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 Molyneux Cult Watch

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Nemo

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PostSubject: Re: Molyneux Cult Watch   Fri Dec 19, 2008 3:15 pm

And in the Newser:


Online 'Pied Piper' Urges Followers to Ditch Families

A libertarian web philosopher who counsels converts to cut off contact with their families is being accused of operating a cult, the Toronto Globe & Mail reports. Stefan Molyneux preaches through his Freedomain Radio site that the parent-child relationship is inherently abusive and encourages troubled young people to break away. Aggrieved parents from Britain to Tennessee report getting form letters from their children severing contact. Molyneux says he knows of at least 20 who have done so.

Critics, including former Freedomain members, say Molyneux's Toronto-based operation has all the hallmarks of a cult and accuse him of exploiting vulnerable people. The philosopher likens his interference to helping out strangers who have fallen in the street. Molyneux makes a living from followers' subscriptions to his podcasts, but he plans to reduce the amount of time he spends online, he tells the Globe & Mail—his wife is expecting their first child.

LNK

====================

Some of the wording in the second paragraph is familiar...
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PostSubject: Re: Molyneux Cult Watch   Fri Dec 19, 2008 4:10 pm

By gosh... The Pied Piper Of Mississauga, one Stefan Molyneux, is really making a name for himself, isn't he...


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PostSubject: Re: Molyneux Cult Watch   Sat Dec 20, 2008 3:02 pm

Stefan's heroes growing up were none other than these two men.



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PostSubject: Re: Molyneux Cult Watch   Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:12 pm

A BBC Radio 4 interview about Tom and FDR


BBC Radio 4 programme Saturday Live on 20/12/08 includes an interview about a son who left home and broke off all contact with his family after joining an internet cult.

The programme will be available online for 7 days.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/saturdaylive/saturdaylive_20081220.shtml (RealPlayer only?)

or try this link:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00g1rml/Saturday_Live_20_12_2008

Click on link to listen to this programme in full. The interview starts about 19 minutes into the programme.

Saturday Live - Topical Stories
20 December :: Cult
Barbara Weed's son cut himself off from the family after getting involved in an online community.



Speak
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PostSubject: Re: Molyneux Cult Watch   Sun Dec 28, 2008 3:42 pm

@doingthisinsteadofwork wrote:
Stefan's heroes growing up were none other than these two men.

I can understand using Charles Manson to present evil, but David Koresh? DK was harmless. Here are a couple of interesting videos about the Wako Massacre.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4298137966377572665&hl=en
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1755692679103175934&hl=en

It's a 2 part series. Worth watching.

-Dave
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PostSubject: Re: Molyneux Cult Watch   Sun Dec 28, 2008 4:03 pm

Great to have you here Dash! :cheers:

I saw the thread at FleeDomain Radio where you bravely broached the cult issue, which Stef promptly confirmed by ex-communicating you. Did you know that in that thread, "bearded spock" was banned also?
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PostSubject: Re: Molyneux Cult Watch   Sun Dec 28, 2008 4:14 pm

Yeah dash, what took you so long anyway?!


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PostSubject: My Brief Experience with Stefan part 1   Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:02 pm

I happened upon a YouTube video of Stefan's, related to his whole Statism Is Dead series. Now, I'm a big fan of that message, I loved the whole series. I'm so disillusioned with the corrupt US empire that I'll try anything. Anarchy? Sign me up. I don't take a lot of convincing.

The intricacy of SM's verbiage, the effort at mathematical rigour, the underlying thesis -- these are all fascinating. It's clear this fellow is certainly intelligent. I'm drawn to such people. So my policy is to do what I can to interact with them directly. Perhaps introduce them to some of the deep issues I myself am thinking about. Maybe I can get them hooked on the same issues, and their intelligence can be beneficial. It's an attempt to harness their brainpower towards my ends. Yes, completely selfish. But the things I'm interested in are important for everyone anyway.

So after getting hooked on SM's message (Statism is dead, initiation of force is unethical, the state as a monopoly on the initiation of force is a great evil, etc), I start a campaign of attracting SM's attention, trying to open up a dialogue. I also posted an entry on my own blog (http://dashxdr.blogspot.com) telling everyone they ought to look at SM's videos. I've since deleted the entry, SM doesn't need any publicity from me, I figure. And him being sort of an enigma (covered below) makes me want to be a bit cautious. If I inspire trust in my own readers, and I encourage people to have trust in Stefan Molyneux, and then I find out Stefan is...perhaps not exactly what I had originally thought...well best to remove my endorsement. I don't need to change it to something negative. Just remove it completely.

