinism debate came out and we suddenly had our first unspeakable topic or that the chat room started dying out right around the whole thing either. Stefan was quite affected by the article.

After all, it was only supposed to be the false selves of the general public that would reject him, and he thinks he's a master at manipulating the false self in order to reach the true self. That's why he was willing to take on those interviews. He thought he could reach through to the public that way. He found out that he was wrong, but he characteristically misinterpreted it as the false selves being just so devious (apparently alluding to the common views of things without being swayed by Stefan's rhetoric like his followers is the work of a devious genius).

The "let us help abuse victims" thing also faded to a much, much more impersonal style. The biggest way we could help with that was no longer to spread Stefan's weird ideas anymore so that more people would join us in our global boycott of parents (to get them to see the errors of their ways through economic incentives). It was to confront people hitting their kids whom you'd probably never see again. Supposedly that would, according to one interpretation of Alice Miller, help the child to be able to avoid psychopathy or something as bad. I'm not exaggerating there.

FDR became much more about being virtuous rather than getting help (which was not a happy change for the people who needed help, of course, but why would Stefan care about that? He's just some guy on the Internet, you freaks!).

Thus, the later rendition of a family was in the "Philly crew". A bunch of people moved in to various places within Philadelphia and had some regular meetups, but it could never grow very large because very few people are prepared or willing to keep up such appearances. From what I've heard, that's been pretty closed to the public since James was rejected by them and a lot of them headed to China to work.

It's rather hard to have a family of choice that people can go to when so many of the people that come aren't worthy. The last mention of the Philly crew on the FDR site was in 2010 and their website died out about that time as well.

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Re: On Defooing
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2012, 09:27:19 AM »
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Thus, the later rendition of a family was in the "Philly crew". A bunch of people moved in to various places within Philadelphia and had some regular meetups, but it could never grow very large because very few people are prepared or willing to keep up such appearances. From what I've heard, that's been pretty closed to the public since James was rejected by them and a lot of them headed to China to work.

You were part of that too, right? I'm interested in hearing about your experiences with it, if you don't mind sharing.

These FDR groups seem to me to be more creepy than arranged marriages. The meetups/BBQs are bad enough: let's get a bunch of near-strangers together to talk about childhood issues! (Or worse: near-strangers who already know intimate details about each other's pasts.) But taking it to the next level, moving together and trying to artificially form a community on the basis of shared enjoyment of an internet podcaster? It could work if the chemistry is right, but more likely than not, it will fail, and people will be left feeling bitter about having uprooted their lives for it.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2012, 09:29:57 AM by Argent »

QuestEon

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Re: On Defooing
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2012, 10:03:04 AM »
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I have always suspected that Molyneux has toyed with the idea of the FDR "community" becoming the Family of Choice for his members but something has always held him back from taking that last step.
I disagree. That's pretty much what the psychologizing in the chat room was for quite a while. It felt like quite a positive social experience for me at the time. I felt like I was part of something there, helping people. It was a place where people could come and be helped (supposedly) in a caring manner. It was like a family.

I don't think it's a coincidence that the Guardian article came out and then, only a few months later, the determinism debate came out and we suddenly had our first unspeakable topic or that the chat room started dying out right around the whole thing either. Stefan was quite affected by the article...
That's an amazing account. I wonder what would have happened if the article had never come out. Would FDR have quietly become a true Family of Choice? Or was it always meant to implode at some point, based on Molyneux's personality? As you (brilliantly) said, "It's rather hard to have a family of choice that people can go to when so many of the people that come aren't worthy."

I knew about the Philly group and wondered at the time if it was going to be the first of FDR "cells" in various places. Strangely enough, I never knew about the web site you linked to. The last capture shows the group was 77 "philosophers" strong. That certainly looks impressive! I realize the core, committed FDR group was much smaller than that but even that group imploded.

I never quite understood the China connection either. It seems strange to me that a bunch of anti-statist defooers would flee to the safety of a hostile communist regime, but what do I know?
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Re: On Defooing
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2012, 01:23:16 PM »
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I never quite understood the China connection either. It seems strange to me that a bunch of anti-statist defooers would flee to the safety of a hostile communist regime, but what do I know?
There's some enthusiasm for it because it has become more capitalistic and doesn't have a lot of bureaucratic regulations yet. Or so that's how it's put. Since they're enthusiasts of capitalism's economic growth, perhaps they want to see it first-hand.

On the other hand, the people that go there seem to only be allowed to teach English, as far as I can tell.

