Author Topic: Requiem for Liberating Minds  (Read 30374 times)

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QuestEon

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Requiem for Liberating Minds
« on: January 24, 2012, 10:44:52 PM »
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I started this message board to replace a wonderful forum that died today.

In 2007, a guy who writes under the name Conrad started the forum Liberating Minds. He wasn't alone.

You see, Conrad was a regular member of the FreeDomain Radio forum. Like many FDR members at that time, he was very interested in delving into a wide range of topics, examining ideas from all sides. But, as I've documented on my site, that was the year Stefan Molyneux decided to make the donation-driven forum his sole source of revenue. And that's when everything changed.

The free-ranging discussions became less free. Disagreeing or finding fault with Molyneux's philosophy was frowned upon. It made sense--FreeDomain Radio wasn't just a forum anymore, it was a product. Now it was important for new visitors to find a "community" filled with people living happier lives just by following the philosophical wisdom of Stefan Molyneux.

Very soon, a number of members suddenly found themselves being asked to leave or decided to leave on their own. One of them was Conrad (find out why here!).

No doubt, Molyneux assumed that he would never hear from Conrad again, but that turned out not to be the case. Conrad created the forum known as Liberating Minds and he was soon joined by others. Although the forum has closed now, you can find much of the history of FreeDomain Radio in the conversations that survive, as hundreds of other banished or disillusioned FDR members made their way from FDR to LiMi over the years.

Some stopped by to deliver their FDR swan songs. Some came seeking to understand their FDR "experience." Some came to vent. Some came because they wanted to continue discussing Molyneux's ideas but in a forum that allowed for open-minded debate. Eventually, parents who had been separated from their children arrived. Often, the world-views of the parents and regular FDR members seemed to be universes apart! But somehow, eventually, peace managed to reign.

Although I had listened to Molyneux's podcasts, I never joined FDR. But something about the forum bothered me. And so I found my way to LiMi as well, asking the question Is FDR Cruel? Over 800 posts later, I'm still trying to answer that question.

From then until this month, Conrad steered the conversations with a gentle hand. Like so many others, he wanted to shake the FDR dust off his boots and move on, but he continued to manage the forum.

It wasn't easy. He endured an unending assault from FDR, as Molyneux convinced his followers that LiMi was a "hate site," a charge they echoed on other forums. Some FDR members who had been friends of Conrad now refused to speak with him. FDR members were forbidden to visit Liberating Minds. In fact, merely posting a message on LiMi was grounds for banning. If anyone closely associated with Liberating Minds posted on any other site, they would often find a negative follow-up post from an FDR member.

The whole thing came to a head in December 2008, when a parent finally went to the media about FDR's strange practice of "defooing." Molyneux appeared to be furious about being exposed and he seemed to believe the LiMi was behind it all. Using the same technique that Web advertisers use to tell where their browser "hits" are coming from, Molyneux began checking each visitor to FDR to see if they had clicked on an FDR link from Liberating Minds. If they had, he would ban their IP address so they would be unable to return to FDR.

And he didn't stop there. Molyneux went to Forumotion, the company that hosted LiMi, in an effort to get the entire forum shut down. (They didn't, of course.) Because Molyneux knew Conrad's real name, he then went to Conrad's employers and other associates in an attempt to tarnish his reputation.

Here's the ironic thing. From beginning to end, Molyneux's best defense in conversations at LiMi invariably came from Conrad himself. It was Conrad who would keep posters honest, often calling out an attack or criticism of Molyneux that wasn't or couldn't be backed by reason or evidence. It was Conrad who insisted the conversations remain level headed and productive. Conrad was my best critic, never hesitating to point out flawed logic and questionable conclusions in articles I posted on FDR Liberated.

In fact, it was Conrad who kept LiMi from becoming a hate site by making it inhospitable for those who only had hate to offer. And he did it all--not through rules, peer pressure, and bans--but kindness and humor.

As I write this, I don't how long Liberating Minds will remain as an archive of those who fled FDR from 2007 to 2012. If you get a chance, you should spend a few minutes searching the place. You might be surprised at what you find!