This post is an effort to share my experiences with Stefan & his arena. I figure if I'm going to write something at all, I ought to write it now while the details are still fresh in my mind.

So anyway I sent some emails to Stefan, I asked for him to set up an account on FreedomainRadio's forums area (I was the "dash" user for a few days, until Stefan deleted the account yesterday). Stefan was busy with the birth of his daughter, so I think he got behind in maintenance. It took a few days for him to create the dash account.

In the emails I sent Stefan I shared some of my own experiences, the ones that related to things he's brought up in his podcasts and writings. That's the kind of person I am. When listening to his podcasts or reading his material, I relate what he's saying to things I've experienced. So if I happen to agree, I'll have an urge to lend my own experiences in support of what he's trying to convey. So I wrote up some of them in the emails. Note I'm 42, just like Stefan. I'm a bit more than a month older. I've got a wife + kids. Stefan just had his first kid. So I'm not a 20-something having just entered adulthood. I've been around. I'm entitled to my very own philosophical views in life, having lived quite a bit myself.

Stefan didn't respond to any of my emails, not directly. No problem there, I'm sure the fellow is swamped with fans who all want a piece of his time. I certainly don't expect any personal attention from Stefan, but there is no harm in making a play for it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. My goal in sharing my own experiences and thoughts was to convey to Stefan that, "Here is a fellow who is on almost exactly the same page as I am, I don't have to waste a lot of energy bringing him up to speed. So perhaps interacting with this fellow will be useful to me. Maybe he can help me sharpen my own skillset. His insights might be different from mine. He might see weaknesses in my material that I'm blind to."

That was the concept I was hoping Stefan would arrive at. I believe my attempts at helping him reach that conclusion failed miserably. The reasons for failure? I'm not sure. Maybe I was just too forward too fast. Or perhaps Stefan isn't really all he claims to be. Or maybe he is just under a lot of pressure and is really really busy and was simply not in a position to deal with the prospect I represented. Right idea -- wrong time. For whatever reason, the interaction I had hoped to fostor never materialized. Life goes on!

Anyway after Stefan set up the dash account over there, I logged onto the FDR site and posted a few messages. I am a bit critical of Stefan's whole UPB thesis. I read 70 pages of the book (about 50%), and I found some fundamental flaws in his effort at a mathematically rigourous proof of the validity of UPB. I pointed details on the flaws. What I found was undeniable. The gist is I like where Stefan is trying to go, but the route he gets there appears to be built on sand. A mathematician would rip his "proofs" apart. There are some that are very weak indeed, for example his logical proof that "Rape is good" is an invalid statement under the UPB system. I need not go into the details of my criticism, unless Stefan deletes the post you can find what I wrote over on the FDR site in the Philosophy section, I think it's the subject "Central Viability of UPB".

Stefan chose not to defend UPB. He didn't post any response at all. And the only response I got from other FDR members was a demand that I go read the whole UPB book. Now, I had posted some criticisms of UPB after I heard a few of Stefan's podcasts on the subject, but I hadn't read the whole UPB book. I was told, "Read the book, if you have any questions then, we'll talk with you," or words to that effect. OK, I read pretty quickly, so I download the PDF of his UPB file, and get through 70 pages of it. Meanwhile I'm building up a file of notes, commenting on the book as I go along. That file became the basis of a later post to the FDR forum. Now, since I explicitly state I've read some of the book and now here are my thoughts, I think that qualifies me as having an opinion, and I've earned the right to post criticisms of the UPB thesis.

Still, no responses. I can imagine a response where someone might say, "All your crtiticisms have already been found, you have introduced nothing new at all, so therefore there is no point in debating with you. It would just be rehash. Go read the archives of this forum and you'll find all the responses we would have written."

But I got no responses at all. The way I look at is, suppose you get a copy of a book. Your copy is the latest published edition -- there is no newer edition. Suppose the book is full of misspelled words. Just chock full of them! So you think you'll do the author a favor and you painstakingly list all the incorrect words by page and line number. Very useful, eh? So the next edition will be flawless, or at least certainly better. More perfect.

So after doing that and sending it off to the author, he responds, "Nothing you've written is unknown. In fact your list was covered completely 2 editions back. Don't waste my time!" Now, no one actually responded this way. I'm speaking hypothetically here. I _know_ I never got any response to the criticisms (valid ones at that) I wrote up about UPB. And I'm trying to guess as to the reasoning. Had I received a response such as the one I quoted, my response would have been obvious. "Ok, so if you knew these flaws I painstakingly listed are in the book, why didn't you fix them in a previous edition? Why do you keep putting new editions of the book out with those flaws?"

