Review of MAGA Mindset: The Best (and Worst) Book About The Ascent of Trump

Mike Cernovich’s MAGA Mindset: Making YOU and America Great Again is the best book you can read about Donald Trump’s rise from Joke Candidate to Imminent God Emperor in the 2016 American election. It’s also the only (and thus “worst”) book on this subject, as author Mike Cernovich has published it several weeks before the election takes place.

If this strikes you as unnecessarily bold, audacious, and risky, then you might be the exact type of person who’ll benefit the most from reading MAGA Mindset.

What’s in MAGA Mindset?

MAGA Mindset is a fascinating account of three interweaving stories:

  1. The accelerating death spiral of the Late American Republic: political correctness; cuckservatism; the increasingly brazen anti-white Left.
  2. Donald J. Trump’s ascendancy through the American political machine, touching on many of the factors written about here: mastery of old and new media; persuasion; sheer force of character; mindset.
  3. The author’s personal journey from live-and-let-live Libertarian, to reluctant culture warrior, to one of the most influential one-man media outlets in America.

MAGA Mindset was an enjoyable and informative one-sitting read, and introduced me to several new ideas about mindset and the dynamics of this election. A read who (unlike myself) hasn’t been closely following both the election and Cernovich’s mindset writings will stand get even more value from the book.

As a long-time fan of Cernovich’s work, I was almost certain this book would be at least “pretty good.” My one concern going into MAGA Mindset was that it would suffer from the time constraints imposed by the upcoming election, and the author’s unrelenting publishing of breaking news and analysis on his blog and Twitter; I went into MAGA Mindset prepared to be forgiving on the book’s technical elements.

But while MAGA Mindset is fast-paced and urgent, the writing shows no signs of being rushed. I was surprised to find that MAGA Mindset was so well-written, I would rate it above the superb Gorilla Mindset in terms of editing, flow, and organization. This quality speaks highly to Mike’s growth as a writer, and also to the editorial value of Vox Day and Castalia House Publishing.


On the four social movements Trump has tapped into: Nationalism; Rejection of White guilt; Embracing Masculinity; Rejection of Political Correctness:

Ann Coulter put it more eloquently than I ever could when she wrote, “Looking at what the party has become, I certainly hope he’s not a ‘real Republican.’ I know he’s a real American. Those used to be the same thing.”

Donald Trump is the first candidate in years who has not only refused to attack whites, but instead chose to speak on their behalf and rally around their issues

For a society to function properly there must be a proper balancing of feminine and masculine energy. Masculinity and femininity are complements, not substitutes.

It is not going too far to say that the new American motto is, “You can’t say that!” And “that” is a constantly moving target, defined by the most radical leftists, who have managed to impose an increasingly strict politically correct culture on Americans. Their ability to adjust the narrative at will, and to always make sure it serves their interests, is because Republicans have allowed the liberal media to set the terms of acceptable debate.

A cuckservative will purge those the Left declares badthinkers like Steve Sailer, John Derbyshire, Ann Coulter, and RamZPaul from the Right without hesitation even though the Left doesn’t hesitate to give left-wing extremists like Al Sharpton and Bill Ayers public media platforms. Not only that, cuckservatives unfairly attempt to delegitimize the valid points these right-wing badthinkers are making, and declare them to be “fringe” or “extreme Right.

On the author’s personal journey and initial reluctance to accept the necessity of political action:

I used to be an open-borders libertarian myself. America is a great country, and I thought we should welcome people from around the world to live here and indoctrinate them into the American way. Keep in mind that this is still a position preferable to open borders liberalism, which welcomes people into the country without any attempt at assimilating them. My view shifted radically over the years, as the idea that immigrants had to conform to American values came to be seen as imposing our cultural hegemony on them. Even suggesting that there is an exceptional American way is now seen as a microaggression, which is considered to be a form of assault by middle-class liberals who have never experienced an act of actual violence in their lives.

The truth is that I had no choice but to take up arms after being betrayed by so-called conservatives and others on the nominal right. No one would stand up for my rights—for our rights—as men.

On Cuckservatives:

Then, like magic, a meme emerged from the darkness. Like Prometheus’s fire, it descended from the heights of Olympus and was given to Man to illuminate his way forward. This glorious meme was the word “cuckservative”

Yes, the once-great National Review has repeatedly fired its most popular writers, such as Joe Sobran, Mark Steyn and John Derbyshire, for offending people who don’t read and don’t like National Review. Even Ann Coulter, the author of 11 New York Times-bestselling books, lost her column at National Review after liberals complained about her. Why, you might well ask. Were they actually surprised that liberals didn’t approve of the most influential female conservative of her generation?

Lastly, one great line that would make an equally fitting epigraph for MAGA Mindset, and epitaph for the mainstream Cuckservative movement:

The message the Right needs more than anything: think like a master, not like a slave.


If you’re interested in Donald Trump, marketing and persuasion, using Mindset to improve your life, or all three, you will definitely want to buy Mike Cernovich’s MAGA Mindset.

If you enjoy non-sequitur CTAs, you might want to follow Thumotic on Gab.

Will The Real Master Persuader Please Stand Up?

One year ago, Scott Adams published his theory of Donald John Trump’s success: The Master Persuader Hypothesis. Adams argues, persuasively, that Trump’s success is a result of his exceptional persuasion skills. Shortly thereafter, Mike Cernovich wrote that he recognized Trump’s exceptional mindset, marketing and personal branding ability. Cernovich has since used his own mindset, marketing, and branding skills to become one of the most influential voices in this election.

Are Scott Adams and Mike Cernovich credible authorities on the subject of communication, marketing, branding, and persuasion? Their impact on this election suggests they are. As proof, imagine this election without Scott Adams and Mike Cernovich:

  • Trump’s persuasion skills are not on anyone’s radar
  • Voters and pundits don’t even have the vocabulary to talk about one of Trump’s great qualities
  • The establishment media is free to push their Clown Hitler narrative without any viable antithesis

True, hundreds of news-readers and word-count machines in the legacy media have greater reach than Adams and Cernovich. But in terms of impact, originality, and thought leadership, these two are definitely among the top five most influential. Maybe even the top three.

But there’s a problem. Adams and Cernovich are two of the most skilled persuaders in America right now. Epistemologically, this means we should be very careful about believing their arguments: skilled persuaders can convince you to believe things that aren’t true, thus we should be skeptical of everything they say. So, in the interest of objectivity, let’s examine all possible hypotheses for Donald Trump’s success, and consider which contributed most to his success:

Hypothesis #1) Donald Trump is popular because he is a quintessential American success stories

Trump embodies the work ethic, risk-taking, ambition, and resilience in the face of adversity that represent the best of the American ideal. Born into moderate wealth, Trump chose to work hard and take risks, turning a moderate fortune into a massively successful business empire.

Many of Trump’s detractors have trouble understanding this. They think that Trump was “born rich” and so his wealth and success are unremarkable. This belief is common among people with limited ambition and life experience, for whom there is no conceptual difference between millions and billions of dollars: both amounts are inconceivably stratospheric.

In reality, many hundreds of people are born into comparable wealth every year. How many of them have built an empire comparable to Trumps? The majority are content to live off the interest. Trump chose to live a life characterized by hard work, high risk tolerance, and grand ambition.

Hypothesis #2) Donald Trump is a Leader

The clearest example of President Trump’s leadership is his family. How many children of comparably rich and famous celebrities have turned out as well as Trump’s sober, industrious, loyal, and effective children? Even his ex-wives seem to regard him with warm respect.

Trump, as demonstrated in L’affaire Lewandowski and others, has demonstrated an unyielding loyalty to his employees and allies in business and politics. Trump’s hesitancy – until now – to go for the Juanita-jugular of his golf buddy Bill Clinton may have been a maladaptive expression of this noble trait.

More importantly, Trump is loyal to the American people. He is risking a substantial fraction of his fortune, his pride, and his legacy by taking the side of the most hated cultural and ethnic group in the world today –Vaisya, Borderer, Gun- and Bible-Clinging, Redneck, Mittelstand, Verkrampte Amerikaners. He has suffered the wrath of nearly every one of his peers; given up the earthly rewards of subservience to the globalist elites; and most costly of all, he has burdened his children by irrevocably associating them with rebellion.

This is why Trump can attract tens of thousands of passionate supporters to his rallies: He reeks of loyalty and sincerity. Les Deplorables can sense Trump’s deep commitment to their well-being, and repay him with a loyalty of which establishment Republicans could only dream and salivate.

Hypothesis #3) Donald Trump represents American interests

The insanity of [Current Year] is best shown by the controversy surrounding Trump’s basic, common-sense advocacy of policies that benefit the people of the United States of America:

  • Stop illegal immigration
  • Restructure trade deals and create middle-class jobs
  • Protect Americans from Islamic terror
  • Avoid WW3 with Russia
  • Don’t get distracted by political correctness

The pitched cacophony of anti-Trump kvetching is telling. All of Trump’s alleged sins – sexual license, obscene wealth, financial opacity, rough manner of speaking – are run-of-the-mill in the upper ranks of American politics, business, and culture. His unique trait, which singles him out for establishment hatred, is his advocacy of pro-American, anti-Globalist public policy.

Hypothesis #4) Donald Trump is an American

Donald John Trump is an American. I don’t mean he has a US passport, or that he lives in New York, or any other superficial markers of 21st-century national identity. I mean that Donald Trump is an American.

This point is missed by the same people who fail to understand how Trump’s nouveau-riche inheritance is a pittance compared to the true landed classes of the world: “How can Trump be anti-establishment? He’s a billionaire!”

But for all his wealth, Trump is a red-blooded American Vaisya in his heart. He eats at McDonalds. He loves football and professional wrestling. As John Mulaney jokes, “Trump is not just a rich man. He’s like a hobo imagines a rich man to be.”

This is a good joke because there’s an element of truth; Trump lacks the subtlety and refinement of traditional American elites. He rejects the Jantelagen reverse snobbery of driving a 10-year old Subaru and having attended college ‘in Boston,’ in favour of gauche, loud-and-proud, in-your-face riches. Trump is a Middle American with a lot of money. Contrast with, e.g., Marco Rubio, the quintessential striver, a broke advocate for globalist billionaire policies.

Rubio and Trump – a deadbeat and a billionaire, each a traitor to his class.

If this portrait of Trump as ‘local boy done good’ doesn’t ring true to you, there’s a good chance you would learn something from Paul Fussel’s Class: A Guide Through The American Status System.

Hypothesis #5) Donald Trump is a Master Persuader

President Trump writes very clever tweets. Trump : Twitter :: FDR : Radio.

Trump is a very good off-the-cuff public speaker.

Trump has done a fine job of distilling his core messaging into sound bite snippets that rapidly procreate through human minds.

Most impressively, Trump is a master of manipulating the dying mainstream media: creating memorable stories, keeping them afloat through multiple news cycles, seasoning his campaign with baited ‘gotchas’ that later turn out to be carefully-orchestrated stunts. A more courageous Ryan Holiday would be using this election as a masterful case study of everything he described in his admittedly brilliant Trust Me I’m Lying.

Hypothesis #6) Donald Trump is perceived as a Master Persuader

The Master Persuader Filter has transformed this election.

The Master Persuader Filter contributes to Trump’s ability to shrug off all manner of controversial statements, by introducing the element of uncertainty, negotiation, and calculated ambiguity to all his public statements. It has changed the rules of the game that Mitt Romney lost with the phrase ‘binders full of women.’

The Master Persuader Filter gives closeted Brahmin Trump supporters a plausibly deniable line of questioning to use in their personal and professional lives:

“I haven’t been following the election much, but I’ve heard all kinds of awful things about Trump. How is he winning? Is he just really good at marketing himself? Is he much smarter than he’s pretending to be?”

Most of all, the Master Persuader filter has offered an opportunity for smart but wavering Americans – notably the sort of broken but ultimately redeemable #NeverTrump-leaning Conservatives, and old-school Democrats who actually believe their speaking points about protecting manufacturing jobs – a #MAGAlite halfway house between political correctness and outright Trump support: the concession that Trump is indeed smarter than he the WaPo editorial board would like you to think.


What fraction of Trump’s success is explained by each of the above factors? I’m going to make a bold claim:

Donald Trump’s persuasion ability is the least important.

Yes, Trump is a top-tier persuasion specialist. Yes, this has been helpful throughout his campaign.

But I find it easy to imagine Trump’s current success without his persuasion skills. I do not find it easy to imagine Trump’s success absent his remarkable personal qualities; no amount of linguistic kill shots could have elevated a weak-minded, risk-averse, pro-amnesty globalist hack to the Trumpian fervour of overflowing stadia and worshipful embrace of 4Chan Traditionautists. Trump’s legions of devoted followers are motivated by something far more primal than eloquence; their passion stems from something simpler, and more meaningful: a Truth so unspeakably terrifying, that even we on the Neoreactionary Right recoil from it: Trump is a Great Man.

Trump is a flawed hero in the American pantheon: an avaricious and lusty man, full of pride, impulsive and temperamental, entering the twilight of a materialistic life. These are the extent of Trump’s sins, and they are all completely irrelevant in the face of his great redemptive third-act crusade to save what’s left of Western civilization for one more generation. Trump’s virtues – industry, persistence, loyalty, and courage – are what’s needed in our present era. His flaws, whatever they may be, are irrelevant in an election with so much at stake.

