Author Topic: Nation’s leading cult expert says FDR is a closed “cult” environment  (Read 12699 times)

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QuestEon

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I thought Truth About's videos were excellent, but was really surprised to see Hassan start to get into the game!

Nation’s leading cult expert says Stefan Molyneux’s Freedomain Radio is a closed system “cult” environment

I wonder if we'll be hearing more from him about FDR?
« Last Edit: August 01, 2015, 09:27:47 AM by QuestEon »
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mikef

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"You’ll have to decide that for yourself. I think it might be. If it is, I think of it as a baby cult. It’s relatively new and I’ve been watching it with the same fascination that an astronomer would watch the birth of a star. I don’t think Molyneux has a master plan. I think he is, in fact, the most loyal FDR member of them all. FDR seems to be springing up organically around his need to be revered."

I found this quote of yours quite profound and very prescient if you did write it in 2008.  You really understood it way back then. 

QuestEon

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Yeah! I'm really awesome!

Thank you very much but, seriously, a lot of people at Liberating Minds at the time were starting to think in that direction or believed it was already a full-blown destructive cult. I was the hold-out (and still am) who believes that Molyneux himself was totally convinced and committed to what he was selling.

I'm less sure of it these days, and often suspect that his attempt to co-opt the men's rights movement was more likely to be a purely cynical money grab. Or maybe not. 
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Mike_Lice

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Yeah! I'm really awesome!

Thank you very much but, seriously, a lot of people at Liberating Minds at the time were starting to think in that direction or believed it was already a full-blown destructive cult. I was the hold-out (and still am) who believes that Molyneux himself was totally convinced and committed to what he was selling.

I'm less sure of it these days, and often suspect that his attempt to co-opt the men's rights movement was more likely to be a purely cynical money grab. Or maybe not.

Don't most cult leaders believe in their own product?

Kaz

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Yeah! I'm really awesome!

Thank you very much but, seriously, a lot of people at Liberating Minds at the time were starting to think in that direction or believed it was already a full-blown destructive cult. I was the hold-out (and still am) who believes that Molyneux himself was totally convinced and committed to what he was selling.


Yes, I remember this.

I also remember that some of the earliest people to speak out were subject to a lot of personal abuse and slander by Mr Molyneux and his cult members.  The reason that I am pointing this out is because some former cult members object to a few of these people and they may well have good reasons to do so, but it is unfair not to tell the full story.


 
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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Thank you very much but, seriously, a lot of people at Liberating Minds at the time were starting to think in that direction or believed it was already a full-blown destructive cult. I was the hold-out (and still am) who believes that Molyneux himself was totally convinced and committed to what he was selling.

I'm less sure of it these days, and often suspect that his attempt to co-opt the men's rights movement was more likely to be a purely cynical money grab. Or maybe not.

I think I know what you are talking about.  It's just really hard to tell with these people exactly what their motivations are sometimes.    Is it just scamming people or does he actually believe what he says?   I wonder if he has some core beliefs but then holds on to them so strongly that anything else, like for example, trying to co-opt the mens movement for money, is seen as OK.   Kind of like the ends justify the means.   

QuestEon

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Yeah! I'm really awesome!

Thank you very much but, seriously, a lot of people at Liberating Minds at the time were starting to think in that direction or believed it was already a full-blown destructive cult. I was the hold-out (and still am) who believes that Molyneux himself was totally convinced and committed to what he was selling.

I'm less sure of it these days, and often suspect that his attempt to co-opt the men's rights movement was more likely to be a purely cynical money grab. Or maybe not.


Don't most cult leaders believe in their own product?

Yes, I think so. My completely unprofessional opinion is that they are almost always narcissists with an idealized view of their world (which is why understanding splitting is so important to understanding them.)

If they can just everyone to conform to that, then the world would be perfect, so they think.

That why I loved the observation someone once made that a family/group controlled by a narcissist is like one controlled by a vindictive six-year-old boy. I wrote about it here:

It’s a good forum

What was so fascinating about FDR--especially back in 2008 when it wasn't widely recognized for what it was--is that it was happening in the middle of a bunch of left-libertarians/anarchists. There isn't a more free will, freedom-loving group in the world. That makes us the least likely to be able to accept that someone could impose undue influence on the members of a forum. (All of which made it easier for a group like FDR to flourish.)

And because of that, many believed that Molyneux had a great deal of self-control over what he was doing.
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QuestEon

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Thank you very much but, seriously, a lot of people at Liberating Minds at the time were starting to think in that direction or believed it was already a full-blown destructive cult. I was the hold-out (and still am) who believes that Molyneux himself was totally convinced and committed to what he was selling.

I'm less sure of it these days, and often suspect that his attempt to co-opt the men's rights movement was more likely to be a purely cynical money grab. Or maybe not.