You see that since the most recent copy of the book has flaws in it, there can be no question that I'm not in the right having taken the effort to point out flaws. Claiming the flaws have already been exposed is no answer. The criticisms are not negated through debate about them. The way to negate the criticisms is to fix the book. Then the criticisms will cease. Any refutation of the criticisms of a book must either invalidate the criticism (which means the book doesn't need to be fixed), or it has to admit the criticism is valid, in which case the book needs to be fixed. And after the fix, that particular criticism won't come up again.

This was my intention -- the correct response I outline above is what I hoped would happen. Instead, I got resounding silence. Now again Stefan has had a lot going on in his life. An enormous amount of work has gone into producing all his various books and podcasts and writings. And he's already busy with all the complexities of his life, including the birth of his daughter. Not a good time to get drawn into debate! And moreover, the criticisms I introduced are fundamental, very deep. It's like I'm saying his whole UPB thesis is built on sand. I offered another approach that I believe is mathematically sound. Meaning if he takes this other approach he can succeed at something and it would withstand a rigourous mathematical examination. He can achieve the same victory, however it must be built on top of a slightly different foundation. Reworking the book would require a lot of work, however.

continued...
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PostSubject: Re: Molyneux Cult Watch   Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:03 pm

Part 2:

So someone pointing out fundamental flaws in a work someone put his blood and sweat into won't be especially welcome all the time. Not the usual, "Right on, Brother!" that is perhaps the most common response from Stefan's enthusiasts. Perhaps Stefan read my criticisms and instantly (he himself references the book, "Blink" by some author, talking about how good + fast the human brain is at arriving at the correct analysis of the situation). realized that they were valid, and that if they're valid his whole thesis is going to collapse, and that the effort of fixing it is going to be enormous. Ugh!!! So much work. Best to completely reject the messenger.

Aha! This is sounding a lot like Stefan's own description of what goes on in the minds of the religiously faithful when you (a rational non-religious person) start to question their core beliefs. Stefan claims they instantly realize you are right (Blink reference again) and that the repercussions of that realization imply they've been living a lie, and that to live the Truth they'd have to give up each and every advantage they've enjoyed up until that point having gone along with the lie. Stefan says they hate you for presenting them with the Truth.

My personal experience with Stefan suggests that Stefan instantly hated me for presenting him with the truth. The truth that at least one of his works (UPB) is not built on a strong foundation, and contains fundamental flaws.

Anyway more on my personal experiences with interaction with Stefan + his arena. I entered the FDR chat room on two sessions. In the first one I was just feeling it out. I was posting a lot about machine intelligence, and I was critical of a fellow named Eliezar Yudkowski, and some enthusiast of his was disagreeing with me. This person's method of discourse was particularly offensive + inflammatory. Sarcasm, personal insults, outrage that I could disagree with such a renowned expert as Eliezar Yudkowski! But that's what I do. I instinctively mistrust and question the so-called experts. I don't necessarily go along with what the majority believes. The majority is not always right!

So that experience left a bad taste in my mouth. Ugh, maybe this FDR forum is not peopled by open minded people. Perhaps they're only open minded in one realm (open to the idea of a stateless society, IE Anarchy). Yet when you examine their faith-based beliefs in _other_ areas, they respond in typical fashion -- shoot the messenger. I find this behavior tiring to say the least, and that is usually a signal it's time to move on. Nothing to see here. Expending effort to convince the devout that their beliefs are wrong...well it's about as effective as arguing with a forest fire.

So I posted some more comments on the FDR forums, this time I'm sort of insulting the entire FDR community. Perhaps Stefan is the only one with any rational capacity, and his followers are of a different sort. The world is full of people who seem to be afraid of thinking for themselves. Perhaps they've never done it before. Perhaps they've lost the ability. These people, perhaps, get into the habit of blindly following Authority. A lot of these people might have inescapably come to the conclusion that Authority (in the form of the US government, American Media, Accepted Experts in various fields) is lying. Perhaps they themselves have suffered some catastrophe. Job loss. Imprisonment for harmless drug offenses. Whatever. They've become non-believers in the largest authority, the US government. Yet at the same time, this doesn't automatically mean they are capable of thinking for themselves.