Thesis: Trump’s persuasion skills are top-notch. However I suggest they are a minor element in the quasi-spiritual Trumpian rebellion against the globalist elite. The true critical success factors are Trump himself, and the principles he stands for. Adams and Cernovich are the True Master Persuaders. These men, heroes in their own right, have constructed a crucial rhetorical and epistemological antechamber for hesitant Trump supporters to rest their eyes while they adjust to the light:

“Suppose…that someone should drag him…by force, up the rough ascent, the steep way up, and never stop until he could drag him out into the light of the sun.’

‘The prisoner would be angry and in pain, and this would only worsen when the radiant light of the sun overwhelms his eyes and blinds him.”

One year ago, America was not ready to take a leap of faith from Trump the Clown Hitler to Trump the American Hero. But they were willing to take a more timid step toward believing in Trump the Master Persuader; Trump the Hypnotist; Trump the ironic God Emperor; Trump the wielder of Meme Magic; Trump the master of 5-D Scattergories.

We’re all fortunate to be living through one of history’s great pivots, immersed in the blogs, tweets, shitposts, Periscopes, and rallies of the great Carlylean Heroes of our time. The Great Persuaders of the Late American Empire have carried us a long way. Now – with one month, one debate, and one election to go – America’s centipedes-in-waiting are free to take the final step into the Light.


If you think Trump has a Winner’s Mindset, you’ll probably enjoy Gorilla Mindset by Mike Cernovich.

If you learn from your mistakes, you may want to read How To Fail At Nearly Everything and Still Win Big by Scott Adams.

Lots of very smart people are following me on

A Christian Response to Thumotic

Over on the Roosh V Forum, scorpion posts several responses to the Thumotic Manifesto. All of the below are quotes from scorpion, posted in regular font for the sake of readability:

“Frost, you are smart enough to know better. This is a fool’s errand. You can’t just decide to invent a new religion expressly for the purpose of benefiting society. Religious belief doesn’t work that way. The only modern “invented” religion with any sort of success is Scientology, which isn’t really even a religion, being more accurately described as an organized crime syndicate masquerading as a scientific self-help program. No one is going to suddenly start believing in something because a bunch of guys on the internet came up with a slick pamphlet extolling the numerous benefits of said beliefs. The entire idea is pure hubris.

Furthermore, even if you could invent a new religion, the simple fact is the West does not need one. We already have a religion. In fact, we have the religion. You know, the one that not only has a proven track record of building the most wildly successful civilization the world has ever known, but which also has the benefit of being true. It’s called Christianity. The way back is the way forward. All of your desired bullet points describing “The Product” are found in traditional Christian belief (which you well know). The fundamental error is the assumption that there is something wrong with Christianity, that it is somehow defective or obsolete. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Christianity in the West is currently suffering under the effects of decades of concentrated Cultural Marxist assault and subversion from within. Our society is weak because our faith is weak. There is not a single social ill we currently suffer that would not be drastically improved by a widespread resurgence in genuine, zealous Christian faith. If you want to save the West, preach the Gospel. There is no other alternative. Without Christ, Western Civilization simply does not exist.

A lot of men clearly have a problem with Christian belief. The most common objection is simply that they don’t believe it’s true. But I think the real reason is that they don’t want to be told how to live, and they don’t want to be accountable for their actions and choices. To those who doubt Christian belief, I ask you: suppose I could prove in your mind beyond all doubt that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead, thus validating the Christian religion. If you believed that to be true, would you suddenly become a devout Christian? Or would you still still hold back? In my experience, contrary to all reason, many men would still refuse to believe even with such evidence. The heart of unbelief does not lie in logic or reason, it lies in pride and rebellion. Any man who is not willing to humble himself before God will never know truth.”

“No one who has seriously engaged in a study of world religions and comparative theology could make such a claim. There is nothing in Eastern religion, mysticism, New Age spirituality, etc… approaching the depth and breadth of Christian theology. I’ve studied all of those systems in depth. They all share a common element – they were very obviously invented by man. Why is that obvious? Because they all flatter us. They tell us – like you want to hear – that the power ultimately lies within us. They tell us that if we can just become good enough (measured by various metrics depending on the system/religion) then we can transcend this reality through our own power. This is the common element of all false religion.

Only Christianity reveals to us the uncomfortable truth – that we are completely powerless and have no ability to redeem ourselves. This is not the sort of teaching that man invents to flatter himself. Nor is it a system designed for political and economic domination (Islam). It is, rather, a strange and mysterious idea, one that is at once both alien and familiar. God is our father, and we are his children. And just as children are completely helpless without their parents, so we are without God. This is the fundamental truth that atheists reject. Their pride does not allow them to cede control and authority to God.

This is the main thing atheists must understand. If there is a God (not necessarily even the Christian God, for the sake of argument) then you have absolutely no authority over him. You are not in a position to dictate to the creator what is fair, what is just, what is good, what is logical. It seems that many atheists don’t understand the idea of God, their view being entirely too small and limited. They seem to view God as micromanaging boss or an overbearing parent (note always the preoccupation with rebellion against authority figures). But God is much bigger than this. It is only the atheist’s failure to logically apprehend the power of a sovereign, omnipotent creator that allows them to so casually denigrate him. God is not a mean guy on a cloud who wants to tell you what to do. He is, rather, the force beyond time and space that underlies the entire physical universe. God is the only thing that has existence in and of itself. And this force – awesome in the literal definition of the word – is not impersonal, but rather has an identity. And he wants to share it with us.

This is very important for people to think about deeply. Before you reject the idea of God you need to be very sure you’ve exhaustively explored the concept of God. It’s not something you want to gloss over. There is everything at stake, after all. Any man who humbles himself and earnestly seeks to follow the truth wherever it leads will not be disappointed.

[Regarding the Canaanite Woman]

Jesus was fulfilling his purpose as the Messiah of Israel, which at that point meant his ministry was limited to the Jews. This was the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. The Jews spent hundreds of years killing and persecuting the prophets God sent, and then they killed their Messiah (Jesus) when he finally arrived. Because of the Jews’ unbelief, the Gentiles were “grafted in” to the nation of Israel, so that “Israel” was not limited only to the Jewish people, but included people from the entire world. A nation not of the flesh, but of the spirit. This was the plan from the beginning, but the Jews were too prideful and arrogant to accept that the Messiah would not be theirs exclusively. Essentially, the Jews were mad that what they saw as their inheritance was to be shared with the entire world. They failed to understand that they were not inheritors by the flesh, but inheritors by faith. This is the true meaning of being the “seed of Abraham”. There was nothing special about Abraham’s physical being, it was his faith that was credited to him as righteousness. The Jews completely missed the point, assuming that simply by being descended physically from Abraham they automatically inherited his righteousness. Christ disabused them of this notion and they killed him for it. As a result, ever since, a partial hardening as come upon the Jews which will not be lifted until “the fullness of the Gentiles has come in”.

Thus, salvation came “from the Jews” because they were the vehicle through which God chose to reveal the Messiah to the world. Read Romans chapters 9 through 11, it deals entirely with this topic

See my response on Roosh’s forum.

The Answer to All Your Questions

Here at Thumotic, we’re inventing a new religion.

You need this because existing religions seem silly to you, and the only alternative – self-destructive nihilism – is killing you.

Maybe you’re keeping yourself up at night, wondering if you’re living correctly, and if anything you believe is actually true. If so, don’t feel bad; smart people like Scott Adams, Mike Cernovich, Roosh V, Free Northerner, Vox Day, Aurini, and all manner of internet thought-criminals are asking the same questions. Their answers differ, but not one of them seems to have concluded “lol magic sky fairy”.

As a smart and thoughtful person, you are naturally curious about the nature and origins of the universe, reality, consciousness, and ethics; I promise that this post holds the answers to all of your questions. Today, I will provide you with a comprehensive theological framework that you can use to live a virtuous life. I promise you will not be disappointed. However let me remind you that there is a difference between feeling disappointed, and being disappointed.

The answer to all of your questions is here.

I acknowledge that some of you feel disappointed. All of this build-up, and in the end it turns out Thumotic is just another run-of-the-mill Christian blog?

Well, not quite. On the contrary, I believe Christianity might be the most dangerous memeplex ever to have appeared in the world. I also believe Jesus Christ may have been the Son of God, who died on the cross to atone for the sins of mankind. However I don’t believe there are valid explanations between these two poles.

This puts us in an awkward position. Christianity is beautiful and powerful and good and true. But, mousetraps often have big hunks of sharp stinky cheese. Is Christianity an unalloyed wheel of delicious cheesy truth? Or it is a mousetrap?

Here’s the cheese:

Christianity is beautiful

Almost everything beautiful that exists in our world, was created by Christians. Art, literature, architecture, music, scientific and technological progress – we owe it all to men who felt a deep spiritual and practical devotion to Jesus Christ. The high-water mark of European civilization coincides with the era of greatest Christian influence, and Europe’s decline closely tracks its abandonment of traditional Christianity.

There are exceptions; technological progress continues apace in a Godless Silicon Valley, and Classical Antiquity is responsible for its share of marvels. But as a general rule, any fair reading of history must conclude that Christianity leads to beauty. To me, this is the single greatest piece of evidence in its defense.

Christianity is useful

The Christian Tradition (as distinct from Neo-Christianity, aka Churchianity, aka Cucktianity)  offers us a practical guide to living and interacting with our world. Compared to the status quo lifestyle of the modern Western man, living the life of the Good Christian would represent a 10x improvement. If you wish to live a productive, purposeful, creative life, you can’t go wrong lighting a candle to the same muse that inspired Michelangelo, Mozart, or Newton.

Christianity is Truth (Maybe)

Perhaps the Bible really is the infallible Word of God, in which case you’ll get the added bonus of eternal life.

But even if it’s not – or, you believe it’s not – there’s no immediate downside to using Christianity as an epistemic spare tire until you find a proper service station. Do you need a spare tire? If your current religious beliefs feel like they’re working out for you, maybe you don’t. But otherwise, you’ve got nothing to lose from trying a radical experiment and converting to Christianity.

You might have a lot to lose in the long term however. We’ll explore that in future Thumotic posts. But for now: What could possibly be more radical, more transgressive, more rebellious, and more fun, than going to Church in [Current Year]? Quoting the notorious hacker 4Chan:

“/pol/ is  a strange beast, huh?

Young men, disregarding ill-gotten wealth, praise, and pursuits of the flesh. Instead they argue for strong families, belief in something larger than yourself, and for living as independently and righteously as possible.

Literally this has to be the end of the world… where the gutter of the internet is trying to be good people because normal people are so shit, it’s the only way left to rebel.”


It all starts with knowledge and an open mind. If you’re afraid of Christianity, here are three books that might be worth your time:

How Atheism Led Me To Faith, Peter Hitchens

Mere Christianity, CS Lewis

Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill

A Thumotic Manifesto

The other day I was tinkering around in my garage and I decided to build a new religion.

Right now, you think this is a crazy idea. You’ll eventually realize it’s the most interesting and important project in the world.

Why do we need a new religion?

We need a new religion because theology is killing us. We believe in nothing, and our nihilism manifests in physical, spiritual, and genetic self-destruction: the slow suicides of drug and alcohol abuse; pornography and video game addiction; endless dating; and existential malaise. We are the Akratic generation, and we will not be saved by the extant quasi-spiritual traditions of Progressivism, Churchianity, Secular Humanism, nor even motivational men’s dating blogs.

Andrew Breitbart perceived that politics is downstream from culture. But politics and culture are both downstream from religion. A tribe’s ultimate beliefs about nature, gods, ethics, and purpose will reverberate through their epistemic layers of assumptions, premises, and shared values, to impact their practical beliefs and actions.

If you want to change what people do, you have to change how they think.

How do we build a new religion?

Building a new religion is a frighteningly ambitious idea. But religions do exist, so clearly it has been done before.

As I see it now, there are three possible outcomes to this project:

  1. We create an entirely new religion.
  2. We identify the better aspects of several theological traditions, and stitch them together in a new spiritual patchwork.
  3. We recognize the Truth of an existing religion, and create a new exegesis for modern audiences.

In the coming weeks we’ll start chipping away at some early product development questions. My near-term goals are to attract smart, inquisitive people with a variety of well-formed religious beliefs, and start building a community that supports rigorous thinking and productive dialectic. I want to gather intelligent Christians, Pagans, Atheists, and Techno-Futurists, and make them enunciate their beliefs in a rhetoric-free forum. I want to create – dare I say it – a safe space for smart people to intelligently discuss theology.

Secular readers can view this project as a rational attempt to design an operating system for the human brain; Christians can read Thumotic as a 21st-century exegesis of Biblical Truth into the language and social context of contemporary society; Techno-futurists can see it as a reconciliation of traditional eschatology with the looming AI singularity.

What is the new religion?

You have questions: What is the new religion called? Do we have a deity? Will we have to slaughter infidels, or wear funny hats? But my agnosticism is not a literary or rhetorical device, and I’m not starting this project with a specific end in mind. Our mission is to develop and evangelize a better religion, or a better version of an existing religion. This will be a daunting project but, I think well worth the trouble.

For now, let’s just call our new religion The Product. This will help us avoid the brain-muddling baggage that usually comes with conversations about religion. And rather than speak of converts, devotees, zealots, brothers-in-faith, etc., let’s call practitioners of our new religion users.