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Re: On Defooing
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2012, 05:50:43 PM »
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You were part of that too, right? I'm interested in hearing about your experiences with it, if you don't mind sharing.

These FDR groups seem to me to be more creepy than arranged marriages. The meetups/BBQs are bad enough: let's get a bunch of near-strangers together to talk about childhood issues! (Or worse: near-strangers who already know intimate details about each other's pasts.) But taking it to the next level, moving together and trying to artificially form a community on the basis of shared enjoyment of an internet podcaster? It could work if the chemistry is right, but more likely than not, it will fail, and people will be left feeling bitter about having uprooted their lives for it.
That's actually what I was looking for! I was disappointed. Except for the chat room before the die down, Stefan's always been the star of the show as far as that goes, so that kind of self-revelation and so on only tends to take place at barbecues and get-togethers when Stefan travelled to speak and Sunday shows.

You're right about the chemistry. The get-togethers were pretty normal social occasions. If you imagine a bunch of normal 20- and 30-something friends getting together at a restaurant or someone's house, you probably won't be too far off from how things went. They were a bit different from most people by trying to live Stefan's principles and the psychologists' books and so on, but not hugely. I felt great because I imagined I was with virtuous people who cared about me (much like I felt with Stefan when he came to speak at a university in Philadelphia).

There was also a wider circle of people involved in a psychology book club. The meeting I went to was held in a park, which was nice. It was more like what I was looking for, since it had some depth. I didn't say anything when people discussed the book of the month or whatever, but that was because I was new. I would have liked to come to more, except....

If there was no chemistry after a while, suddenly they'd stop talking to you. They wouldn't say it wasn't working out. You just wouldn't get invited to the next get-together. This was, of course, before they had that website.

About a year after I was ostracized, I sent some e-mails asking why. The reasons given weren't, as I'd expected from what Stefan said, that virtuous people had rejected me. The biggest points that I remember were about how there was no chemistry.

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Re: On Defooing
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2013, 12:26:39 AM »
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1. Defooing is not based on actual abuse, but "thought crimes." I covered this in Persuasion 2 of Is FreeDomain Radio a destructive cult? (Part 2). This idea is traceable all the way back to his "foundational" essay on Freedomain Radio, which I covered in The Foundation of FDR. It is absolutely essential to understand that defooing has nothing to do with actual abuse, no matter how many times you hear otherwise.


just "being boring" is an offense that justifies deFoo'ing.


I decode that as meaning "not paying attention to me all the time."
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Re: On Defooing
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2016, 06:18:58 PM »
+5
I'm convinced that Molyneux, despite all his venom, has no power over people who aren't already suffering from some kind of childhood trauma. And that people who don't have major emotional issues left over from their childhood, see through him quite easily, and thus will never consider "defooing".

Teenagers who take the drastic decision to leave home (I realize "defoo" also applies to cutting contact with friends and everyone else outside of FDR, but here I'm taking it in the litteral sense), almost always do this as a last resort, in order to escape a situation involving physical or verbal/emotional abuse that has become too threatening. (This is according to what I'm hearing on episodes of the Loveline radio show from 1998 and 1999, which I find on YouTube, where I've heard calls from hundreds of teenagers facing all sorts of challenges.) Even if Molyneux's persuasion tactics add to these people's perception of their suffering and the risks they run by staying in contact with their family, it seems that significant issues must be already present, for the bonds in the family to be weak enough to be susceptible to "defooing".
 
I think it's unfortunately a common occurence that parents, because of their own childhood trauma of which they are not clearly aware, also are not aware of what painful and dangerous situations they've put their children into. Therefore in my opinion, if you yourself or someone you are close to is involved with FDR, it is a sign that you are harboring major childhood trauma, and that you would most likely benefit from a thorough exploration of this trauma: it could be physical, sexual or verbal abuse, or an emotionally absent father or mother, or anything else that would prevent someone from developing a healthy sense of themselves as a competent and self-sufficient person.

So far, as far as I can see, this has been true of everyone I know personally who has been associated with FDR, including myself...
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Rafaman

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Re: On Defooing
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2016, 07:05:20 PM »
+4
I'm convinced that Molyneux, despite all his venom, has no power over people who aren't already suffering from some kind of childhood trauma. And that people who don't have major emotional issues left over from their childhood, see through him quite easily, and thus will never consider "defooing".