I think I know what you are talking about.  It's just really hard to tell with these people exactly what their motivations are sometimes.    Is it just scamming people or does he actually believe what he says?   I wonder if he has some core beliefs but then holds on to them so strongly that anything else, like for example, trying to co-opt the mens movement for money, is seen as OK.   Kind of like the ends justify the means.   

I think you're right. I think Molyneux has done some incredibly reprehensible things, but in his mind it is always perfectly justified.
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Loner

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 I haven't had a chance to listen to it yet but the Steven Hassan is on the latest Joe Rogan podcast #680.

Patience

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I haven't had a chance to listen to it yet but the Steven Hassan is on the latest Joe Rogan podcast #680.


They discuss several cults before moving on to Molyneux at 1:39:05


Many of the YouTube comments are  pro Molyneux or just plain racist but these were more thoughtful:
Quote from: YouTubeJRE#680Comments

Lemanakmelo
I find this whole episode very informative as a former listener of Stefan Molyneux. I do have one thing to comment about though.  I used to listen to his podcasts a lot, and I listened to almost all of his first 1300 or so podcasts. I haven't listened since last year, shortly before his last episode with Joe, which was what really ended it for me. But I don't think Molyneux does say to flat out cut off from your family. While I was listening, he did constantly say that the best thing to do is to see a therapist, and continue talking with your family and your therapist. He said that you should try to keep your family relationship unless you absolutely felt that you kept trying to communicate with them and they weren't listening. I remember thinking how much easier it would be to  not talk to my family and just cut off ties with them, but I knew that wasn't what he advocated. However, I think maybe early on he was suggesting defooing straight out,, and perhaps after so many podcasts I forget those earlier episodes. And I do definitely remember a lot of conversations where he recommended DeFooing. In the Guardian article, he told the reporter that he had told less than 20 people to DeFOO ever, and I remember at the time thinking that was maybe true, but it sounded like a low number. But I never felt that the message to me was that I should DeFOO. However, during the time I listened, there were other things that built up and bothered me. For one thing, he has a mixed stance on compassion. At times he is very compassionate and understanding to people, or advocates compassion, but at other times he draws a hard line and basically calls people bad or wrong, or tells someone that the person they're talking about is bad or wrong. And in reflection, there were some other things that had bothered me while I was listening, where I should have trusted my gut feeling. For example he does ask for donations, and I never wanted to donate to him, but he did a podcast that was kind of a case for donating to causes you love. But he also throws in comments like  "And, obviously, I think my conversation is the most important in the world, otherwise I would work for someone else". This podcast made me want to donate to OTHER podcasts, I thought it was a pretty reasonable argument, but he had thrown in enough comments to make me feel like if I didn't donate exclusively to him, that I wasn't doing everything in my power to advocate freedom. So I actually donated to another podcast and his, but I felt the need to email him that and tell him that I was donating to two podcasts, and why I felt the other one was also important. Once I cancelled my donations to Stefan Molyneux last year, I felt relieved. It wasn't a large amount, but I realized how ridiculous it was that I felt the need to justify myself to him, and I realized that I should have listened to my initial feelings. (And listening to and trusting your feelnigs is ironically something Stefan advocates) I still donate to the other podcast, which I think is a fantastic podcast with no guilt tripping.
5 hours ago•2

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+Lemanakmelo I also became a viewer before the JRE thing. Probably watched 10-15hrs of his work. Luckily by the time he came onto this podcast I had gone off him to the point where I wanted him shown to be the fraud that he is. Joe did, but could have gone further. There's a darkness inside Molyneux. I don't know what it is exactly, but he's on a vendetta.
2 hours ago (edited)•



IAmMe

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God Almighty Christ on a stick, that Steve Hassan doesn't half talk some shit.

1:50:00 approx where they are talking about abused keeping in contact with the abuser - Joe Rogan really had that wanker on the ropes and all I could see was this "therapist" squirming like a little worm.

How on earth did this fella get a licence? Hassan has the sort of mindset that would ultimately get some poor sod killed by their family abuser "because, well, y'now because their family...."

"Hey, like just because you got f*cked six ways from sunday by your Mom/Dad, well y'now that's all in the past and this is the here and now and evil child raping scum can change".

Twat.  >:(

money detonator

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I'm glad he got on the show, but he seemed unprepared in his comments about Molyneux.  He didn't come across well.  I think listeners with no background information on this topic and the people involved (which is likely the majority of them) would be put off by his remarks.

Rogan is an amazing interviewer, I think.  He picks up on very subtle things.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2015, 11:40:53 AM by money detonator »

Disillusioned

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God Almighty Christ on a stick, that Steve Hassan doesn't half talk some shit.

1:50:00 approx where they are talking about abused keeping in contact with the abuser - Joe Rogan really had that wanker on the ropes and all I could see was this "therapist" squirming like a little worm.

How on earth did this fella get a licence? Hassan has the sort of mindset that would ultimately get some poor sod killed by their family abuser "because, well, y'now because their family...."