Our task is to design a Product that meets the needs of the users. The first step is to identify those needs – what problem does religion solve? This is a hard question, but here’s a first pass at our design specs:

  • The Product will improve users’ subjective well-being, i.e. the product should make users feel “happy”.
  • The Product will improve users’ value of their community, i.e. by making them more productive, cooperative, and pro-social. However, the product should also protect the user, and communities of users, from out-group exploitation.
  • The Product will help users thrive. ‘Thriving” is hard to define, but if users are not meaningfully engaged in producing and appreciating beautiful art, something has probably gone wrong.
  • The Product will be viral.
  • The Product will be true, i.e. tenets of the product should be consistent with logic, empirical reality, and the innate moral instincts of humanity.

Like any good 21st-century startup, we are entirely unconcerned with monetization. We want daily active users, and we want to Make The World A Better Place.

Next Steps

Many of you have already recognized the Great Awakening taking place, as the aptly-named Millennial generation channels its theological impulses into nascent spiritual movements: Diversity, Tolerance, and The Environment for Blue America; God-Emperor Donald Trump, Swole Acceptance, The All-Mighty Kek (behead all who insult Him), and Meme Magic for the young, rebellious and internet-savvy.

Half of western youth are saying their prayers at the Altar of Separate Recycling Bins; the other half is on the verge of deifying a Cartoon Frog, pbuh. This seems like a good market to go after.

So: Bloggers, Twitter celebrities, and forum members with illustrious posting careers, consider this an open invitation to share your theological pitch to the current generation of godless nihilists.

If you would like to contribute, I can be reached here: freedomfrost25 [at] gee-maile dot com. Please send me guest posts, thoughtful emails and reading recommendations ad libitum.

New posts will appear here on Saturdays, and I can be followed on Twitter: @FreedomTwenty5

The Killing Fields Of The 21st Century

Our guide’s name is Leap. He’s a squat Cambodian in his mid-fifties, leading us through the museum’s displays of military hardware and genocide kitsch. Leap’s right leg is a clomping wooden peg. The exposed skin on his arms is covered in bullet and shrapnel wounds. He can’t pivot his arms at the shoulder, and so points to exhibits with his hand at hip level.

Our group of five is ushered to a wreck of a tank covered in blackened shell holes. The broken turret sags piteously to one side. Leap narrates:

“The Khmer Rouge would poison all the water when they left an area. Every time we drank water, there was a chance it would kill us. But what could we do? You need to drink water.

“They had us trapped on a hill. Forty of us, and one tank. River on one side, swamp on other, and we had good defense, but they were waiting down the hill. Whenever we did not know if water was good, one man would try it, and then we see what happens. One man had tried the water and died, so we knew the water was no good. They knew it too, so they only had to wait.

“We attack, because what else can you do? There is no surrender. So we can die slow for sure, or die fast and maybe live. We decide to die fast.

“I’m shot right away. Lie on ground, can’t move. My brother in the tank, with tread blown off so it can’t move, and no more shells. Still have pistols though, so Khmer Rouge can’t approach tank and open door. But, there is one side of tank they cannot shoot from, so Khmer Rouge take dry dead trees and bush and pile up next to tank, then light on fire.

“This tank here is same that my brother died in. Not same tank, but same kind. These are small holes they were able to shoot from when they had no more shells. Here is exit hatch the Khmer Rouge covered from outside to keep crew from escaping. My brother could have come out and die fast. But, instead they all stay in the tank while it burn slowly. They scream for long time, while I lay on ground pretending to be dead.”

Leap’s eyes were hollow, emotionless. He had clearly memorized the story over hundreds of tellings. This was just a job to him, like mopping floors or bagging groceries. I wondered if anything he said was true, and if it wasn’t, whether the truth was more or less horrifying than the lie. I’m skeptical of sob stories, but it’s a simple historical fact that few Cambodian men his age made it through the reign of the Khmer Rouge without passing through the gates of Hell.

“Would anyone like to stand on the tank and take a picture?”

Genocide had become a banal tourist attraction, and a lucrative source of employment. iPhone cameras flashed. Our group moved on to a long table with rows of automatic rifles and several varieties of defused landmines.


The Khmer Rouge murdered between two and three million of the nation’s population of eight million. The primary victims were market-dominant minorities (Chinese, Vietnamese, and Laotians), members of the Cambodian intellectual elite (teachers, professionals, government officials) and religious groups.

The mechanisms of death were simple and cheap: forced marches out of the major cities to agricultural work camps with inadequate food and water. The workers faced starvation and illness, while the threat of torture camps for the rebellious kept the meek in line. Pickaxes were used for mass executions, because bullets aren’t free.

Cambodia’s experience isn’t unique. Mao starved 40 million Chinese in three years. 7.5 million died in the Ukrainian Holodomor. The Second World War was an orgy of death on both sides, ending with the United States dropping atomic bombs on Japanese cities, incinerating hundreds of thousands of civilians in a few moments. And that’s just the 20th century. Humans have made a habit of murdering each other since well before the beginning of recorded history.

The hard truth of life is that man’s natural state is the war of all against all. Civilization can tame us for a while, but it also ensures we’re grimly efficient when the levies inevitably burst. The modern era, far from ushering in a new age of peace and brotherhood among men, only made us better at our favourite pastime.

We are living in a relatively peaceful era, some say. Barbarism has been defeated, the world is safe for democracy, and we have reached The End Of History. Civilized people no longer make war against each other, nations are at peace, and ethnic rivalries have subsided from life-or-death struggles, to the petty signaling games of microaggressions, safe spaces, and privilege-checking. That is the official narrative.


Here’s a video of a dying man. It’s graphic:

Malcolm is 34 years old and lives with his parents. He has never had a job or kissed a girl. Is Malcolm alive? If your answer is yes, by what criteria do you separate the living from from the dead?

I think it’s reasonable to consider him dead. Malcolm has experienced thirty-four years of dull suffering, without any of the emotional highs and lows that characterize life as healthy man in his formative decades. Malcolm has never known the unfading eternal summer of impulsive young love; nor the comfort of true friendships between men who are good and alike in virtue; nor the pride of earning respect from his community. He may occasionally eke out some shallow masturbatory pleasures from the confines of his bedroom, but nothing that could possibly compare to the qualia of a life truly lived.

And even if Malcolm is happy (although clearly he is not) what of it? is happiness our highest purpose? if a man dies poor and alone, having created nothing that endures past his death, what did his life amount to?

I hope Malcolm turns his life around. It’s certainly possible. Malcolm, friend, if you’re reading this: you’re still a fairly young man in good health with a decent head of hair. There are millions around the world who would love to trade places with you, and have the opportunities you still have. But here’s a hard truth: when a child comes home from kindergarten and says the other kids are picking on him, it’s easy to look him in the eye and say: none of this matters. You’ll be in the real world soon enough. You can say that, and it rings true. But what can you tell a middle-aged man with the same issues? What could you possibly say to Malcolm?

“Hit the gym, start a business, join Tinder”?

He’s thirty-four fucking years old. If a man hasn’t made it by thirty-four, he probably isn’t going to make it.


How many men like Malcolm are out there?

Pew (1) estimates there were 4.3 million NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) men in the United States in 2015. The next cohort of young men looks to be in even worse shape (2):

Data from the U.S. Department of Education and from several recent university studies show that far from being shy and demoralized, today’s girls outshine boys. They get better grades. They have higher educational aspirations. They follow more-rigorous academic programs and participate in advanced-placement classes at higher rates. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, slightly more girls than boys enroll in high-level math and science courses. Girls, allegedly timorous and lacking in confidence, now outnumber boys in student government, in honor societies, on school newspapers, and in debating clubs. Only in sports are boys ahead, and women’s groups are targeting the sports gap with a vengeance. Girls read more books. They outperform boys on tests for artistic and musical ability. More girls than boys study abroad. More join the Peace Corps. At the same time, more boys than girls are suspended from school. More are held back and more drop out. Boys are three times as likely to receive a diagnosis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. More boys than girls are involved in crime, alcohol, and drugs. Girls attempt suicide more often than boys, but it is boys who more often succeed. In 1997, a typical year, 4,483 young people aged five to twenty-four committed suicide: 701 females and 3,782 males.

But while statistics are valuable, it is not to be carried on by steam. There are better ways to understand and illustrate The Killing Fields of the 21st Century.

The internet provides a window into the lives of millions of broken men around the world. Reddit’s r/ForeverAlone is a good introduction to the underground world of invisible broken men. Here you’ll find a digital museum of dying men, wasting away in a decentralized prison camp of their own making. But if you truly wish to gaze into the abyss, read some clippings from the 4Chan r9k forum:



4Chan BattleStation2


More examples of 4Chan “battle stations” can be found here.

These men are beasts in human skin: unemployed, unloved, surviving on social assistance, family support, or inheritances; waking up every day and playing video games, masturbating, watching cartoons, and sharing their lives, such as they are, with each other on internet forums. Many will never escape. They will hide in their rooms, dying one day at a time, while the years and decades slip by. Is their fate less tragic than being roasted alive in a tank – or more?


Thesis: millions of young western men are suffering from a crisis of spirit that is morally comparable to genocide.

Their dying is less painful, but slower and more dehumanizing. By allowing this massacre to occur on their watch, Western governments are as morally culpable as Mao and Stalin. Pickaxes to the forehead, mass starvation, poisoned wells, firing squads – all these are the crude, low-tech, messy and obvious tools of 20th century genocides. Why go through the trouble of actually killing people, when you can persuade them to do it on their own?

Is it crass to compare hunger with spiritual deprivation?  The end result is the same. Human life require meaning and narrative, as much as food and water. Deprive a man of food and you’ll kill him; deprive a man of meaning, and you’ll persuade him to kill himself.

Dear reader, are you suicidal? Think before you answer.

There are many ways for a man to end his own life. Some jump off bridges. The archtypal 4Chan user can lock himself in a dungeon of video games and porn. But there are other mechanisms of gradual suicide that appear perfectly healthy: an outwardly successful man can spend his twenties in a socially-approved haze of drugs and alcohol, coasting through life and letting the potential for something greater slip through his fingers; another might adopt a fey hipster obsession with life’s most pointless trivialities, an endless pursuit of the tastiest craft beers and most-liked Instagram posts of food from newly-opened local restaurants; yet another could squander his life and talents with aimless travel, pickup artistry, and empty novelty-seeking.

These are all forms of death, or at least the slow eschewing of life. Great men throughout history spent their energies building families, nations, and pursuing the highest truths. What would they think of the modern western male?


Western men are dying, because they have no spirit, no purpose, no thumos. Their vital energies have been stifled by a culture designed to suppress their natural ideals of virtuous masculinity – duty, family formation, tribal loyalty, and spirituality. Our culture and education systems are optimized to crush the western man’s natural drive to build something for posterity.

Previous generations of men had important individual roles to play in the coherent and life-affirming narratives of service to Family, Nation, and God. The modern era has suppressed these ideals, leaving men adrift. Physical hunger leads to death by starvation. Spiritual hunger leads to death by slow suicide.

In spite of this crisis in masculinity, our culture is hostile to any expression of concern or sympathy for the men who are left behind. No one is allowed to feel bad for men; no one is allowed to help men; no one is allowed to suggest that the 21st century social justice zeitgeist of anti-male demonization might cause lasting psychological damage to the men who are raised in a culture which demands self-loathing.

What few men have the courage to push back against the War on Western Men (such as Heartiste, Mike Cernovich, Krauser, Roosh, Matt Forney, Vox Day, Jack Donovan, Illimitable Men, and Free Northerner) are shunned by mainstream figures across the political spectrum. Outside of this small corner of the internet, our culture has been purged of the traditional masculine ideals that would be familiar to our ancestors throughout Greek, Roman, and European history.


Humans understand the world through stories. We take action, when such action is consistent with our understanding of the story we’re in. Your life is a story, and you are the main character. Are you a likable character? Are you the hero?

In the official story of contemporary American and European society, there is no constructive role for heterosexual white men. We are the obstacle, the Shadow, the Big Bad. The official narrative is: noble marginalized people come together to throw off the shackles of evil Eurocentric cis-heteronormative oppression. The slow spiritual and demographic suicide of the western man is thus viewed as a cause for celebration. We are right in the middle of Campbell’s Hero’s Journey, playing the role of villain.

There are other stories available, mostly contained in fringe and universally reviled subcultures:

Mainstream Conservatism pretends to believe in balance, pendulum theory, the eternal struggle of Yin and Yang, Left and Right, Republican and Democrat, always failing to notice the 400-year-and-counting one-way progressive ratchet. Their story goes something like this:

“Sure we’re going through a bit of a rough patch right now, but we just need a good strong Republican in the White House to fix things up. And if Hillary Clinton wins the presidency, well, that could be the best thing to ever happen for us – people will finally see how extreme the left really is, and they’ll be discredited for a generation! Now, let’s go watch some football!”

The Red Pill subculture also has a story to tell:

“The world is completely fucked. But, it’s still possible to eke out a pleasurable life by hitting the gym, banging some girls, making some money, never marrying, never having kids, and doing our best to smile and nod through life’s occasional mandatory diversity awareness lessons. Duty is beta; I’ll be poolside.”