Enter Stefan Molyneux. He offers an alternative. "You are right to distrust the State. It's an evil! Here's a better way!" So they flock to his banner. They don't do so because they've rationally examined his arguments and find them compelling. They merely like him as an alternative to the Status Quo. They're still blind followers of Authority. Only they've made a choice to blindly follow a different Authority.

I present this possibility because I received no rational response to my criticisms of Stefan's works on the forum. Not by Stefan, but neither by any of the other members of the community. Strange, that! So I develop a theory that the people on the FDR forums might just be blind followers, incapable of defending Stefan's position. Stefan has all the power, they are just followers. When a criticism of their Fearless Leader appears, they simply step aside and let their Fearless Leader rip the interloper apart. Only Stefan didn't respond at all. This is all theory, mind you.

Stefan did respond to one of my posts, the one where I sort of said disparaging things about the FDR community. He addressed the approach I was taking. The gist of his post was, "Whatever you're trying to accomplish, I don't think it will be very effective if you start out by insulting the very people you're trying to convince."

But he didn't logically address any of my points.

I posted a response where I offered some justification for my disparaging remarks -- I was a bit disillusioned after having engaged in the chat room the first time.

Anyway a few days go by, and one evening I log onto the FDR text chat room again. Some people are discussing something. I immediately hijack the conversation and begin trying to discuss some deep issues with whoever happens to be there. I think there were multiple subjects going on. We were discussing raising children (I've experienced it firsthand, the people I was talking with were only theorists). We were also discussing the reasons behind why Free Will vs Determinism is important, it's something I've never understood and I wanted someone who knew the answer to explain why it has been debated for thousands of years.

Stefan Molyneux, the man himself, entered the chat room. A revered silence descends, everyone quickly welcoming Stefan to the chat room. During live chat rooms people come and go. No single person who enters triggers a universal response from all the people already there welcoming that person -- except for Stefan himself. I might have been the only dissenter. I vaguely recall I didn't bother welcoming Stefan to his own chat room. I figured enough _other_ people had already done it so what's the point. He got the message.

Perhaps Stefan was put off by my not showering him with my own welcomes. I don't know. The subject of his newborn daughter came up. Most people immediately ask him how his new parenthood is going. I didn't. I've had kids. Been there, done that. I don't expect any new insights about parenthood to come from Stefan Molyneux's first week as a father. So I'm not especially interested in what he has to say about that. However I certainly respect the interest the other chat members had, seeing as they had never actually had children of their own. No, when the subject of Stefan's daughter came up, I posted a remark that I had wanted to tell Stefan. So I wouldn't forget it, I took the opportunity right then to write it. I told Stefan that very young babies, when they start on solid foods, choke on the food all the time. So you've got to keep an eye on them. When they choke on food (their throat is the diameter of a pencil or something) you pat 'em on the back and that can help them dislodge the blockage. Pretty important information, eh? My wife and I found out about the choking only from firsthand experience. Any parenting book might have a few sentences out of 10's of thousands that mention choking. Of all the helpful advice directed at newborn parents, the one that might have been the most useful could be, "Careful! Babies choke on food all the time!"

But they don't present it like that. It's not presented in glaring capitals. It's like a car operator's manual. 50 pages of information. Yes it's all useful. But buried in one small paragraph on some obscure page might be a cautionary note, "By the way, if you ever try to turn the starter while you're in gear, the car will explode, killing everyone inside. So don't do that." WAIT A MINUTE! This is a pretty big thing to warn people against.

So anyway I felt since I had lived through the baby-choking-danger firsthand, I figured I'd better tell Stefan about it. Great guy I am, right? Worrying about my fellow man, or my fellow man's newborn daughter. Am I congratulated for my concern? Well, Stefan did say, "Thanks!". But it was a thanks in name only.

Later when the portion of the conversation where I was subjected to Stefan's psychological analysis arrived, he used the fact that I didn't ask him about his daughter like everyone else as evidence that I was never accepted by my parents. It proved the thesis he had built up.

Long story short, Stefan had observed my interaction in the chat room, seen the deluge of my writings (I type _very_ quickly), he formed an opinion that I was a talk-only entity. Only capable of spewing words out. I don't care about my listeners, what they're feeling, what they're thinking, how they're responding to my words. He then makes a connection that this is solid evidence my parents rejected me.

Continues...
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PostSubject: Re: Molyneux Cult Watch   Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:04 pm

Part 3:

Aha! Myself. A subject I'm endlessly fascinated by. I welcome other people digging into my psyche. It happens so, so rarely. I've had to work everything out by myself. So the prospect that someone else can look at how I'm acting and can offer insights into my personality that will be helpful to me, yet which I'm blind to myself -- bring it on! I couldn't express my desire for this constructive feedback fast enough. Don't worry about my feelings! I can take it.