"Hey, like just because you got f*cked six ways from sunday by your Mom/Dad, well y'now that's all in the past and this is the here and now and evil child raping scum can change".

Twat.  >:(

I see where you're coming from. I agree with Rogan that in some cases there is no point in trying to have a relationship with people who abused you. I think it's okay to disagree with Hassan on this issue without completely discrediting him.

Hassan did keep saying that he only recommends people trying to reach out to their abusers with the help of a professional. I think an important part of his point, that might have been missed, was that a lot of people who were severely abused by immediate family still have a desire to have a connection and some kind of relationship with the family member who abused them. Encouraging people like that to totally cut off the possibility of having that relationship, bc some outside authority told you it would be bad, isn't good for anyone.

I don't like the idea that blood is thicker than water. One of the things that appealed to me about what Molyneux says is that there are no special obligations to family. I think that is a cool idea in theory. However, in my experience, no matter how hard I tried to escape it, I do have a special place in my heart for my family. I couldn't easily replace them, and I missed them immensely despite their character flaws and mistakes. I'm not saying everyone does or should feel this way, but I think Hassan is saying it's a reality for most (or at least a lot of) people.

I think it would have been better if they focused on the harm that is caused by deFOOing, specifically, and not get bogged down on what counts as real abuse, and who deserves to be cut off. This argument is a misdirection, bc people who deFOO aren't cutting off one or two people who were severely abusive. DeFOOing is about cutting off everyone in your support network who isn't on-board with Molyneux's ideology. That has nothing to do with beatings and rape and whether or not it's safe to try to fix or rebuild a relationship.

I also am ultimately glad the interview happened, but I would be happier if Hassan did a little more research about Molyneux before talking about him on Rogan's show. Rogan portrayed the donations as small, but I don't think $100/mo. is small for a freaking podcast. And I know he also gets larger sums from some listeners. It would have been good if Hassan could have pushed back on that. And it also would have been better if he didn't talk so much about what abusers do and don't deserve, and talk more about undue influence and isolating yourself from all friends and family.
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money detonator

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Molyneux likes to define defoo to the general public as about leaving abusive families (because people will look bad trying to argue against such a thing as we see demonstrated in this interview), but those who have done more research know it is much more than that.  By getting bogged down with evaluating abusive people at length, Hassan and Rogan are implying that they agree and accept Molyneux’s deceptive definition, and are actually reinforcing it.

The reality is many people have, in the past, left abusive or annoying relationships on their own without any awareness of Molyneux’s existence, or feeling the need to justify it in any way.  The idea that he invented the concept of leaving abusive people, or is some sort of pioneer or expert in this behavior is absurd. 

The idea that ditching annoying people can save the world, cause massive social upheaval and replace political action is absurd too.  However, that concept is the actual Molyneux invention.  Most people do not bring up this distinction.  That’s what the term defoo is about - "saving the world" from destruction by leaving your relationships and donating money.

Take Rogan’s own story for example.  He severed ties with his abusive father.  Did he need to travel in time to call in to Stef's show and consult with him?  Did he need to uncover some secret evil State conspiracy to abuse children, in order to to be able to do it?  Was he a mad genius?  Did his father’s abusiveness prevent his ability to succeed, unless he can figure out UPB?  Did he need to send monthly donations to some self proclaimed philosopher?   Did he do it thinking his actions were a crucial part of a larger plan to save the world from destruction?  No.   Rogan did what any rational person can figure out on their own, in the context of their own situation and the options available to them at that time.   That’s the difference between “leaving an abusive relationship” and a “defoo”.


The meta for defoo is that it is a business opportunity for Molyneux to establish a relationship with his listener as an expert, personal confidant, trusted authority figure, without the credentials, obligation or accountability people traditionally have to take on in order to occupy that role for someone in real life.  It is an opportunity to inject himself as the expert arbiter, into private conflicts of which he knows little about the parties involved, or the situation and context, then disappear them if things don’t work out and they complain.  In the meantime, he pleads for money from them for helping them and others like them.

A better way to steer the conversation about defoo would have been to make a direct comparison.  Since Rogan is in a similar role as host of a show, a public figure and social commentator with influence over listeners but no formal training in psychology, I would have asked Rogan if he would feel comfortable giving such personal advice to his fans should they write or call him about such problems.  Would he be okay with advising them over the phone to make such big decisions while taking on no obligation to deal with the negative consequences that his advice might cause.  Would he be comfortable making public that advice, and the communications?  Would he feel okay directly  asking them for money?  Would he actively solicit and encourage that they seek his advice on such personal matters?
« Last Edit: August 10, 2015, 05:01:47 AM by money detonator »

Mike_Lice

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When Stefan bans a person from FDR does Stefan automatically end their subscription (if the person was a donator)?
« Last Edit: August 09, 2015, 03:55:30 PM by Mike_Lice »