Christianity in it’s truest, strongest, most patriarchal literal form, offers a narrative that is oh-so-close to life-affirming truth and strength, but contains within it a fatal poison pill:

“Of course the world is fallen! Of course we’re being persecuted and replaced and driven from our nations. That’s what Jesus told us was going to happen, right? But don’t worry, we’ll get our reward in the afterlife. None of this matters, as long as we keep faith, turn the other cheek, and do not lay up for ourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt.”

Each of the these narratives contains enough half-truth to hold temporary sway over some amount of young men smart and courageous enough to look outside the mainstream narrative. But each falls short of actually offering them a tribe worthy of their life and loyalty.


Modern western civilization has no traditions, no purpose, no animating mythic structure. But nature abhors a vacuum, so here is my prediction.

At some point, the current narrative will be replaced. Someone will compose a new mythic story, and it will multiply rapidly through young male brains, vectored by social media, anonymity, and high-speed internet cables. The New Story will infuse young men with a sense of purpose and focus they’ve never experienced before. It will feel like waking from a dream state, and entering a new world of consciousness and meaning. Western men will be the heroes in their New Story. There will be a journey; an ordeal; allies and enemies. There will be a villain.

What will the New Story consist of? The details will depend on circumstance, Great Men, and pure chance. But here are some broad predictions:

  • The New Story will offer men a path to heroism
  • The New Story will offer a tribe
  • The New Story will offer a traditional warrior code of ethics
  • The New Story will offer an opportunity to die for something bigger than ourselves
  • The New Story will focus its merciless resentment on a villain

The Western Man, starving for something to believe in, has already shown himself to be highly susceptible to Charismatic Personality Cults. He is in a psychologically fragile position, primed to follow the next radical movement which promises to fill the void in his soul. Who or what will fill this void? This is the world-shattering question, the answer to which will echo through the chilled years ahead.

It’s Like Uber, But For American Democracy

Donald Trump has disrupted America’s most dysfunctional institution.

In just three months, Trump has utterly destroyed the legacy Republican Party and its media outlets, salvaged useful parts from the wreckage, and is now the commander-in-chief of the American Conservative movement. The GOP establishment, right-wing media, and everything else that used to constitute American Conservatism, now exist in subordination to Trump.

Let’s consider how this happened, and what it means for the future of the American Right.

The Old Republican Party

The legacy business model of the Republican party was simple: do a passable job of pretending to represent the interests of Vaisya America, so they’ll give you a pass when you inevitably sell them out. Kind of like how the Democrats’ political machine earns 90% of the black vote while implementing policies that destroy black communities.

This business model is stable when news and opinion are throttled by media organizations acting in coordination with the central party. The message is controlled. The Overton Window creeps gradually leftward. Middle-American political will is dissipated harmlessly toward tax cuts for hedge fund managers and support for Rah Rah Rah Team America adventures in far-away countries.

But when the internet allows maverick candidates to bypass the gatekeepers and communicate directly with their potential supporters, all hell breaks loose. The old rules no longer apply.

The first iteration of this new dynamic was the Tea Party – an unsophisticated, low-brow, and ultimately unsuccessful attempt to transform Middle American resentment into political power. It failed for a lot of reasons, but the emotion it tapped into – the Republican base’s recognition that they’re being played – is a massive potential opportunity.

Donald Trump is a man who likes to keep an eye out for new opportunities

This is common knowledge to anyone who’s read his books. His first autobiography, The Art Of The Deal (Amazon) is a collection of stories about Trump recognizing and capitalizing on big opportunities that others were ignoring. My guess is Trump looked at the American Republican party and said to himself:

These losers are doing a terrible job! They care more about being “respectable” in the eyes of their opponents than they care about their own people. I bet I could come in and kick their asses.

And now that’s exactly what’s happening. Three months ago, Jeb’s Republican nomination victory was a fait accompli. Then came Trump’s brutal campaign against him. Low Energy. Low Energy. Low Energy.

As of today, polls have Jeb at ~5%. Mom and Dad have told Jeb to stop sending good money after bad, and Jeb has started to lay the memetic foundations for a petulant, self-important, ego-preserving exit:

I’ve got a lot of really cool things I could do other than sit around, being miserable, listening to people demonize me and me feeling compelled to demonize them.

He’s also pumping the brakes on campaign spending:

Asked by the Guardian how much of a role his donors had played in the decision to cut the payroll of his campaign staff by 40% on Friday, Bush replied with anger.

“None. That’s me asking for it,” he said, in an example of what are becoming rare exchanges with a reporter. “The donors are happy. In fact, I’ve been raising more money.”

The tone got tetchier still the next day, when he was asked in South Carolina whether the cuts meant his campaign was struggling.

“Blah, blah, blah,” Bush said. “That’s my answer – blah, blah, blah.”

Jeb’s campaign is floundering so badly, some suggest Trump should ease up on the poor guy:

Imagine just three months ago, predicting that Jeb Bush – with all his money, connections, name recognition, party establishment backing, and political experience – would be doing so badly, that smart people were concerned that picking on him would be perceived as bullying. Jeb is the anointed heir to one of America’s most powerful political dynasties, and he has been reduced to the indignity of Middle America’s pity.

In an interesting coincidence (¿coincidence), Trump The Merciful subsequently decided to dial it back:

I did talk about Jeb because I thought Jeb was going to be the front-runner,” Trump told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. “Obviously, he’s no longer the front-runner. I probably won’t talk about him so much anymore.”

This the sharpest shiv of the campaign so far, deadly in its simplicity. Jeb is no longer worth attacking. Jeb is out. Jeb is finished. Jeb has been crushed totally, and there is nothing more to gain from beating a dead caballo.

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush listens to a question from the audience during a town hall meeting campaign stop at the Medallion Opera House in Gorham, New Hampshire July 23, 2015. REUTERS/Brian Snyder TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RTX1LKI3

There are still a dozen other Republican hopefuls, but after witnessing the ¡Jebacle, is there any doubt that Trump will make short work of them, and Hilary thereafter?

Actually, yes there is.

Most journalists are still in denial

Mainstream media pundits across the spectrum are united in their conviction that Donald Trump is a clown and a buffoon who stumbled his way through the most successful primary campaign in modern political history.

With cognitive dissonance like this, it’s no wonder the commentariat has burned the last of its credibility with the Republican base.

I count exactly one person who’s been predicting Trump’s success from the beginning: Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert and trained NLP/hypnosis practitioner, who recognizes the advanced persuasion technology in Trump’s communication strategy.

Adams describes Trump – correctly, I think – as a wolf among sheep, a candidate playing the game on a different level than everyone else.

Donald Trump is a new disruptive technology in a broken industry

Trump is Uber for American Democracy, while the likes of Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, John Boehner, and Rand Paul are a gaggle of confused and unemployed taxi drivers, picketing City Hall with impotent rage at a new phenomenon they’re not equipped to understand.

Just like taxi companies couldn’t see how ride-sharing would crush their business, legacy Republicans lack the self-awareness to understand how irrelevant they’ve become, and how little they can do to stop it. If Jeb’s campaign continues hemorrhaging money and credibility at this rate, he might literally be driving a taxi cab before the end of primary season.

Adams predicts Trump will win 65%+ of the popular vote. I think this is a reasonable bet, assuming Trump avoids car accidents, heart attacks, heavily medicated lone gunmen, and other common ailments afflicting unorthodox political figures.

How Smart Is Donald Trump?

Is Donald Trump a silly clown who stumbled his way into billions of dollars and the most successful primary campaign in modern political history? Or is he being wildly underestimated?

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. Trump is giving America simplicity, and he is winning. That might reflect poorly on Americans (or it might not – some problems really are simple) but it doesn’t tell you anything about Trump.

Consider the following graph, which shows the reading level of SOTUs throughout history:

Reading Level

Trump’s speeches, clocking in at a 5th-grade reading level, are literally off the chart, and he is crushing his opponents. Nobody ever went broke or lost votes underestimating the intelligence of the American public.

Whatever the outcome, Donald Trump heralds a revolution in political marketing

Right-wing political movements no longer need the approval of pundits and party leaders. They don’t need big money ad buys, huge campaign infrastructure spending, or a carefully-controlled “gaffe-free” communications strategy. They don’t need to be nice.

All they need is a policy platform that genuinely reflects the interests of their base, a Master Wizard to run their communication, and a man of substance and conviction – a true Carlylean hero – to lead them.

Western Democracy is about to get a lot more interesting.

Recommended Further Reading

The Art Of The Deal, Donald Trump

Think Big and Kick Ass, Donald Trump (Also: 30 Days To X’s review)

Trump Persuasion Series, Scott Adams

A Whiter Shade Of Candidate, SlateStarCodex

Why Donald Trump Is Winning, Danger And Play

What You Don’t Know About Donald Trump, Danger And Play

Donald Trump Has Game, Heartiste

Why I’m Voting For Trump, Matt Forney

Hail The Donald, Free Northerner

An Honest Review Of Gorilla Mindset

Who is Mike Cernovich? What is Gorilla Mindset? Is it worth ten bucks and two hours of your time? This review will answer these questions in reverse order, starting with the last.

To wit: yes, you should order Gorilla Mindset (Amazon). If you’re in a rough spot, Mike’s ideas might save your life, just like they saved mine.

More importantly, Gorilla Mindset is an important milestone in the ideological development of the Post-Post-Modern Neoreactionary Neomasculinist Manosphere Traditionalist Anti-SJW Western Renaissance, or PPMNNMTASJWWR (admittedly it’s time for a re-brand).

But we’ll get to all that. First, an answer to the most important question:

What Is Gorilla Mindset? How Can It Help You?

Gorilla Mindset

Gorilla Mindset is a guide to self-mastery, written primarily for young men, with a specific focus on mindset. From the Amazon description:

Gorilla Mindset is an entire system that, when coupled with specific mindset shifts and habits, will change the way you think, feel and live your life.

Gorilla Mindset is not a book of theory. These are all practical steps – mindset shifts you take or habits you form – that will change your life.

There are chapters on routine, self-talk, frame, focus, state/mood, mindfulness, and body language. Each chapter contains techniques, mindset shifts, and habits that can be applied to your life.

Gorilla Mindset is classified as Self-Help, but it could be more accurately described as Meta Self-Help. While it occasionally teaches you how to change, the book’s real strength is its ability to teach you how to want to change. Gorilla Mindset has a good amount of practical nuts-and-bolts advice, but its real purpose is to teach you to re-wire your brain. It’s full of full of small, subtle mental exercises and re-frames that will re-orient your thoughts and behaviour toward virtue:

On reframing self-talk, and becoming a good friend to yourself

Imagine that a friend of yours came to you for some advice. Perhaps he had lost his job or his wife left him. Imagine he was facing a real crisis and turned to you for help. What would happen to your relationship with this friend or loved one if your response was, “Your life is over!” You probably wouldn’t have that friend for long, would you?

On mindfulness and good workouts

I later realized boredom is the result of not being in the present moment. Turn off your cell phone. (Even better, leave it in your car or gym locker.) Get on a treadmill, exercise bike, or stair climber. As your body starts moving, focus on having good posture. Begin at a slow to moderate pace. Ask yourself, “Why am I here? What do I expect to accomplish today?” Begin to feel your blood circulating, your respiration increasing, and sweat forming. Tell yourself that you are at the gym as you will feel better after the workout, and that going to the gym benefits you, as it improves your clarity of thinking.

On mindfulness and social interaction

Notice the eye color of every person you interact with. Most people are either too busy looking at their computer screens or they lack the self-confidence to make eye contact. 2. Count the forehead wrinkles someone has in his or her forehead Humans make facial expressions, leading to wrinkles. You can also tell how much time someone spends in the sun and whether they wear sunscreen. 3. Watch a person smile. Do the cheeks move or does the area around the eyes crinkle (the so-called “crow’s feet”). 4. Look at the person’s shoulders. Do they slump? Do they protrude forward? 5. Look at a palm reading chart. Read your own palm. Is this arbitrary? Sure. There is nothing magical about reading your palm. There is something magical about learning how to start noticing details others don’t see.

The strength of Gorilla Mindset’s practical advice is not a single revolutionary new ‘life hack’, but rather a hundred old ones, explained in a way that makes them easier to apply. For example, there is no practical difference between the two pieces of advice ‘make better eye contact’ and ‘note the eye colour of people you talk to’ but the latter is much more powerful than the former, and more likely to lead to actual behavioural changes.

Unlike many books that aspire to teach you self-mastery, Gorilla Mindset is difficult to read. While the prose is clear, efficient and conversational, the content is hostile to any reader expecting a passive feel-good experience. Instead, it guides you through frequent exercises in self-reflection, forcing you to retain and implement what you’ve read. The book presents information, but it places greater emphasis on helping you act on it.

Lack of information is not holding you back

Most of life’s problems are not particularly complicated, and solving them requires no great hidden knowledge. Consider the topic of health and fitness.

You don’t need to be an expert in training and nutrition to be in better shape than the vast majority of your peers. In fact, here’s everything you need to know to develop a great physique:

  • Lift heavy weights with intensity
  • Eat animal protein and vegetables
  • Rest

Follow these three steps consistently and I guarantee you’ll look and feel great. Don’t stress over the best foods, exercises, or supplements. Just do the basics, and do them right.

But everyone knows this already. So, why is actually doing it so difficult for the lost young men of this generation?

Similarly, why do men struggle to implement other basic good habits like talking to women, studying for their classes, working hard in their careers, and reading great books instead of playing video games? Why does our generation of men find it so difficult to actually do the things they know they should be doing?