Stefan's thesis was that my parents didn't accept me, so I respond in kind by not accepting other people. I don't care what they have to say, I don't even see them as people. And the fact that I never bothered to ask people what they were feeling was all the evidence he needed to make his thesis.

Now, I disagreed with his theory, but I welcome his input. So I go along with it, hoping to perhaps dig out some truth in what he's saying, give my feedback to him, and he'll develop his theory further. Stefan at one point asks the other members of the chat room whether they felt I was making them uncomfortable. I believe everyone who responded agreed with Stefan's assertion. Except one fellow, who disagreed.

This fellow, whose response I only really understood later when I reviewed a log I had saved of the chat session, it turned out was sarcastically criticising Stefan's whole argument. He basically stated that there was nothing at all wrong with how I had been acting in the chat room. We all had been engaged in a fascinating discussion, everyone was enjoying it. I was one among many. Stefan appears, tells the class (his words) that I was making everyone uncomfortable, and everyone dutifully responded, "Yes, teacher!" And Stefan comes up with a theory that I act this way because my parents didn't accept me. This guy says something like it's amazing. Such brilliant empathy (shown by Stefan). It's incredible. It's insane! He clearly disagreed with Stefan's ability, on such scant evidence, to invent a thesis that I was behaving in an incorrect manner, and that the reason I was doing so was because I was not accepted by my parents.

Stefan kicked him off the chat room. I didn't notice it at the time. The guy just vanished.

Stefan continued his analysis. I go along with it, encouraging it. I was hoping for some deep insight. I never turned off my critical thinking. I never automatically assumed Stefan was correct. He advised that I should take time to ask things of the people I'm talking to. Things like, "How do you feel about what I just said? Are you comfortable, uncomfortable? I'm really wondering." Hmmm. Sounds harmless. Maybe he's right. So I'll give it a try.

He also said I should read his book RTR -- The meaning of Love. Or some title like that. RTR = Real Time Relationships. I said I would read it, and I indeed downloaded the pdf file while I was still in the chat room.

Stefan eventually had to go because his daughter woke up and needed attention. I thanked him for his efforts at giving me insight into my personality. Everyone wished him well.

I stuck around the chat room. Other people did as well. Some newcomer came in, who had arrived after Stefan left. This person didn't know any of the history.

So I'm in this chat room still and I decide, right then, to attempt to practice Stefan's advice. So a conversation got going, and I was attempting to more than usual turn the conversation back to the other person, find out what they felt about stuff, what was going on in their life. So I'm not always the subject of the conversation, me or my own theories.

So the conversation went back and forth. Me and this newcomer did the bulk of the talking. Other people on the chatroom appeared to be sticking around, mostly listening. The chat was enjoyable. At some point it felt right to mention, in passing, about a traumatic experience I had had. Big mistake! People's curiosity was peaked. They obviously wanted more details. So I reluctantly shared some. My intent was to convey that I've got a rich set of experiences. I've been around. I've lived life, I haven't simply read about it. As such, perhaps, when I make a claim, it might carry a bit more weight than someone who hasn't actually lived very much and is only expressing their theories.

Little by little that particular topic died down. Some people, obvious long-term members of the FDR community, at one point left in horror the chatroom. They were put off to my reaction to the trauma I had experienced. I had indicated I had forgiven the people that had caused the trauma, and that seemed to be unacceptable to them. That I was ethically in the wrong for having been able to get past the trauma and move on with my life. They left in a huff.

This chat continued into the wee hours of the morning. I wanted to get offline earlier and go to bed, but the chat was interesting and I didn't want to be rude. Finally an opportunity to call it a day came up, and the chat ended.

So I went to bed, and when I woke up the next day I had worked out the flaws in Stefan's whole thesis and line of reasoning. So while it was fresh in my mind I wanted to write it up. I went online, logged into FDR, and began composing my thoughts in an online email to Stefan. When I finished and hit, "Send" I got an error. Luckily I had cut + pasted the letter into another window, so nothing was lost. Eventually I had to go over to my gmail account and send it via normal email to Stefan.

Only when I logged into gmail, I found a letter from Stefan himself waiting for me. It seems some of the chat room participants had talked to Stefan about the chat, and had told him about the trauma I had experienced. Stefan was horrified! He said he sympathized with me very much, but the severity of the trauma was too great for the FDR community. So he was deleting my account. He said he thought I should go into therapy for at least 6 months in order to deal with the trauma. He wished me well, and said I should contact him after I had done the 6 months of therapy, he was interested in how it would go.