Teenagers who take the drastic decision to leave home (I realize "defoo" also applies to cutting contact with friends and everyone else outside of FDR, but here I'm taking it in the litteral sense), almost always do this as a last resort, in order to escape a situation involving physical or verbal/emotional abuse that has become too threatening. (This is according to what I'm hearing on episodes of the Loveline radio show from 1998 and 1999, which I find on YouTube, where I've heard calls from hundreds of teenagers facing all sorts of challenges.) Even if Molyneux's persuasion tactics add to these people's perception of their suffering and the risks they run by staying in contact with their family, it seems that significant issues must be already present, for the bonds in the family to be weak enough to be susceptible to "defooing".
 
I think it's unfortunately a common occurence that parents, because of their own childhood trauma of which they are not clearly aware, also are not aware of what painful and dangerous situations they've put their children into. Therefore in my opinion, if you yourself or someone you are close to is involved with FDR, it is a sign that you are harboring major childhood trauma, and that you would most likely benefit from a thorough exploration of this trauma: it could be physical, sexual or verbal abuse, or an emotionally absent father or mother, or anything else that would prevent someone from developing a healthy sense of themselves as a competent and self-sufficient person.

So far, as far as I can see, this has been true of everyone I know personally who has been associated with FDR, including myself...

Margaret Singer did extensive research into cults and their impacts I found quotes from her that echo similar sentiments.

"While everyone is influenced and persuaded daily in various ways, vulnerability to influence fluctuates. The ability to fend off persuaders is reduced when one is exhausted, rushed, stressed, uncertain, lonely, indifferent, uninformed, aged, very young, unsophisticated, ill, brain- damaged, drugged, drunk, distracted, fatigued, frightened, or very dependent."
Undue Influence and Written Documents: Psychological Aspects, Margaret Thaler Singer, Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley 1992

The public takes care of their fear by thinking only crazies and stupid people wind up in cults. I've interviewed over 4000 ex-cult members. There's no one type of person who is vulnerable.
Margaret Singer, The Lancet, January 31, 2004

Personally, I don't think there is an "FDR type". The trauma you have described is very general, it encompasses anything and everything and makes no distinction between levels of severity. I do have an issue with this talk of "Childhood trauma". I do not intend to disrespect anyone who faces very serious issues, but "childhood" is a common natural human experience - literally everyone who grows to adulthood experiences this. Of course any problems we face, developed from some  foundational aspect in youth, this is the starting base for EVERYONE psychologically and socially. Its a blanket term to me and is one of the biggest Baits that Molyneux uses because its so all-encompassing. The only single common thread is that Molyneux is offering some type of panacea to a listener. I agree that some vulnerability must be present but how that directly relates to Moyneux is different for every listener. For some its parental empathy, for others its getting back at women, for others its political - Trump related or perhaps an ancap etc.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2016, 07:31:08 PM by Rafaman »

CupOTea

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Re: On Defooing
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2016, 11:57:55 PM »
0
Molyneux and any other cult leader, takes advantage of people when they are vulnerable.  It is not always a traumatic childhood, but once you have taken the plunge to become a True Believer, you are convinced that it is the only way to make a pure world is to cut out the people who are not pure.  Of course that has to be the parents because they are one of the strongest influences on their children.  Maybe the strongest.  The idea is to cut out the competition.  Cult leaders will make up all kinds of reasons that parents must be kicked to the curb.  Reasons to defoo are that the True Believer went to public school, didn't breast feed long enough or the parents voted.   These are just a few of the bizarre reasons to defoo.   The True Believers are idealists that really want to make a difference and in FDR's world that means to defoo.  Even if you are upset about defooing your folks, you should or you're considered a fool that is contributing to a horrible world by having relationships with low life.
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Elucidated

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Re: On Defooing
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2016, 03:23:29 PM »
+1
I'm convinced that Molyneux, despite all his venom, has no power over people who aren't already suffering from some kind of childhood trauma. And that people who don't have major emotional issues left over from their childhood, see through him quite easily, and thus will never consider "defooing".

Teenagers who take the drastic decision to leave home (I realize "defoo" also applies to cutting contact with friends and everyone else outside of FDR, but here I'm taking it in the litteral sense), almost always do this as a last resort, in order to escape a situation involving physical or verbal/emotional abuse that has become too threatening. (This is according to what I'm hearing on episodes of the Loveline radio show from 1998 and 1999, which I find on YouTube, where I've heard calls from hundreds of teenagers facing all sorts of challenges.) Even if Molyneux's persuasion tactics add to these people's perception of their suffering and the risks they run by staying in contact with their family, it seems that significant issues must be already present, for the bonds in the family to be weak enough to be susceptible to "defooing".
 