The problem goes deeper than a lack of information; it is a failure of will. It is a spiritual deficiency, a lack of Thumos, and it will not be cured with a new e-book or blog post about training splits or Tinder text game. If you’re fat, poor, antisocial, easily distracted, or suffering from the myriad other self-governance failure modes afflicting this generation of young western men, you will not change your life by learning more about the areas of life in which you want to improve.

Using myself as an example: readers of this blog will know that I have spent many hours reading and synthesizing the best information I can find on topics like men’s health, making money, and attracting women. I am stuffed to overflowing with ideas about men’s lifestyle design. For the most part, this knowledge helps me live a better and more productive life. But I’ve also gone through periods of mediocrity, spending months idling in akrasia while life and opportunities passed me by.

The waxing and waning of my thumos does not correlate with my level of knowledge. Whether I’m in the gym at six AM every day, or I skip every workout for a month, I always know that I should be lifting weights. Information doesn’t help us, unless we also have the will to act on it.

Gorilla Mindset is a self-development book that surpasses the casual trivialities of what you should do, and instead leads you along a personal journey of figuring out why you want to do it.

Take a moment right now and think about all the challenges you currently face in life. Now answer this question honestly: is there a single one that you don’t already know the solution to? Is there any goal for which you don’t already know the way forward? Once you answer this question, you’ll know the precise value of all the life hacks in the world, compared to the value of actually achieving self-mastery.

The true product of the men’s self-help industry

The Men’s Self-Help genre has exploded in recent years. Almost all of it is garbage, from fitness bloggers pretending they aren’t on PEDs, internet get-rich-quick pyramid schemes, and pick-up artist bootcamps that sell dreams to the weak and gullible.

Why are young men spending hundreds of millions of dollars on six-pack ab programs, make-money-online information products, and weekend pick-up boot camps taught by broken men?

All of this comes from a vast social and spiritual vacuum, a gaping hole where nations, churches, tribes, civic organizations, and strong fathers used to exist. We’re a generation of men with no purpose, no one to follow, and no great crusade to pledge ourselves to. The opportunity to live and fight under a worthy banner is a natural masculine impulse, and it’s been denied to a cohort of young western men indoctrinated to hate their nation, their blood, and their ancestors’ traditions. The result is a broken generation, scrambling for purpose.

This has been a golden opportunity for scam artists adept at parting young men from their money by creating short-lived personality cults, strong-sounding online personas, and the illusion of easy riches, women, and six-percent body fat. But such men are not actually selling solutions: they’re selling the opportunity to feel, briefly, like your dreams are realistic; like you’re destined for a better life than you currently live; like you’re part of something larger than yourself.

What man, confused and alone in a world he doesn’t understand and which seems to hate him, could possibly say no to that offer? Such a man doesn’t truly need to learn the easy specifics of weight training regimens, internet marketing, or basic social skills. But if you can make him feel like a loved and included member of your tribe for as long as it takes to enter his credit card information, he’ll consider it cheap at any price.

This is the current state of the larger masculine self-improvement internet subculture: the blind lead the blind, and the cynical lead the callow. Some do it for money, others for the status thrill of writing in an authoritative tone and watching others treat their words with reverence. A few are cynically self-aware, but most deceive themselves with delusions of their own righteousness.

Who Is Mike Cernovich?

The vast majority of self-proclaimed internet self-help gurus are frauds or scam artists. They want money or attention, and don’t care who they have to rip off to get it.

If you’ve only recently came across Mike Cernovich, you might be wondering: Is this guy for real? Or is he just another opportunist, profiting off the spiritual void in the hearts and souls of young western men?

I can’t reach through my computer screen and convince you of anything. From where you’re sitting, I’m just words on a screen.

But if it’s worth anything to you, here’s my opinion: In the fetid landscape of halfwits, sell-outs, frauds, and cynical profiteers, all seeking to lead the lost sheep amidst the gathering chaos of a decaying society, Mike Cernovich is truly a rara avis in terris nigroque simillima cygno – a man motivated by empathy, virtue, and the pursuit of truth. A man worth following, in a world where few such exist. Gorilla Mindset is a worthy introduction to his works, and it is the first book you should read on your personal journey of growth.

The Next Step

Neoreactionaries have some interesting ideas about the end game of the internet samizdat community. Relevant reading is here and here.

Basically, they believe that we are in the process of creating an alternate source of trustworthy information, an institution that will eventually challenge and defeat The Cathedral for ownership of the western democratic mind. They call this hypothetical institution The Antiversity.

I’m fond of the Neoreactionary community, but its present incarnation (re-hashing examples of progressive idiocy, mixed with insular nattering about the finer points of political design theory) is a dead end. It’s not without value, but neither is it the stuff revolutions are made of. Real political change can only come from a strengthened and weaponized cohort of Europe and America’s best and brightest, successful as individuals, and loyal to each other as a tribe.

The Manosphere (i.e, the explicitly anti-SJW men’s self-improvement community, call it what thou wilt) is the most important arm of the crude extant Antiversity prototype, because it has the greatest potential to recruit new talent and improve the quality of its existing human capital. The Manosphere is what attracts ambitious young men, forges them into useful weapons, and opens their minds to the possibility of doubt.

The publication of Gorilla Mindset is a historically important milestone, because it marks the day the Manosphere went from a loose collection of like-minded blogs with a smattering of good information, into a true Red Pill that any man can use to immediately start down a path towards becoming the best possible version of himself. Gorilla Mindset is a mind-virus with the potential to spread rapidly through the western consciousness. It is a sophisticated entry point for young men who’ve never before considered rejecting their liege gods of political correctness, and it will transform them from obedient slaves, into strong-minded masters of their own souls.

Such men will be free to ask the forbidden questions; free to recognize that just because something exists doesn’t mean it has to exist forever; and free to devote their lives to a cause larger than themselves, and so perhaps cause all sorts of mischief.

Buy Gorilla Mindset for $10 [Amazon]

The Concept Of “Psychopathy” Makes You Weak

Spurred by Mangan’s recent post on Avoiding Psychopathic Predators, and Heartiste’s on How To Spot A Psychopath, I’ve some thoughts to share on psychopathy. To wit: the entire concept of psychopathy is a flawed and harmful belief.  “Psychopathy” conflates positive and negative traits and assumes they are naturally linked. This flawed (or perhaps, ruthlessly effective) definition of psychopathy is making you weak, and holding you back in life.

What is psychopathy?

“Psychopathy” is just a word.

Words are not handed down to us from the gods; they (the words) are invented by imperfect humans. Usually, we invent useful words that help us clarify and explain concepts, but sometimes we screw up.

The word “Psychopath” as a signifier for a mental disorder of immorality, criminality, and Machiavellian behaviour dates to the early twentieth century. Our modern conception of psychopathy was laid out in 1941 with Hervey Cleckley’s Mask Of Sanity. A more recent airport book on modern psychopaths is Paul Babiak’s Snakes In Suits. I recommend both if you’re interested in the subject.

The definition and diagnosis of psychopathy uses the Hare Checklist of sociopathic behaviours:

  1. Glibness/superficial charm
  2. Grandiose sense of self-worth
  3. Pathological lying
  4. Cunning/manipulative
  5. Lack of remorse or guilt
  6. Emotionally shallow
  7. Failure to accept responsibility for own actions
  8. Callous/lack of empathy
  9. Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom
  10. Parasitic lifestyle
  11. Lack of realistic, long-term goals
  12. Impulsivity
  13. Irresponsibility
  14. Poor behavioral controls
  15. Early behavioral problems
  16. Juvenile delinquency
  17. Revocation of conditional release
  18. Criminal versatility
  19. Many short-term marital relationships
  20. Promiscuous sexual behavior

Each factor is assigned a point value of 0 (does not apply), 1 (partial match) or 2 (reasonably good match). The official cut-off for a clinical definition of psychopathy is a score of 25 out of 40 possible points.

Most people – to put it mildly – do not attach any positive connotations to the word “psychopath.” But within the pick-up/Manosphere/Red Pill subculture, there’s a trend towards festishization of Dark Triad personality traits. Quoth Heartiste in an earlier post:

What is it about psychopaths that women can’t get thoughts of them out of their heads? Besides their evocation of high status shamans and warriors of EEA yore, psychopaths bring one big advantage to the mating arena that quickly propels them to the top — fearlessness. That dead zone in their prefrontal gray matter means that psychopaths don’t feel much when women reject them. No hurt, no guilt, no shame, no doubt, no anger, no nothing. Imagine the power at your fingertips if you had the ice cold stones to approach thousands of women nonstop without suffering even the slightest ding to your emotional state from any rejections. Imagine that, coupled with this exotic imperviousness, you impulsively hit on any woman who piqued your interest. I don’t think you’ll need a calculator to figure out how fast your notch count would rise given these personality priors. Chicks dig a go-getter.

See also, from How To Spot A Psychopath:

Perusing that psychopath trait list, I can’t help but notice at least a few of those traits are distinctive of successful, and psychologically healthy, womanizers who simply love the romantic company of (a variety) women. There’s a fair amount of overlap between psychopathy and tight Game. For instance:

glib and superficial charm
grandiose (exaggeratedly high) estimation of self
need for stimulation

As any good player knows, chicks dig overconfident, charming men with exciting lives.

cunning and manipulativeness

Players can be manipulative, but so can women in their own ways. It’s fair to say a little bit of manipulation is normal and healthy in seduction. Legit psychopaths take that talent for manipulation to levels that would dismay even lifelong womanizers.

Can you hear the cognitive dissonance? Heartiste (and the Red Pill community in macrocosm) abhor psychopaths and urge you to keep your distance. But, we also say you should incorporate psychopathic traits into your personality. The Manosphere tacitly recognizes the value of certain psychopathic traits (who can argue with charm or high self-worth?) but we can’t whole-heartedly endorse psychopathy, because, well, I don’t really need to finish this sentence.

But in case I do: the above definition of psychopathy describes a man who burns his friends and family for short-term gain; lies frequently and when there is nothing to be gained; and is generally not worthy of your trust and affection. People (high-value people, at least) eventually catch on to malignant psychopathic behaviour, and excise such people from there lives.

Even if we put aside the moral dimensions of screwing people over: psychopaths eventually find themselves alone, friendless, unloved, untrusted, and unsuccessful. It’s just not a good life strategy.

The result of this confusing definition of psychopathy as a mish-mash of positive and negative traits, is a Red Pill community that struggles with cognitive dissonance. On one hand, the ability to understand and influence social situations is a good thing. But, you don’t want to be a guy who would sell your brother’s kidneys for money to buy a new juicer.

And it’s not like you can do one but not the other, right? This is a package deal! It’s all right there in the checklist.

Why the definition of psychopathy is making you weak

Let’s invent a new mental illness. We’ll call it Caninophillopathy.

Symptoms of Caninophillopathy include:

  • Inability to pick up on social cues, read others’ body language, start or maintain a conversation
  • Dislike changes in routines
  • Appear to lack empathy
  • Be unable to recognize subtle differences in speech tone, pitch, and accent that alter the meaning of others’ speech
  • Avoid eye contact or stare at others
  • Have unusual facial expressions or postures
  • Loves dogs

You probably recognize these symptoms as Asperger’s Syndrome, plus the last one. (I had a hunch that people with Asperger’s had a special affinity for dogs, and a bit of Googling suggests a few other people have made this connection, so there’s probably some correlation between liking dogs and the autism spectrum.)

But, does a love of dogs actually belong in our definition of Asperger’s/Caninophillopathy? Is it a defining feature of the illness? Is the symptom even pathological?

Of course not. By conflating the symptoms of Asperger’s with other neutral or positive traits, we have pulled off the neat rhetorical trick of pathologizing a love of dogs.

I suggest that our working definition of psychopathy does something similar, by forcing an association between negative traits (criminality, cruelty, poor impulse control, maladaptive lying, short time horizons) and virtues such as cunning, charm, a working knowledge of social dynamics, and goal-oriented social behaviour. This muddled definition has two harmful effects on our minds.

The first is the stigmatization of healthy, adaptive behaviour that gets labeled sociopathic. For example, if you explain to people (average people) the concept of goal-oriented communication – i.e, the ability to consciously interact with people in a way that advances your interests – their reaction will often be “OMG you’re a psychopath.”

To such people, considering what you’re about to say before you say it = Hannibal Lector.

On the other side of the coin: by linking pathological behaviours like cruelty, shallowness, and pathological lying, with virtues like  cunning and social savvy, the word “psychopathy” elevates those negative behaviours and causes impressionable young men strive to aspire toward “dark triad” personality traits. Men who simply want to exercise control and agency in their personal lives are tricked into believing that the only way to do so is to become a psychopath who lies, screws over his friends, has no concept of loyalty, and tries to condition himself to enjoy causing pain in others. Psychopathy connotes evil, but also strength. The result is a case of linguistic stolen valour – young men come to implicitly associate strength and evil.

Most men have some cruelty in their soul – the Cult Of The Dark Triad gives them a reason to nurture it. Other men, of a more sensitive disposition, are forced to wear a hat that never fits right. Neither type will ever be as happy and successful as they could be, if they just learn to annihilate the idea of psychopathy from their model of the world.

Cui Bono?