What an overreaction. First of all the experience I had shared occured in 1995, 13 years ago and change. It's all water under the bridge. And as traumatic experiences go, it's pretty tame. It's not like your cherished uncle raping you. Nothing like that. Yes, a bit of violence was involved. But in the grand scheme of things it just wasn't that big a deal. No lasting physical harm was done, and I believe I'm over the trauma of the experience. Indeed it took only several months to get past it at the time. Life goes on. Strange things happen. Ok, but don't live your life shell shocked and dwelling on the negatives. Accept that bad stuff occurs, and try to learn from it, and get back to what's important.

Only Stefan didn't see it that way. To his thinking, evidently, the severity of the experience disqualifies me from membership in his community. How odd, eh?

So I did send a few emails to him, including the one I had composed where I disagreed with his thesis about my parents not accepting me. I encouraged him to review the chat log himself, and that his decision seemed to be excessive. Deleting my account because I had the nerve to talk about a past personal experience? I don't know, the reaction does seem very inappropriate even now.

continues...
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PostSubject: Re: Molyneux Cult Watch   Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:04 pm

Part 4 of 4.

But there is another explanation. Perhaps from Stefan's point of view I was a trouble maker. It was clear I didn't blindly follow his assertions. Rather, I disagreed with some of his work! And I offered rational arguments for my own assertions. Maybe Stefan doesn't want people like that in his forums. Maybe he _is_ a cult leader wannabe. Maybe he has gotten drunk with the worship of his mostly 20-something waifs who are, often, damaged individuals in need of _someone_ to make the horrors of their life make sense. Stefan who (it has been said, and I myself can offer supporting evidence for) directs all blame for a person's flaws onto failure of their parents, and his solution is always to DeFOO -- disconnect from your family of origin.

I don't know. Stefan never responded to any of my emails directly. He seems to have made a completely arbitrary decision and changing his mind, or perhaps even the possibility of changing his mind, is not an option. In one email I sent I mentioned that perhaps even disabling my account would serve no purpose, as I could simply register as a fake individual (create a sock puppet) and hope he never figured it out. That's simply stating a fact. Banning the account I set up with my real identity does not prevent me from using devious means to create a completely ficticious online identity and join his forums that way. My argument was wouldn't it be better to reinstate my account with my own identity -- at least in that instance there won't be any mystery who is doing the posting.

Just suggesting that I might create such a sock-puppet account didn't set well with Stefan. He responded with "I don't appreciate being threatened. Please don't contact me anymore." What threat? The whole thing doesn't make much sense to me. Stefan seems to be violently overreacting to the situation. But, c'est la vie. Life goes on.

Now after I was summarily ejected from the FDR community by Stefan, I had a thought to maybe send an email to the person I had chatted with. So I did a google search to find that person, perhaps their login name was the same name they had used elsewhere in some other community. Who knows what google will turn up?

Well it turned up this very site, a counter-Molyneux site evidently filled with other FDR rejects. People who have been ejected from the FDR community, people who object to Stefan's behaviour. I found a posting that included the online name of the person I was chatting with.

So I examine this thread, find people have invested a lot of effort in condemning Stefan and in doctoring up photos to portray Stefan as a liar, a hypocrite, as evil incarnate.

Now although I might be irritated at how Stefan has behaved in the context of my own interaction with him, I certainly don't intend to devote my life to being an anti-FDR or anti-Molyneux activist. What's the point? Far better things to invest my time in. Far more important ones.

One thing I've concluded. It is important to divorce the Molyneux message from the Molyneux personage. Sometimes flawed people can do great works. Stefan, in my opinion, has a rich set of his own personal flaws. If you, like me, are intrigued by his works, and you, like me, wish to actually interact with The Man Himself, my advice to you is...don't bother. You will probably either end up disappointed (if you have the capacity for rational thought and argument). Or far more dangerous, you might get ensnared into his online cult.

Yes, I believe the community Stefan appears to be creating has all the signs of being a cult. The whole thing just fits too well. 20-somethings, youth, disillusioned with the world they inhabit, wanting someone to make it make sense. Young people before they've really lived life. They might flock in droves to a forceful personality like Stefan, one who claims to have the fundamental answers to the things they've been wondering about. And Stefan didn't want someone like me, someone on par with his own age, and perhaps someone with an even more varied life experience to tap into than he has had. Someone who can think for himself and actually examine his works with a critical eye. If he does want to create a cult (after all he is supported by the donations of his enthusiasts), someone like myself not blindly accepting everything he says would be seen as a threat to his sovereignty over his community.