- Q.E.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2012, 04:47:54 PM by QuestEon »
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Arthur

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Re: Requiem for Liberating Minds
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2012, 09:13:57 AM »
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Beautiful summary Q.  I hope Conrad joins here so he can keep a toe in the water without having to do the moderation. 

Technodancer

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Re: Requiem for Liberating Minds
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2012, 02:12:32 PM »
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It seems like a really good move to create this forum as an alternative for those that are or once were interested in FDR and all that follows with that. Shame if so many quality threads at Liberating Minds gets deleted though, is there any way to copy it all to this forum?
"It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything." - Tyler Durden

QuestEon

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Re: Requiem for Liberating Minds
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2012, 03:18:42 PM »
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Beautiful summary Q.  I hope Conrad joins here so he can keep a toe in the water without having to do the moderation.
Thank you. Me too!
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QuestEon

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Re: Requiem for Liberating Minds
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2012, 03:35:09 PM »
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It seems like a really good move to create this forum as an alternative for those that are or once were interested in FDR and all that follows with that. Shame if so many quality threads at Liberating Minds gets deleted though, is there any way to copy it all to this forum?
I think there may be one aspect to the "fresh start" idea that's good. Molyneux worked very hard over the years to brand LiMi as a "hate site," a charge that was often parroted by his closest followers (who were forbidden to go there). Although that clearly wasn't true, sometimes a lie can race around the world twice while the truth is still lacing its shoes.

I wouldn't be surprised if LiMi stays up for some time even though the forum is technically closed. My guess is that the only thing the host (Forumotion) really cares about is getting hit counts from advertising. So, if people are still showing up there to read and research old threads, they will probably leave the site stand for some time.

As long as that is the case, I've opened a special message board dedicated to posts on LiMi that are worth a revisit.

Having said all that, I did try to capture the entire site. I don't think my software got the threads you had to be logged in to see, though. So, I don't know how much it missed but it certainly got most of it. At any rate, if LiMi ever goes down completely, I'll figure out what to do with that!
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Argent

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Re: Requiem for Liberating Minds
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2012, 11:50:25 PM »
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Aww, that was beautiful, and I especially liked this part:

Here's the ironic thing. From beginning to end, Molyneux's best defense in conversations at LiMi invariably came from Conrad himself. It was Conrad who would keep posters honest, often calling out an attack or criticism of Molyneux that wasn't or couldn't be backed by reason or evidence. It was Conrad who insisted the conversations remain level headed and productive. Conrad was my best critic, never hesitating to point out flawed logic and questionable conclusions in articles I posted on FDR Liberated.

In fact, it was Conrad who kept LiMi from becoming a hate site by making it inhospitable for those who only had hate to offer. And he did it all--not through rules, peer pressure, and bans--but kindness and humor.

Three cheers for Conrad!

venom93

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Re: Requiem for Liberating Minds
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2012, 01:53:25 AM »
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How did Molyneaux attempt to tarnish Conrad's reputation at his workplace?

Hajnal

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Re: Requiem for Liberating Minds
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2012, 03:00:03 AM »
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How did Molyneaux attempt to tarnish Conrad's reputation at his workplace?

By publishing Conrad's true name for all to see. :(

Patience

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Re: Requiem for Liberating Minds
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2012, 06:58:10 PM »
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Quote from: venom93 on November 15, 2012, 01:53:25 AM
How did Molyneaux attempt to tarnish Conrad's reputation at his workplace?

It wasn't easy. He endured an unending assault from FDR, as Molyneux convinced his followers that LiMi was a "hate site," a charge they echoed on other forums. Some FDR members who had been friends of Conrad now refused to speak with him. FDR members were forbidden to visit Liberating Minds. In fact, merely posting a message on LiMi was grounds for banning. If anyone closely associated with Liberating Minds posted on any other site, they would often find a negative follow-up post from an FDR member.
How did Molyneaux attempt to tarnish Conrad's reputation at his workplace?
The whole thing came to a head in December 2008, when a parent finally went to the media about FDR's strange practice of "defooing." Molyneux appeared to be furious about being exposed and he seemed to believe the LiMi was behind it all. Using the same technique that Web advertisers use to tell where their browser "hits" are coming from, Molyneux began checking each visitor to FDR to see if they had clicked on an FDR link from Liberating Minds. If they had, he would ban their IP address so they would be unable to return to FDR.