What’s the point of this nonsensical and harmful definition of a non-existent mental condition? Maybe I’m crazy, but I find the world starts to make more sense when you view our culture as a consciously designed tool to weaken and destroy us. Looking through this lens, the concept of Psychopathy serves two purposes:

  1. “Psychopathy” stigmatizes behaviours and mindsets that lead to wealth, power, and success.
  2. For those men who recognize (1), “Psychopathy” suggests that the only alternative to weakness is shallow, egotistical, lone-wolf cruelty.

The Psychopath/Non-Psychopath dichotomy suggests that people are either good and weak, or evil and strong. From the perspective of an elite that wants to remain in power, both options are acceptable: weak men can never accomplish anything; evil men will never develop lasting bonds to their friends, family, and nation that might inspire them to offer coordinated resistance.

The elite’s worst nightmare is a generation of men willing to discard a self-handicapping slave morality, and coordinate their newfound power to impose their will on the future. The concept of psychopathy funnels men into the individual weakness of anti-psychopathy, or a malignantly psychopathic inability to form cohesive social bonds.

Banishing Psychopathy

The literal meaning of psychopathy is broad: psycho-pathy means mind-disease. Many symptoms in our current definition of psychopathy can be characterized as mind-diseases:

  • Taking pleasure in unnecessary cruelty
  • Pathological lying
  • Failure to plan
  • Self-destructive impulsivity and thrill-seeking

These traits are generally self-destructive, anti-social, and maladaptive. But other aspects of our popular and clinical view of psychopathy – charm, social cunning, the ability to endure emotional circumstances without bawling like a toddler – are virtues that we should aspire to, rather than a sickness we should pathologize.

Am I a psychopath? It would appear so. I took the test above, and scored a clean twenty-five. Any man who writes about social dynamics, Game, NLP, and the commonalities between pick-up artists and SEOs, must have traits that the world defines as psychopathic.

But at the same time: I am deeply loyal to my friends and family; I recognize the value of my word and a reputation for honesty; I am not cruel to people for fun and amusement; most importantly, I have plenty of ambitious long-term goals – one of which is to help young western men escape the self-destructive beliefs that are keeping them atomized and weak.

So from now on, I suggest you banish the concept of “psychopath” from your vocabulary and mental model of the world. Don’t let the linguistic conflation of virtue and vice weaken your mind. You don’t have to choose between being strong and evil, or good and weak.


Throughout history, ruling elites have always created narratives to justify their authority.

The human ego is allergic to the honest expression of arbitrary formalized status hierarchies, so power generally requires myths and stories to support itself.

For example: the power of monarchs was justified as the divine right of kings. Kings were viewed as God’s legitimate appointed rulers on Earth, and disobeying them was a sinful rebellion against God. Why should you obey the King? Because God said so. End of discussion. Eat your vegetables and go to bed.

Republican governments eschewed God as a source of sovereign authority, and substituted the myth of The Will Of The People. The republican government’s duty is simply to make policy decisions that reflect the will of its citizens, and God never enters the picture. Republicanism gradually devolves into Democracy, as the duties of citizenship are stripped away.

At the far end of the spectrum of legitimacy, there is authority derived from itself – Power qua Power. This myth of sovereign authority is actually just the absence of a myth, and it characterizes the most brutal and tyrannical expressions of power.

It’s a fun exercise to read through history and consider empires from the perspective of: who rules whom? And what myths do they tell themselves, masters and slaves alike, to justify that distribution of power. It’s even more fun to play that game with our own empire.

Here’s a thought experiment: imagine an Alien visits America in 2015, and wants to figure out who’s in charge. He spends some time following our news cycle, our pop culture, and observing social interactions. In his report, he notes that:

  • Straight white males (SWMs) are subject to legal discrimination in hiring, promotion, and academic admission
  • SWMs are fair game for mockery and derision, while mockery of non-SWMs is socially unacceptable
  • SWMs are portrayed negatively in pop culture and in the news. Whenever a SWM commits a crime, their status as a SWM is a major feature of the story. When a non-SWM commits a crime, there identity is deliberately hidden
  • There seems to be a complex system and ranking of the various non-SWM classes. The Alien is still unsure of the exact delineations – does a black lesbian trump a chinese MtF transexual in a wheelchair? – but SWMs are clearly at the bottom of the totem pole

And here’s the most interesting part: despite all the legal, social, and cultural prejudice against SWMs, the pervading belief in our empire is that SWMs are actually in charge and are running things for their own benefit. SWMs are consumed with guilt, and have convinced themselves that they’re responsible for everything that’s wrong with the world.

At first the Alien is confused, but then he realizes: twenty-first century America is a historically unprecedented phenomenon. It is the world’s first Victimocracy.

What Is A Victimocracy?

A Victimocracy is a society in which the ruling class justifies its position through a mythos of victimhood.

The master morality of the ruling class is: “We are oppressed by the other class, and we continue to suffer from their historical and ongoing domination of society. To rectify this oppression, we must create a legal and social framework that elevates us above the other class, in order to close the gap and repay them for their wrongs against our class.”

The slave morality of the ruled class is: “We are the privileged group in this society, so we must submit to legal and social disadvantages in order to level the playing field and make reparations for our oppression of the other class, to whom we submit entirely.”

Our culture of victimhood and constant privilege-checking may seem silly and stupid, but this is a dangerous underestimation – the Victimhood Mythos is a ruthless justification of raw power, the goal of which is to make you accept your lower station in life, and quiet the doubts of any Social Justice Warrior still human enough to hear whispers from their conscience.

How To Recognize A Victimocracy

If the purported ruling class in your society is actually subject to a wide array of legal disadvantages, they’re either very benevolent rulers, or you’re living in a Victimocracy.

I.e, if white privilege was real, you’d think white people would stop passing laws making it harder to hire and promote white people, increasing penalties on crimes committed by white people, etc.

If you’re frequently told how awful your ruling class is in the most powerful schools, universities, newspapers, TV stations, and other media outlets, you’re probably living in a Victimocracy.

If the dominant narrative in your media and pop culture is that the current oppressors are not long for this world, and the tides of history are about to wash them off the face of the earth, you’re probably living in a Victimocracy.

Bottom line: an actual ruling class doesn’t allow itself to be blatantly sabotaged and attacked.

How To Defeat A Victimocracy

What is to be done?

First, realize: you’re not actually in charge. You are a slave, and so far you’ve been a good one.

Next, practice psychic self-defense so you don’t succumb to the slave morality of Victimocracy. Stay away from pop culture, most of which is infused with the Victimhood Mythos. Get healthy (1), make money (2), read great books (3), and learn to have good relationships with women (4). Take care of the basics before you worry about the big picture.

After that, the key to good psychological health – and effective resistance – is to save your anger for those who deserve it. That means keeping a clear head whenever the next SJW rank-and-file grunt hits the national spotlight, portaging their mattress to graduation, looting a convenience store because why not, or posing for a selfie with a body that looks like a beige garbage bag filled with gravel. These sad, broken people aren’t actually your enemies. They’re just tools.

The real problem, and the real solution – that’s a much bigger question. For now, let’s start with the recognition that you are a slave, you have been thoroughly pwned, and you are surrounded by a culture that seeks to reinforce this myth, so you don’t get… uppity.

The Alternative MBA: How To Actually Make Money In The Real World

You’re a recent high school graduate with acceptance letters from second-rate colleges. Or you’ve just finished a worthless degree with no career prospects. Or maybe you’re an older fella, drifting through life and haven’t yet found a calling.

You don’t know what to do. You don’t have a clear path in front of you. You know that easy middle-class careers are hard to come by. You’re smart, ambitious and willing to put in the work, but you have no idea where to start.

If any of this sounds familiar, this guide is for you. It’s a one-year blueprint that will teach you the basics of business, finance, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Its goal is to provide a superior (and free) alternative to conventional undergraduate business and MBA programs.

Why not study business at a real college?

The average college business program is a complete waste of time. You won’t be challenged, there’s no risk of failure, and you’ll have enough free time to spend half your waking hours perfecting your game on the beer pong table.

For those who have the opportunity to go to an Ivy or equivalent, go for it; the prestige alone is worth the price of admission. But if you’re considering a more typical option, i.e. a mediocre degree from Podunk State University, here’s what you’re signing up for:

  • Professors who have never actually earned a dollar in their lives and are completely out of touch with the modern business world
  • $40,000+ of debt and four years of your early twenties wasted with no actual experience to show for it
  •  The majority of those around you will be painfully average
  • A mind-numbing environment of political correctness and anti-white-male resentment
  • A degree which confers no real benefit to your life and career

If you’re a young man contemplating higher education (or a parent of same), here is some required reading: Worthless, by Aaron Clarey, a comprehensive fisking of the outdated idea that college degrees from average schools are in any way a good investment in the modern world. If you’re on the fence, this book could save you from a costly bad decision.

On a personal level, I’m advising you not to study business at an average school because that’s exactly what I did. It worked out well for me. I had a full scholarship, worked 40+ hours/week year-round, and started a successful business in my junior year. I also met some great people and had a lot of fun – too much fun, at times. But even though my college experience was far better than average, I still consider it one of the biggest mistakes I made in my early twenties. Why? Because of the opportunity cost:

I suppose I got something out of my education, and it definitely opened up doors for me, but what about the opportunity cost? What else might I have done with those five years? At the ripe old age of twenty-eight, and after having made a career change into a completely unrelated field, I think I would have been better off if I had skipped college entirely.

Young men, the world is full of opportunity. Not much of it can be found on the politically correct diploma mills that litter the American continent. Unless you’re earning a marketable degree from a top school, skip college and go do something real with your life.

Who should ignore this advice

This is a guide for smart people who are not currently on an elite track. If you’re moving toward a lucrative career in medicine, wall street, consulting, law, tech, or whatever – stay on that track. If you have the opportunity to study at an Ivy or equivalent, take that opportunity.

If not, let’s get started.

Zero Debt

Before we get to the meat of this MBA, we need to figure out how you’re going to keep the lights on. Conventional wisdom says you should go into student loan debt, but that approach is a) constraining, and b) not really an option when your education is self-directed. So, here are three strategies you can use to make money while you finish this program, without going into debt:

1) Pay for your car with Uber

Uber seems like a good idea for a man in your position: It pays reasonably well and your hours are flexible. You’ll never have to worry about missing rent or not being able to afford something you need. If you need more cash, just get out and drive.

If you haven’t already signed up for Uber as a passenger: help a friend out and use the Manosphere coupon code.

You can also use the time you spend driving to grow your skills and network. Consider the sort of people who take Uber; they are more successful and forward-thinking than the average schlub, and you are getting paid to meet them. Each time you pick up a new passenger, make it a game to strike up a conversation, make them like you, and quickly learn if there are any opportunities for you to help them achieve some goal in their life or vice versa. You can even get some business cards printed for when you meet people you want to stay in touch with. Try out different “scripts” with your passengers to see what behaviours lead to the best impressions and interactions. This experience alone will teach you a lot about sales and networking.

2) Pay for your apartment with AirBNB

Realistically, you can’t afford to live in a top-tier city (NY, SFBA, London, etc) unless you’re already making good money. On the other hand, you aren’t going to grow as a person living in the middle of nowhere. Second-tier cities are the golden mean.

If you live in a nice, central one-bedroom in a decent city, you should be able to earn ~10% of your monthly rent per night on AirBNB. Coordinate with a friend to couchsurf on nights when you have a guest, or just pull off the 21st century sharing economy trifecta: rent your place on AirBNB, then call an Uber to spend the night with a girl you meet on Tinder. The primary benefit of earning side money with AirBNB is that it will allow you to live a better lifestyle than you could otherwise afford. Just as Uber justifies and pays for a decent car, AirBNB requires that you live in a grown-up apartment in a good area.

3) Bartending

If you can get work at an upscale place, bartending is a great way for a young man to earn money, learn about the world, and meet interesting people. Just don’t get caught up in non-stop partying, burning cash on booze and drugs, and letting yourself lose sight of your mission.

Between these two or three sources of income, you can easily afford a modest but professional lifestyle that won’t interfere (much) with your studies.


This program is demanding and difficult (much more than any regular undergraduate business program) so you’ll need a strong foundation before you begin. This foundation will keep you healthy and productive and give you platforms to synthesize everything you’re learning.

1) Build a productive routine

Routines and rituals impose order on your life and schedule. The more aspects of your life you can relegate to autopilot, the more mental energy will be free for important tasks. Your goal is to lock in a healthy sleep, exercise, relaxation, and social schedule so you’re free to focus on your work and studying outside of those time blocks.

There are hundreds of books on performance and productivity, and I’ve read most of them, but here are two that stand out: Getting Things Done, by David Allen and Getting Results The Agile Way, by JD Meier.

Both of these books are essential for anyone who cares about getting the most out of life. Getting Things Done is a classic that has been used by countless high-performing people to create productive and stress-free routines. Getting Results The Agile Way is more obscure, but I found it even more valuable than GTD. Fortunately the systems and advice are complementary, so you don’t need to choose one or the other. Read them, implement their systems, and keep them on hand to use as a reference throughout the year.

2) Build a website

A personal website with a blog is a valuable tool to  organize your thoughts, practice writing, take notes on what you’ve learned, create a personal brand, and connect with like-minded people.

Building a personal website will also force you to get comfortable with basic web design. If you find that you really enjoy this, keep pulling on the string – learn more about web development, and consider studying one of the more marketable programming languages – Ruby on Rails, for example.