Who knows, though? All I can offer are theories. I'm not going to dwell on Stefan Molyneux. I've unsubscribed on YouTube to his channel there. I've removed the shortcut in my links page that leads to FDR. I won't be visiting the FDR site, nor indeed even this site (at least not for too much longer). But I did want to make a final effort to share some details of my experiences with Stefan Molyneux.

All the events described here occured over perhaps a 3 week period. Blindingly fast. There is a part in James Clavell's book, "Shogun" (a book I love, by the way) where the subject of some guy who was called a Shogun of the 9 days, or something like that. From the amassing of troops to the mass sepuku (ritual suicide) was only 9 days. Not long for a revolutionary struggle to play out. I was able to discern some deep insights about Stefan Molyneux and it only took 3 weeks to form my conclusions. Not bad, when it comes right down to it.

So my search continues for an online community that is truly open and populated by rational free thinking individuals. FDR 'aint it, that's for sure.

Hope this posting has helped in some way. My very best wishes to everyone.

-Dave
PS A thought occured to me. I think there is a possibility that Stefen Molyneux has his own sock puppets in his own chat room and forums. Maybe he wants to be able to participate in his own forums, but not be himself! I thought maybe there was a chance that the Mr. C identity might have actually been Stefen Molyneux's sock puppet. The two didn't seem to interact much. Like Clark Kent and Superman -- how come you never see them together? And Mr. C's avatar image isn't of a real person -- more evidence. Anyway I really have no idea. But there is a distinct possibility that Stefen Molyneux has some other sock puppet identity. One can only speculate as to which entities it might be.
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PostSubject: Re: Molyneux Cult Watch   Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:09 pm

@Nemo wrote:
Great to have you here Dash! :cheers:

I saw the thread at FleeDomain Radio where you bravely broached the cult issue, which Stef promptly confirmed by ex-communicating you. Did you know that in that thread, "bearded spock" was banned also?

I didn't know that.

I won't be visiting FDR anymore, no point in reading it if I can't participate! My account was entirely deleted.

I'd interact with Stefan Molyneux again, but the ball's in his court. I suspect I'll never hear from him.

-Dave
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PostSubject: Re: Molyneux Cult Watch   Sun Dec 28, 2008 7:07 pm

Dash, we're pretty familiar with your story and have been anticipating you being bounced out, after pretty much, your very first post. Having seen this type of situation develop countless times, your end result, could be nothing but...

I agree with just about everything you wrote (and which was plenty), though just to mention, we here are not primarily focused on fdr or the Molyneux clown that runs it, in fact there's only one primary thread re that topic on the whole forum. The blog and the Plaza are just minor sidelines...

Actually, what I'd like to know is, how the hell do you achieve typing speed, at the speed of sound???

Awesome!
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PostSubject: Re: Molyneux Cult Watch   Sun Dec 28, 2008 7:13 pm

@CovOps wrote:
Dash, we're pretty familiar with your story and have been anticipating you being bounced out, after pretty much, your very first post. Having seen this type of situation develop countless times, your end result, could be nothing but...

I agree with just about everything you wrote (and which was plenty), though just to mention, we here are not primarily focused on fdr or the Molyneux clown that runs it, in fact there's only one primary thread re that topic on the whole forum. The blog and the Plaza are just minor sidelines...

Actually, what I'd like to know is, how the hell do you achieve typing speed, at the speed of sound???

Awesome!

Yes, this forum does seem to be quite varied. Perhaps I should have said I wouldn't spend much more time reading this particular thread. I'll snoop about, maybe there is something that will draw me in here.

Typing speed? Just 32 years of practice. 1976 my parents bought a personal computer. I'm a 2 fingered typist as well. I'm a computer programmer by profession anyway.

-Dave
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PostSubject: Re: Molyneux Cult Watch   Sun Dec 28, 2008 7:21 pm

Well, you might want to start a new thread and list your major interests/passions and we can take it from there...
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PostSubject: Re: Molyneux Cult Watch   Sun Dec 28, 2008 8:11 pm

dash, you are now a member of the Freedomainers (Cult) Excommunicated (Or Otherwise) Google map.
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PostSubject: Re: Molyneux Cult Watch   Mon Dec 29, 2008 12:19 am

@Nemo wrote:
dash, you are now a member of the Freedomainers (Cult) Excommunicated (Or Otherwise) Google map.