I think it's unfortunately a common occurence that parents, because of their own childhood trauma of which they are not clearly aware, also are not aware of what painful and dangerous situations they've put their children into. Therefore in my opinion, if you yourself or someone you are close to is involved with FDR, it is a sign that you are harboring major childhood trauma, and that you would most likely benefit from a thorough exploration of this trauma: it could be physical, sexual or verbal abuse, or an emotionally absent father or mother, or anything else that would prevent someone from developing a healthy sense of themselves as a competent and self-sufficient person.

So far, as far as I can see, this has been true of everyone I know personally who has been associated with FDR, including myself...


 Marc what you say may be the case but consider two other possibilities.

One is that we all go through periods of difficulty in adolescence early adulthood when we try to ‘find’ ourselves, our worldview is changing rapidly and we often feel a disconnection with our parents – call it the ‘generation gap’ or whatever. This was more marked than ever before between the baby boomers generation and Generation Y 1980’s to 1990’s’ with the rapid advancement of technology, such as the founding of Google for example.

I have often heard lack of effective communication between parent and child cited as bad parenting, but it can be as much societal as individual. Just over the past 20 - 30 years or so, our experiences are vastly different from that of our parents, and the wealth of information and misinformation available to us now compared to back then is phenomenal.

Emerging adulthood  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emerging_adulthood_and_early_adulthood  is a recently proposed phase in which there is a struggle with "identity exploration, instability, self-focus, and feeling in-between" Arnett suggests that it is specific to cultures that allow young people a prolonged period of independent role exploration during the late teens and twenties, a phase our parents will have skipped altogether.

Most of us come through our emerging adulthood and resume effective communication and relationships with our parents, and can appreciate the differences in our life experiences that shaped us.  Fortunately most of us don’t come across a Molyneux during that period of uncertainty, but some of those who do, have those otherwise temporary feelings prolonged by psychological manipulation, even to the point of ‘defoo’.


The other possibility is that some of the FDR or ex FDR followers you say still state childhood trauma or abuse, may have been misled into believing this is the case;

Pasted below from a couple of things from an old thread on here:
 
 
  • A new study has found that information provided about a fictitious event can be incorporated into related autobiographical memory. Lower cognitive ability and a combination of high arousal at the time of encoding, and more stressors led to higher susceptibility to the misinformation effect.

     The 213 subjects were asked if a fictitious event took place, they said that it didn't, but when asked about it again some months later, 26% of them said that it had taken place. They had now falsely incorporated it into their memories.
     
     I was thinking about the stress and possibly high state of arousal that Stefan's listeners are under when they talk to him on the call in show and he asks / tells them about childhood abuse.
     
     In this study, the participants were not even told the event had taken place, they were merely asked if it had. About 4% immediately said it had and a further 26% 'remembered' that it had, 7 months later.

 
 
  • Loftus and Palmer did some research http://www.simplypsychology.org/loftus-palmer.html into how memories can be distorted / exaggerated, by the language of the interviewer.
     
     Witnesses to a road accident were asked to estimate the speed of a car in a road accident. They found that the words used by the interviewer influenced the outcome. If the interviewer asked the speed they ‘smashed’ into each other, the witnesses would give a higher estimation of the speed than if they used the word bumped or hit etc. So even a well-meaning therapist could unintentionally lead a client to believe they were abused, particularly if that therapist had a preconceived idea.
     
     IMO a false memory of abuse could occur with an FDR member as a result any or all of the following:
     
     1.) Stef the wordsmith.
     My parents scolded me may become, your parents yelled & screamed at you. (I’d like to put a specific example here I may trawl round and find one later – but most people will probably be aware of an example.) Hence he turns a real but not necessarily abusive event or sequence of events, into something more sinister.
     
     2.)Plausibility
     The plausibility of abuse having occurred to a person is greatly increased by spending a long time on the boards where so many other people are talking about their experiences of abuse.
     
     3.) Conformity - compliance / internalization
     The desire to be accepted by the group leading initially to compliance but over a period of time to internalization.

https://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_loftus_the_fiction_of_memory
https://webfiles.uci.edu/eloftus/MazzoniLoftusKirsch01.pdf
http://www.ejpt.net/index.php/ejpt/rt/printerFriendly/19864/html
http://www.fdrliberated.com/forum/index.php?topic=140.msg1098#msg1098

 
   
 


Marc Moïni

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Re: On Defooing
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2016, 09:31:27 AM »
+1
Elucidated,
if I understand correctly you're saying that FDR followers who cut contact with their family could also be people who are not suffering from the consequences of emotional trauma during childhood. Instead, you propose that they leave because A) Molyneux manipulates them during a developmental phase that pushes young adults to separate from their parents, or B) Molyneux misleads them into having memories of abuse that they never received, which turns them against their family.