Even if you don’t naturally take to programming, you’ll learn how to build basic WordPress sites, manage a mailing list and social media presence, and understand how online marketing works. These are valuable skills, no matter what field of business you eventually get into. If you don’t have a natural aptitude for programming, don’t force it beyond a certain level. There isn’t much money out there for bad hackers, but there is plenty for hustlers who know enough to have an intelligent conversation with technical guys.

Creating a simple website is easy and cheap: Sign up with Dreamhost with the coupon code THUMOTIC (25% discount) and follow the instructions for a one-click WordPress installation. Use the free WordPress 2015 theme to get started, and figure the rest out as you go.

Reading and Lectures

The first four months of this program are devoted entirely to reading and lectures. During this period, you should be able to put in 40 hours/week of studying, while driving for Uber and renting your apartment on AirBNB to pay your bills. You’re also going to make excellent use of your time, because you’ve read and implemented Getting Things Done and Agile.

Unlike a mainstream undergraduate business program, we’re not going to focus on the nuts and bolts of running a business (accounting, law, structure) since these are easy for smart people to figure out on the fly. We’re also not going to waste time learning airy academic theory-masturbation: organizational behaviour; Keynesian economic models; marketing practices that are completely irrelevant in the 21st century; or other assorted time-wasters with which most colleges fill their lectures.

Basically, we are not going to learn about business from slouch-backed academics making 40k/year working 80-hour weeks as adjuncts at the age of thirty-five. Instead, we’re going to learn from people who have actually become successful, who are successful today, and who are teaching the smartest people in the world. The internet makes this possible, the world just hasn’t caught on that it makes zero sense for anyone to pay for a lecture about business from some washed-up academic at Podunk State, when you can watch lectures online (for free) taught by the most accomplished people in the world. But we’ll get to all that below.

Right now, here’s an outline of your intensive reading and lecture schedule for your first semester:

  • Month #1 – Soft skills: Networking, sales, making friends and influencing people
  • Month #2 – Mindset: Giving yourself permission to make money
  • Month #3 – Business Basics: Classic texts on business and entrepreneurship
  • Month #4 – Thinking like a Startup: Studying the most successful businessmen of the 21st century

Below are your detailed readings, lectures, and practical assignments for the semester.

Month #1: Soft Skills

Many smart people take a haughty attitude towards social skills, but social behaviour is a system like any other. If you’re smart, you can get good at it. If you’re good at it, you can accomplish more than you would otherwise. So, let’s get good at it:

The Curmudgeons Guide To Getting Ahead, Charles MurrayCurmudgeon

If you’re young or have never worked in a professional environment, there are a lot of arbitrary social norms that you’ll need to learn and implement in order to appear ‘professional.’ The Curmodgeons Guide To Getting Ahead is a comprehensive guide to understanding those norms and succeeding in a business environment run by ‘curmudgeons’, i.e. old successful people. (Ed: As of Oct 2016, Murray has revealed himself as a #NeverTrump cuck. Sad! Skip or steal this book, as seems fittest to you.)

Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time, Keith Ferrazzi

Never Eat Alone is the best book on networking and relationship-building (also known as being a good person and making friends) I’ve ever read. It seems to be out of print so you may have to get creative to get your hands on a copy.

How To Win Friends And Influence People, Dale CarnegieWin Friends Influence People

In 2015, someone publishes a new book about networking and success every five minutes. How To Win Friends and Influence People has stood the test of time and is still used often in corporate training today, because it is still better than almost anything that has come after it.

The Mystery Method, by Erik von Markovik

Here, we aggressively depart from any standard business curriculum in existence. And why not? Sales is seduction, and seduction mystery methodis sales. The pick-up artist’s approach to social behaviour (i.e. treating it as just another system to be understood) is the most useful frame for intelligent, analytic men. PUA culture gets a bad rap because it seems incomprehensible and vaguely unfair to socially adroit midwits.

* * *

As you read these books, write up a separate blog post for each one. Include a summary, the notes you took, and any key takeaways that you were able to apply to your life. Don’t worry about making this summary useful to other people; the purpose is just to force you to read each book critically, take notes, and retain what you learn. Continue this habit for every book throughout this program.


Your first month’s lecture series is the Tim Ferriss Podcast archives. Listen to every single one. These podcasts are not directly related to sales and networking. Rather, each week is a new guest who is either a very successful person, or an expert in some field you can use to improve your life. Tim Ferriss always asks good questions and keeps the podcast dense and information-rich; you can learn as much from the questions he asks, as you can from the guests’ answers.


Each month will include a practical exercise designed to test and reinforce what you’ve learned. This month, your practicum is simple: have 100 positive interactions with strangers. These can be cute girls in a nightclub, strangers in a coffee shops, Uber passengers, or anything else you can imagine. Keep a journal of each interaction and make a note of why each interaction went well, and what elements of it you can reproduce and make a part of your natural personality. Once you finish this assignment, write another blog post with your results, but try to make it much better than your rough book summaries. Put effort into making this one interesting and readable to an external audience, and try to share it with other potential readers on social media.

Month #2: Mindset

The goal of your second month is developing the right mindset to be successful in work and life: learning to be positive, giving yourself permission to make money, and overcoming self-limiting beliefs that might hold you back. We’re not going to go too far off the edge and adopt the saccharine feel-good positivity of internet marketing scam artists, but you’re going to learn that making money through entrepreneurship is something that smart people can do fairly easily.


The Four-Hour Work Week, Tim FerrissFour hour work week

This book will change the way you think about work and life. If you are interested in making money online, living a location-independent lifestyle, and long-term travel – Tim Ferriss is the man who taught a generation what is possible in a globalized, digitally connected world. Much of the practical advice in 4HWW is out of date, but this book is still the definitive introductory textbook for the location-independent entrepreneur.

Choose Yourself, James Altucher

Choose Yourself is a good book about charting your own path in a world without job security and stability, and a meditation on the importance of openness and honesty for happiness and good mental health.

Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hillthink and grow rich

The original and best book on the mindset, attitude, beliefs, and habits that lead to success. The author researched the book over twenty years of studying highly successful people, watching what they did and identifying their common traits.

The Seven Habits Of Highly Successful People, Stephen Covey

Personal development classic and essential reading for anyone interested in getting more out of life.


The Danger and Play podcast covers a wide range of topics including physical fitness, performance-enhancing drugs, marketing, writing, conquering anxiety, and mindset training. It’s impossible to summarize the scope of D+P, and most of the early podcasts focus on health and fitness, but it’s all essential listening.

Practicum Assignment

In the Four-Hour Work Week, each chapter closes with an exercise designed to get you out of your comfort zone. Do those exercises.

Also: I’ve written previously about NLP Exercises. This one is called The Switch:

Choose someone you admire and respect, either a real-life mentor, a famous person, a historical figure, or even a fictional character. Let’s use Elon Musk as an example.

Now: close your eyes and imagine you and Elon Musk magically swapped bodies, resulting in two new people. One of these is in a bad situation that will end with SpaceX early adopters dying horrible fiery deaths, but forget about him right now.

What happens to the mind and soul of Elon Musk in your old body?

Chances are, Elon is not impressed with the situation he finds himself in. He gets up from the couch, brushes the potato chip crumbs from his chest and does a quick tour of his apartment, piecing together various aspects of his new life. He asks questions like:

  • Is my living space clean, organized, and conducive to productivity?
  • What does my body look like? What food is there in my fridge? Am I a healthy man?
  • What books am I reading?
  • Do I live in a city where I have opportunities to actually do something interesting with my life?
  • What’s my cashflow situation? Do I have the financial cushion to pursue interesting new ideas, or am I broke and living paycheck to paycheck?
  • What is the most important thing that I should be doing right now, to get my life back on track?

The purpose of this exercise is to make you look at your life through fresh eyes. Forget how you see your life, and focus on what Elon Musk would see. More importantly, think about what Elon Musk would do.

I can’t answer this question for you. Maybe it’s as simple as getting off the computer, doing the dishes, and going to bed at a reasonable hour. Maybe you just realized you need to save some money and get out of your Podunk town. Would Elon Musk be stressing over how long it’s taking some girl he hasn’t even met to message him back on Tinder? I don’t think so.

The point is that if Elon is reasonably impressed that you’re making the best of your current situation, you’re probably on the right track. If Elon (or whomever) is shaking his head at what a self-destructive twat you are… well, go ahead and ask your projected simulacrum what lifestyle changes he would recommend.

Your second assignment is write a short story in narrative form, about Elon Musk (or some other high-performing hero of yours) waking up in your body. What does Elon Musk do with your current situation? To make this exercise more useful, you are free to impute your own desires and values on Elon-as-you. For example, if your goal in life is to be a professional actor, Elon-as-you can wake up with a strange new yearning for the stage. Put some effort into this story and try to make it as readable as possible. Publish it on your website and try to get as many people as possible to read it.

Month #3: Business Classics

The books in this selection have been selected partly on the basis of quality, but also because they will give you a well-rounded overview of everything you would have actually learned in business school. Will this be useful for an actual career in business? Yes, absolutely. But as a bonus, these books will also make sure you always have a basic idea of what everyone else is talking about in a room full of business school graduates. Depending on where your career ends up taking you, this might be among the most useful skills you learn.

Good To Great, Jim Collins

The Effective Executive, Peter Drucker

Security Analysis, Benjamin Graham

Competitive Strategy, Michael Porter


The James Altucher podcast

Like Tim Ferriss, James Altucher is a smart and interesting guy who gets impressive guests on his podcast and tries to figure out what makes them tick.

Practicum Assignment

Reach out to five successful business owners and try to learn what made them successful. Develop a few interview-style questions and try to make them interesting and creative. You can tell them it’s for a class project, which isn’t entirely untrue. Compile your answers into high-quality blog post and try to share it with as many people as possible.

Month #4: Thinking Like A Startup

You’re (probably) not going to start a $50B company while completing this program. If you have the brains and the opportunity, by all means go for it – create Uber for strippers, LinkedIn for pets, or Tinder for people who want to get in a fight. Work hard and toss a few points my way when you hit the big time. But whether you’re working on a sexy new app or a more traditional brick-and-mortar business, the fundamentals of entrepreneurship remain the same: creating value, finding customers, capturing some of the value you create. So: in the final month of the first semester, you’re going to immerse yourself in the culture and best practices of the smartest and most accomplished minds in Silicon Valley.


Hackers and Painters, Paul Grahamhackers

This collection of essays is far-ranging and not always directly applicable to succeeding in business, but it is an entertaining look in one of the greatest minds alive today. It will also help you develop a passing familiarity with  hacker culture and how technical people view aspiring pointy-haired bosses like yourself.

Zero to One, Peter Thiel

If the United States of America appointed itself a CEO tomorrow, Peter Thiel would be my first choice. Zero to One is based off his lectures at the Stanford How To Start A Startup course and it is short, dense, and practical. The most important theme of the book is cultivating the ability to recognize opportunities and gaps in the market.

Steve Jobs, Walter IsaacsonSteve Jobs

Steve Jobs may not be a great role model in all respects, but he might be the most impactful CEO in the history of business. Whatever else anyone might say of him, he got results. His biography is a fascinating portrait.

The Lean Startup, Eric Ries

My main takeaway from this book: whatever business you’re in, it’s easy to get caught up in endless development of your product or service. In most cases, the best thing to do is just get out there, start selling, and figure out what your clients want and how they want you to sell to them.


This month, you’ll complete the YCombinator video and reading series: How To Start A Startup.

The course is geared towards high-tech startups working on world-changing technologies, but the majority of the course is directly applicable to smaller and more traditional businesses:

  • Identifying opportunities
  • Identifying target users (i.e, customers) and getting feedback from them
  • Choosing cofounders (i.e, partners)
  • Factors that separate successful businesses from unsuccessful ones
  • Common pitfalls of new business
  • Sales and marketing

Some parts of it won’t be directly applicable to more traditional types of businesses (you probably won’t be raising money from VCs) but the majority of the content applies to any type of business, and the teachers are some of the smartest and most successful people in the world.


For this month’s practicum, you’re going to find a mentor. How do you find a mentor?  This is a big topic that deserves a post of its own, but in brief:

  1. Be someone worth mentoring
  2. Reach out to people you admire and offer value in the form of ideas, introductions, and articles relevant to their interests
  3. Ask for advice, then implement it and tell them what happened
  4. Follow up, be grateful, keep offering value, keep taking their advice, and always look for opportunities to help them achieve their goals
  5. Tell your mentor about what you’re reading. Offer to lend him books after you’ve finished them, and send him your summaries and notes
  6. Make a commitment to look for opportunities to pay it forward when you’re at a more advanced place in life

You can learn a lot from books, blogs, videos and tutorials, but there are many problems that you can solve in one minute by asking a real-life mentor that would take you a day of solo research.

From Theory To Practice

You didn’t think we were just going to sit around and read for a year, did you?

At this point in the program, you’ve learned more of value in four months than a typical undergraduate business student will acquire in four years. We’re going to keep reading and learning over the next eight months, but we’re also going to start putting what we’ve learned into practice.

The next eight months are going to be less structured, since there’s only so much a structured program can do once you’re on your feet and moving. Once you actually start your own business, everything you’ve studied will become tangible, and you’ll find yourself revisiting the books and lectures you’ve absorbed, but this time with fresh eyes and hard questions that you need the answers to. This is what real learning feels like.