Cool!

You know, both you and CovOps remarked on how long my post was. It's no longer than it needed to be to tell the story. I don't get this focus on everything having to fit into a 10 second sound bite...

-Dave
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PostSubject: Stefan Molyneux on Sky News... Not Good!   Mon Dec 29, 2008 7:38 am

Stefan Molyneux's Website 'Led Teen To Quit Family'

A mother has warned about a controversial website that encourages young people to cut themselves off from their families.

Free Domain Radio founder Stefan Molyneux declined to be interviewed

Barbara Weed still has no idea when her son Tom signed up to Free Domain Radio, a controversial online community based in Canada.

But before she had even heard of the site it had become the focus of his life.

In the summer, midway through his A-levels, Tom left a note to say he was staying with a friend.

He went to school as normal to finish his exams and did sufficiently well to win a place at university. But his family haven't seen him since.



Mother Barbara Weed

"It seemed so out of the blue," says his mother, "because there hadn't been a row.

"He wasn't having problems at school. There were no big issues. He'd just gone."

Mrs Weed later discovered that for several months Tom had been a regular visitor to FDR's website, which encourages the discussion of philosophy and politics.

Its founder, Stefan Molyneux, espouses the idea that ultimate personal freedom can be gained by cutting yourself off from any involuntary relationships, including your family.


Tom Weed, 18

The site particularly attracts teenagers and those in their 20s, many of them via YouTube.

Ian Haworth, of the Cult Information Centre, says the site's success is "a worrying development".

Meanwhile, Mrs Weed has resigned herself to never seeing her son again.

"I miss him tremendously," she says. I find it very difficult to go into his room. No, he's not coming back."

Stefan Molyneux declined to be interviewed.


Full Story Here.


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PostSubject: Re: Molyneux Cult Watch   Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:24 pm

How's this for irony in relation to how Molyneux runs his forum. His philosophical mentor Ayn Rand's definition of dictatorship:

Quote :
There are four characteristics which brand a country unmistakably as a dictatorship: one-party rule—executions without trial or with a mock trial, for political offenses—the nationalization or expropriation of private property—and censorship.

WoW
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PostSubject: Molyneux is too kooky even for Scientologists   Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:43 am

Molyneux is too kooky even for Scientologists

Quote :
Wow this is super creepy!

Brought back memories of my first year experiences with Scientology.

Very murky secretive 'inside information' that always makes your Right by alienating you from existing or prior allegiances.

From here: http://www.forum.exscn.net/showthread.php?t=9060


Also...

http://nhunderground.com/forum/index.php?action=printpage;topic=16606.0
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PostSubject: WoW! Stefan Molyneux too kooky even for Scientologists?   Mon Jan 05, 2009 4:24 am

WoW! Stefan Molyneux too kooky even for Scientologists?

Damn! That's some achievement all right!

Congratz Moly!

:You Rock:

Devil lol

===================

Not only that, but under a google search for "molyneux cult," there's almost 24,000 references already!!!

Quote :
Results 1 - 10 of about 23,800 for molyneux cult.

Exponential growth!

Excellent

Goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo molyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!

Ton of bricks
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PostSubject: Re: Molyneux Cult Watch   Mon Jan 05, 2009 5:20 pm

Molyneux gets his own wikipedia entry...



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PostSubject: Molyneux is still THE top cult news!   Mon Jan 05, 2009 7:39 pm

Molyneux is still THE top cult news!


"Look Ma! Top Of The World!"






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PostSubject: Re: Molyneux Cult Watch   Mon Jan 05, 2009 7:59 pm

Nice company he keeps...

Right up there with Charles Manson and others...

But hey, there's nothing like good publicity...

I'm sure he appreciates it...

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PostSubject: Stefan Molyneux manipulates Tom for a Times Online interview   Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:44 pm

Stefan Molyneux manipulates Tom for a Times Online interview


In return, Tom assures everyone that he won't participate, unless his new daddy is present... (that would be Stefanocchio...)

Holy Moly also attempts to set the terms and conditions prior to the interview...

Then when that doesn't work, he whines about it on his forum...

When the fdr fundamentalist Nathan McKaskle (who frequently trolls our blog and forum lately) reads the article, he vows: "I will never read or trust the news again."

Just laugh


http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/families/article5485325.ece

==================

Thanks for the link, MolyHoax!

Devil lol

From here: http://freedomainradio.com/board/forums/t/18687.aspx
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