CupOfTea,
the way I read it your view is similar, you see young people who defoo as naive idealists who for some reason (unrelated to emotional childhood trauma) are going through a phase of their life that makes them vulnerable to indoctrination and peer pressure. And if they're unfortunate enough to cross the path of Molyneux or some other cult leader during this phase, they're very likely to be drawn into the cult. And the tactics used by cults are so powerful that there is nothing normal parents can do to protect their children, short of getting advanced anti-cult training.

Am I misunderstanding your points?

If not, then I struggle to see how what either of you is proposing could happen to people who aren't suffering from childhood emotional trauma. I can accept that maybe in rare instances it could, but definitely not for most. Perhaps I haven't described well enough what I mean by childhood emotional trauma, and how people are affected by this. Here's how I think one can recognize people who either have recovered from the trauma they received, or didn't receive any major trauma:

1) These are people who have natural healthy emotional attachment to their parents and siblings, because they grew up receiving enough love and respect and consideration, and enough empathy, and they had many many opportunities to build these strong bonds with the people around them, who were treating them well enough.

2) Because their emotional needs for safety and love and empathy were met often enough, they are generally in touch with their feelings and they don't get overwhelming emotional reactions to normal life situations (which is one of the major indicators of emotional trauma, from what I understand).

3) They were raised around people who modeled for them what healthy relationships look and feel like, thus they generally find it easy to enter into and maintain satisfying relationships, with friends and with romantic partners as well as in their professional life.

4) They are kind and honest people who are self-assured without being arrogant, again because that is what was modeled for them while they were growing up, and in their formative years no one attacked them or betrayed them or abandoned them or neglected them or hurt them so badly that they didn't recover from it.

By contrast, people who are suffering from emotional trauma received during their formative years typically show these traits:

I) They don't have strong emotional bonds with their parents and siblings, therefore they tend to have tense relationships with their family or avoid them altogether.

II) They are at best dimly aware of how they feel, and they have difficulty naming and expressing their feelings to others both verbally or through actions. In normal life situations they often get overwhelmed by emotions they don't recognize clearly, and they have difficulty being aware of this fact since the overwhelm itself gets them to disconnect from their feelings and bodily sensations even more. As far as I understand, this is a large part of what pushes people to look for relief in various distractions, from food to entertainment to drugs and violence, i.e. addictive and anti-social behaviors. This getting overwhelmed also makes it very difficult for these people to stay focused on anything productive, from studying to professional work.

III) They don't have healthy models of what satisfying relationships look like, so until they recover and learn how to build these, their relationships are often full of chaos and fear and pain, and thus very unsatisfying. And because they didn't receive models of what healthy relationships look like, they find it difficult to recognize and stay away from potentially damaging relationships.

IV) Because they were attacked or betrayed or abandoned or neglected or hurt too often or too severely during their formative years, without enough safety and attention and love and empathy to repair the damage, they are still suffering intensely today, and this makes them blind to other people's needs, or even to the mere existence of other people as separate individuals (I'm convinced the resulting behaviors are a large part of what gets people diagnosed as narcissists or sociopaths). Their suffering and their low self-esteem and the dysfunctional models of behavior they received cause them to be depressed and/or violent and/or dishonest and manipulative, and they go on hurting themselves and others.

Does this make it clearer why I think people with strong healthy emotional bonds to their parents and siblings are extremely unlikely to "defoo"?

And conversely, that if someone does "defoo" it is most likely because they don't have these strong healthy bonds, which in turn is a major sign that they are suffering from the consequences of childhood emotional trauma, and that therefore they need help in order to recover from this?

I want a world free from childhood trauma, that’s why I’m passionate about helping people recover from any trauma they might have (starting with my own, and I can now recognize all of I to IV in myself, so I'm hopeful it can be done). I appreciate very much that this forum is a far more receptive place for open discussion of this topic than the FDR board ever was, so I'm hoping we can talk about this here in a productive manner. I also worry that it might be difficult, because it is a topic that can bring up such strong emotions, but I'm excited to do all I can to try!
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