And he didn't stop there. Molyneux went to Forumotion, the company that hosted LiMi, in an effort to get the entire forum shut down. (They didn't, of course.) Because Molyneux knew Conrad's real name, he then went to Conrad's employers and other associates in an attempt to tarnish his reputation.


venom93

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Re: Requiem for Liberating Minds
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2012, 03:30:37 PM »
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While I appreciate the responses to my question (I honestly do), the key word was workplace . I find it extremely disturbing that Molyneaux would attack someone at their workplace, and I am curious about what specifically he did.

Conrad

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Re: Requiem for Liberating Minds
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2012, 03:37:42 PM »
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While I appreciate the responses to my question (I honestly do), the key word was workplace . I find it extremely disturbing that Molyneaux would attack someone at their workplace, and I am curious about what specifically he did.
well, it actually was not Molyneux himself who contacted my employer, but one of his then-followers (who has since become, I think, much more skeptical of Molyneux) . I know of at least one person whose employer was contacted directly and extensively by Molyneux about the person's posts on LiberatingMinds, but I am not allowed to give any details about that (name, employer's name, what Molyneux wrote or aksed them or demanded from them, etc.)

venom93

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Re: Requiem for Liberating Minds
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2012, 08:09:23 PM »
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While I appreciate the responses to my question (I honestly do), the key word was workplace . I find it extremely disturbing that Molyneaux would attack someone at their workplace, and I am curious about what specifically he did.
well, it actually was not Molyneux himself who contacted my employer, but one of his then-followers (who has since become, I think, much more skeptical of Molyneux) . I know of at least one person whose employer was contacted directly and extensively by Molyneux about the person's posts on LiberatingMinds, but I am not allowed to give any details about that (name, employer's name, what Molyneux wrote or aksed them or demanded from them, etc.)

That is disturbing. Thanks for the reply.

HansKarlsson

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Re: Requiem for Liberating Minds
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2012, 01:52:33 AM »
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I wouldn't be afraid of a cult leader at any point, but of his followers. Cult leaders don't put themselves in dangerous positions, their dogs do.

While I appreciate the responses to my question (I honestly do), the key word was workplace . I find it extremely disturbing that Molyneaux would attack someone at their workplace, and I am curious about what specifically he did.
well, it actually was not Molyneux himself who contacted my employer, but one of his then-followers (who has since become, I think, much more skeptical of Molyneux)
Conrad, why don't you say who's the follower who disturbed you?
"Everything that's rich and deep is crap."
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Hajnal

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Re: Requiem for Liberating Minds
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2012, 02:55:25 AM »
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I wouldn't be afraid of a cult leader at any point, but of his followers. Cult leaders don't put themselves in dangerous positions, their dogs do.

While I appreciate the responses to my question (I honestly do), the key word was workplace . I find it extremely disturbing that Molyneaux would attack someone at their workplace, and I am curious about what specifically he did.
well, it actually was not Molyneux himself who contacted my employer, but one of his then-followers (who has since become, I think, much more skeptical of Molyneux)
Conrad, why don't you say who's the follower who disturbed you?

FWIW I hope he wouldn't. An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind

Patience

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Re: Requiem for Liberating Minds
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2012, 02:58:55 AM »
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I wouldn't be afraid of a cult leader at any point, but of his followers. Cult leaders don't put themselves in dangerous positions, their dogs do.

While I appreciate the responses to my question (I honestly do), the key word was workplace . I find it extremely disturbing that Molyneaux would attack someone at their workplace, and I am curious about what specifically he did.
well, it actually was not Molyneux himself who contacted my employer, but one of his then-followers (who has since become, I think, much more skeptical of Molyneux)
Conrad, why don't you say who's the follower who disturbed you?
Maybe because
Quote
Cult leaders don't put themselves in dangerous positions, their dogs do.
Or maybe because
Quote
one of his then-followers (who has since become, I think, much more skeptical of Molyneux)

Or maybe because he has chosen not to identify the follower.

Or maybe because you didn't say "please" nicely!