Welcome! And thanks for dropping by. I write under the name QuestEon, and this site explores the emerging on-line community known as FreeDomain Radio (FDR). FreeDomain Radio is owned and operated by Stefan Molyneux. Is it a philosophy Web site? A community? A cult?
Or something more?
This blog explores the issues based on reason and evidence.
Different sections of the blog may have more appeal to you based on what led you here.
Read on for my advice on getting started.
Philosophy vs. Sociology
Stefan Molyneux is a philosopher. Most critiques of Stefan Molyneux focus strictly on his written or spoken philosophical work and that is exactly how it should be.
My interest and the interest of this site is sociological. While you will find lots of the above kind of analysis on this site, I focus on the growth and development of Molyneux’s “community,” including, but not limited to, deciding what to call it!
Who are you?
- A member of the press trying to unravel the mysteries of FDR? The Media section will show you what ground has been covered before. You can get the “big picture” by reading A brief introduction to FreeDomain Radio. After that, I suggest moving on to what I call my “Foundation” series: The Foundation of FDR, Prying Them Loose, and The Rape of Alice Miller.
- A “newbie” who wants to learn more about libertarianism and anarchocapitalism? Stefan Molyneux produces YouTube videos under the name “Stefbot.” They can actually be a wonderful introduction to the essential ideas of statism vs. anarchy, philosophy, and more. There is one major risk, however. Molyneux believes that if you cannot accept and commit to anarchocapitalism, it is because you were abused by your parents. (I have documented the essential essay proclaiming his belief here.)
I believe that is a preposterous theory. Some of his mistaken notions about relationships and family psychology creep into his podcasts and videos and I think it’s helpful to learn how to recognize them and how they influence his otherwise interesting observations on economics and the state.
Therefore, after you’ve listened to a few of his YouTube videos, be sure to check out the articles here under the Philosophy section, including On Truth: The Tyranny of Illusion and Molyneux’s Philosophy of (un)Forgiveness. You might be interested in the brief compendium of Molyneux criticism I’ve compiled in Critics and Criticism.
More important, there are many wonderful libertarian sites, some far more established and with greater participation than Molyneux’s FreeDomain Radio. One such example is the Mises Institute. The reason you hear about FDR more is because it is a profit center and therefore Molyneux advertises far more than other sites.
A very generous fellow who frequently posts under the name blackacidlizard has compiled a list of sites devoted to freedom that you can explore. I added a few. They are in no particular order.
Some of them focus on very heady philosophical issues; some on everyday freedom issues. Some are devoted to general libertarianism, some to libertarian anarchocapitalism, some to anarchy in general.
Some are run by people motivated by fun and fellowship.
Some are run by people who, as Alfred succinctly described to Bruce Wayne, “just want to watch the world burn.”
I do not endorse any of these sites, although there are some in here I like very much. At least I can guarantee that none of them are run by cult leaders.
Go. Run free. Feed your head.http://mises.org/
http://www.liberatingminds.com (closed to new posts but very interesting to read)
From time to time I will make a half-hearted attempt to update this list. No guarantees, though.
- A family member or friend who has been defooed and looking for answers? I am sorry, but you are probably at the beginning of what is going to be a difficult struggle. By the time your loved one defoos, he or she has already spent months or even over a year feeling encouraged to do so by the books, podcasts, Skype chats, on-line chats, and forum conversation at FDR. You probably feel as if this has just happened to you but it was actually in the works for quite some time. One thing this site can do for you is give you a basic introduction to FreeDomain Radio so you can begin to see what you’re up against.
One courageous parent took her defoo story public in 2008. You can find links to the articles that resulted from her decision to speak out under the Media section here. Molyneux responded to those accusations and I have analyzed them in the articles Molyneux’s response to the UK Guardian and Molyneux, the BBC, and the Truth.
In addition, you can explore the site at will to learn more about the beliefs your loved one has begun to accept. The three articles under “The Three Foundations of FDR” (main menu, under the Introduction tab) may be useful. Beyond information about FreeDomain Radio, I don’t have a lot of help to offer you, except to tell you that help is what you need. It appears to me that Stefan Molyneux expects you to be isolated and suffer through this on your own but I would not recommend it.
My advice is to find a way to connect with other defooed parents as well as experts on working with undue influence groups. For example, an undue influence expert joined Liberating Minds briefly to help some of the parents visiting there. His continuing mantra was to arm yourself with as much information about undue influence as possible.
I know of one parent who has created a site: www.molyneuxrevealed.com. He has his contact information on the site and perhaps that is a good place to start. I do wish you the very best of luck in your challenges ahead.
- A philosopher, anarchocapitalist, or libertarian looking for critical analysis of Stefan Molyneux’s work? There is some of that here—whatever I could find—but not as much as you might expect, given Molyneux’s claims for his elevated status in the pantheon of philosophers. Musicians often say that silences are as important as the notes you play. In this case, the dearth of thoughtful, critical analysis of Stefan Molyneux’s philosophical works is meaningful. Further thoughts on that and the list of critics can be found under the Critics and Criticism section.
You may also want to check out The Promise and Failure of UPB—the Inside Story, and Allison’s Last Card. The former is about the development and release of Molyneux’s philosophic masterwork: UPB—Universally Preferable Behavior. The latter is the story of the time some of Molyneux’s own forum members attacked the logic behind Real-Time Relationships (The Logic of Love).
One more note. I often encounter those who believe they can understand or critique Molyneux’s philosophy and simply ignore his views on psychology. I submit that such an exercise is not even possible. I challenge you to consider that—to Molyneux himself—philosophy and psychology are intrinsically, unequivocally, irrevocably, ineluctably intertwined. I do not know of any work he has produced in which his psychological beliefs do not play some kind of role—quite often at a foundational, fundamental level.
To say that you are going analyze his philosophical theories while ignoring his psychological theories sounds very much to me like you plan to study fish without knowing anything about water. I think that analogy is pretty close to the mark.
- Someone already very familiar with Stefan Molyneux and the “dark side” of FDR psychology? Start wherever you like. Have fun. Don’t break anything. You may find a few things that interest or amuse you or you didn’t know before. You can use this site as a tool when talking about FDR to people who don’t quite understand it yet and you don’t feel like explaining it all over again. There are articles for nearly every argument at this point, so link away. All kinds of linking, e-mailing and social networking buttons are the bottom of every article.
- Someone considering joining the FDR community? Join the FDR forum, if you like. You’ll find interesting and thoughtful people to talk to. Just keep your antenna up for the anti-family/anti-parent undercurrent. It is a constant stream and—for some—the longer one is exposed to it the more influential it can become. Some of the material on this site, especially the Foundation series (The Foundation of FDR, Prying Them Loose, and The Rape of Alice Miller) can help you be aware of it. Once you join the forum, you may feel encouraged to become more deeply involved in the “FDR community.” All I can say is proceed with caution!
If you really, truly believe you have family problems, I strongly recommend joint counseling for you and your parents/family with a qualified therapist. I’m not sure that I’d take family advice from some untrained guy on the internet whose only qualifications are a Masters Degree in history. But, then again, I’m crazy like that.
Finally, if you’d like to talk further with me or other fun and knowledgeable folks about FDR, philosophy, economics, and, well, just about anything else, please join us in The FDR Liberated Forum! I’d love to hear your point of view.