What kind of business are you going to start? Easy question. Business-to-business services is where you want to be, partly because it’s where the money is, but also because it will force you to learn how companies operate and how to pitch to them. Selling to business owners will elevate you and make you smarter; selling consumer products to bored housewives and gullible idiots (i.e., most internet marketing) will have the opposite effect. The best way to make a million dollars is to help someone else make a billion dollars. This applies on a smaller scale. If you want to earn $100,000, find a million-dollar business and help them increase their bottom line by 10%.

So: What are you good at? what can you do that other people will want to pay you for? This is a question only you can answer, but here are three possibilities:


Read a few books about basic accounting and learn a small business accounting program backward and forward. Now you can approach business owners and offer to set them up with a new accounting system that will save them X dollars and Y hours per year. The better you get, the more value you can deliver, and the higher of a rate you can charge.

Digital Marketing

How many local companies can you identify that have terrible websites and a poor online presence? How much more business would they earn if they got that fixed? The answer to both questions is: a lot. At this point you’ve already taught yourself how to build a website, so start doing that. Then you can branch out to other digital marketing services: PPC, analytics, content, email, SEO. As you learn more, you’ll get a better sense of how much value you’re providing.

CRM and Sales Funnels

Most businesses do a sub-optimal job of collecting client information and following up with them for repeat business. if you learn everything you can about customer relationship management (best practices and software) and offer to implement a CRM that will increase a company’s lifetime customer value XX%, you can do very well for yourself. A good extension from this is to study sales and call scripts, so you can offer sales training as well.

Whatever you choose, there are just two things that will determine your success: 1) get really, really good at what you do, and 2) get really, really good at sales.

These three examples above are off the top of my head. There are a hundred ways you can help a successful business perform even better. Find one that matches your interests and talents, start getting really good at it, and start closing deals.

Getting started will be hard. People will be wary to hire an inexperienced kid to play with their core business tools. That’s why you’ve got Uber to keep food on the table while you grind: work for free, tap your personal network, work ten hours for every one you actually bill, and generally put in the sweat equity until you get to a point where you can deliver an insane ROI while charging a high rate for your services.

Building a business will provide context and real-world reference points for everything you’re learning in the lectures and reading. You will have countless moments of “Ahh, that’s what he was talking about when he said…!” Books and lectures are valuable, but ultimately business is like sex: you’re not going to learn it from a book or a blog post.

Keep Reading

Just because you’re working non-stop building a business doesn’t mean you get to stop reading.

You can’t grind in a state of hard focus every waking hour without sacrificing quality. When you need to unwind, pick up one of the books below for some education and inspiration. These are some of my favourite biographies of successful businessmen and I’ll add to this list over time as I find more:

Losing My Virginity, Richard Branson

How To Win At The Sport of Business, Mark Cuban

How To Fail At Everything And Still Win Big, Scott Adams

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, Ben Franklin

Education of a Bodybuilder, Arnold Schwarzenegger

Winning, Jack Welch

How To Get Rich, Felix Denis

Keep Writing Your Blog

Your blog is not a business. It is a personal journal and a tool for self-development. Maybe one day you can make a living by creating web content, and your current blog will be good practice for when that day comes. Right now though, you’re focused on a real business that provides value to people in the physical world.

That said: keep using your blog to record summaries of books you’re reading, mind-dumping thoughts and experiences on your journey, and demonstrating to the world that you’re not just another schmuck playing video games and jerking off in his mom’s basement. Build a website that portrays you to the world – accurately – as a smart, hungry, knowledgeable hustler.

You’re also going to continue to elevate the quality of your writing. The ability to communicate clearly and quickly in writing is invaluable, and a personal blog is the best tool to develop that skill. Most of your growth in this area will come with practice, but here are a few excellent books about writing to help you refine your craft:

Bird By Bird, by Anne Lamott

On Writing: Memoir Of The Craft, by Stephen King

The War Of Art, by Stephen Pressfield

The Elements Of Style, William Strunk


One year from today:

  1. You will have at least as much money in the bank as you do right now.
  2. You will have ingrained productive work habits, self-discipline, and the ability to focus.
  3. You will be healthy, happy, and in good physical shape.
  4. You will be an expert in a specific field of B2B consulting, or whatever else you’ve chosen.
  5. You will own and operate a profitable business.
  6. You will have a powerful and successful mentor who can help you navigate your next steps
  7. You will have far more practical and theoretical knowledge of business and entrepreneurship than business school graduates from everywhere but the top business schools in the world.
  8. You will be a fast and eloquent writer.
  9. You will have a written record of your journey, and an easy-to-reference collection of notes you’ve taken along the way.

This program is far superior to 90% of undergraduate business educations available in the USA, most of which are run by professors who have never actually worked for a business and are entirely focused on churning out research papers and selling you a new edition of their $200 textbook every semester. This program is also much cheaper, and it will only take you one year. Perhaps most importantly: this program doesn’t support a corrupt academic establishment run by Social Justice Warriors who are actively hostile to your goals in life. If you feel revulsion at the sight of these people in positions of power in the world, eschewing their diploma-mill institutions for the program above is a small but significant act of rebellion.

A friend recently asked me what I would do, if I were eighteen years old today. This program is my answer.

Maybe you’re not looking for an opportunity to completely reboot your life. If so, I hope this page provides some valuable resources for your ongoing self-education and growth. Maybe you really do need a reboot, but you’re afraid to take the leap right now. If so, keep this page in mind and return to it when it’s time. But if you’re a young and intelligent American man and you’re up to the challenge, take a year to give yourself a comprehensive education in business and entrepreneurship. Set a starting date, order your first month’s reading materials, and get moving.

How To Start A Revolution

Imagine you live in a town with only one widget factory.

One day you go on a tour of Widgets Inc. and realize their entire business is terrible. The equipment is falling apart, workers are asleep at their posts, and the floor manager is in the back room snorting cocaine off the secretary’s taint.

Most people would ignore an experience like this, but a savvy businessman would recognize the looming failure of Widgets Inc. as a massive opportunity. No matter how big and secure the company may seem today, their position is fragile. Someone is going to come along and eat their lunch.

This is how Americans should view their current political elite.

What Is A Revolution?

Revolution seems like a big, scary word. It shouldn’t. Political revolutions occur often throughout history, and they don’t necessarily involve violence.

Revolutions occur when influential people are disappointed in the quality of their government, and start working to transfer stewardship from one ruling class to another.

The goals of a revolution are broad and far-reaching. At minimum, a true revolution will require the complete liquidation of the Democratic and Republican parties, and massive reforms to every branch of government, our financial system, academia, and mass media.

Who will benefit from a political revolution in the United States?

Revolutions result in winners and losers. Some people and groups will find their status elevated, others will not.

The people who stand to gain the most from a changing of the guard in Washington are flyover Americans: white, middle-class, Christian, Republicans, i.e. the most hated and shat-upon people in America today, who nonetheless are her most avid supporters. Middle America has been reduced to a spiritually empty shell of itself, and members of this Vaisya class are almost completely powerless in the modern world. A just revolution would elevate their position to one of basic respect.

Young Americans, awash in student loan debt, unable to afford middle-class lifestyles, and doomed to pay the financial and spiritual debts of the Baby Boom generation for the rest of their lives, are a likely reservoir of support for a political revolution.

The elite of Silicon Valley, as the most likely candidates for our next ruling class, are also likely to benefit from revolution.

The armed forces, disillusioned with a decade-plus of watching their friends die in utterly pointless wars and primarily populated by the Vaisya class, probably wouldn’t stand in anyone’s way. N.B., the United States Armed Forces officers have sworn an oath to defend the formal Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. This probably justified a legal military coup in 1933, and certainly could justify one today.

And who would lose? The Washington-based political establishment; the academics and journalists who make their living reinforcing its legitimacy; the freak show social justice warriors and protected fringe classes terrorizing the kulaks on their behalf. Certainly no one whose career prospects are worth losing any sleep over.

What Would A Revolution Look Like?

It’s 2015, so forget about storming the Whitehouse with brickbats and torches. An ideal revolution wouldn’t require any violence at all. It’s possible that pre-revolutionary conditions could be established entirely through the internet.

Consider: what would happen if 75% of property-owning Americans verifiably supported an online petition requesting the federal government to abdicate all power and revert complete sovereign authority to each of the fifty states? There are other options. We could nominate a worthy man – say Peter Thiel, or Arnold Schwarzenegger – to the position of absolute monarch. We could choose declare war on an absurdly well-governed sovereign, like Switzerland or Lichtenstein, and immediately surrender, inviting them to conquer and administrate us.

Personally, I like all these ideas, but the simple dissolution of the USA into fifty independent nations is my favourite. It’s a simple, clean, humble admission of the complete failure of the American experiment, and it provides a nonviolent resolution to the Red/Blue conflict, letting each state’s population govern themselves as they see fit.

Would the armed forces stand in their way? Would Washington march against state militias, dissident army factions,  and citizens across the country, annihilating tens of millions of Vaisya Americans in a new civil war bloodier than any the world has ever seen? Maybe. But if so – if the ruling class would actually wage this war, commit a genocide against people who just want to be left alone, to go their own way, live their lives, and be free of their coastal overlords – well, then we’re probably fucked anyways.

In the absence of a revolution, here are the people on track to inherit power:

These people – and of course, those who actually control them –  must be stopped. That is our generation’s burden, and it is our great opportunity.

How To Prepare For A Revolution

Arguably, a revolution is already occurring in the American mind. People are losing faith in the status quo. By reading and sharing this post, you are already contributing to a pre-revolutionary environment. The only question is: will you be a part of what comes next?

The success or failure of any revolution will be a function of the quality of people supporting it. A revolution led by healthy, successful, intelligent, disciplined men will win. If you want power, become worthy of it.

If you believe that America in 2015 would benefit from a peaceful revolution – and quite frankly, between unnecessary wars, mass surveillance, population replacement, fiscal insolvency, the breakdown of family and community, a vanishing middle class, and the widespread elevation of depraved lunatic social justice warriors to positions of power and influence, you’d be crazy not too – the best thing you can do is work on becoming the best possible version of yourself.

Then wait.

An Introduction To Evolutionary Psychology

As more and more men find this blog and the larger Manosphere community, I’ve noticed many young guys are learning the conclusions of Red Pill theory without actually piecing together the “Why?” behind it all.

For example: why do women chase sex with assholes, but want to settle down with nice boyfriends? Why does acting aloof make you more desirable? Why are men who dress with a bit of flair perceived as more attractive? You know these observations are true, but can you explain why they’re true?

It can be useful to read superficial advice about tactics, i.e. how to look and act like an alpha male, but I believe it’s more valuable to internalize the scientific and logical foundations of Game and The Red Pill. You’ve been raised with self-sabotaging beliefs about how men should think and behave, and those beliefs are hard to just shake off on a whim.

What you need is a completely new understanding of the rules governing social behaviour, a new mindset, and a new paradigm through which you can interpret sex and dating: the paradigm of Evolutionary Psychology.

A Brief History Of Evolutionary Psychology

Once upon a time, some smart people realized that typical human behaviour may have been partially shaped by our Environment of Evolutionary Adaptation (EEA). Much like, you know, every single other organism on the face of the Earth.

Early pioneers of what was then called Sociobiology were harassed, intimidated, shouted down in lectures, and had fire alarms pulled at their conferences by proto-Social Justice Warriors infuriated at the crimethinkful implications of this new idea.

The battle raged in academia for decades, but as evidence and good arguments mounted, it became impossible for all but the most stupid and/or disingenuous academics to ignore it. By now, a truce appears to have been signed in which the core precepts of Evolutionary Psychology are accepted as too obvious to deny, but gauche to bring up in polite company. The early pick-up artist movement adopted Evolutionary Psychology as one of its foundational pillars, furthering the deeply uncool reputation of the field.

The purpose of this post is to offer an introductory reading list on the subject of Evolutionary Psychology. I recommend you work your way through it from top to bottom; the order is based on a combination of quality, importance, and accessibility.

Sperm Wars, Robin Baker

Sperm WarsSperm Wars is a fun and accessible book that explores evolutionary theories of human sexual behaviour through narratives paired with short explanatory chapters.

I often recommend this book on my blog, for a few reasons. On a personal level, it was one of my first introductions to the subject, so I will always gratefully associate it with that crucial mind-altering explosion of clarity I experienced while reading it as a clueless teenager. More importantly, I think it’s the most effective book for enticing men to start a lifelong habit of reading great books. If your mind isn’t currently open to knowledge (when’s the last time you read a real book?) Sperm Wars is a crowbar that will open the first crack in your willful ignorance.

I guarantee you will not get bored reading Sperm Wars, and you will get tremendous value from it if you aren’t already familiar with the many ways evolutionary psychology can enhance your relationships with women.

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The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins

Selfish GeneYes, I know Richard Dawkins turned into a bit of a poof, Speaking Truth To Power by making fun of conservative Christians and jumping on the New Atheism bandwagon.

But the man used to enjoy a good street fight, and The Selfish Gene is a brilliant exegesis of the theory of evolution at its most foundational level. The Selfish Gene transcends the unscientific navel-gazing just-so stories that characterize EvPsych at its worst, and delves into a unified theory of replication, reproduction, and descent with modification, taking the theory of evolution as far beyond mere biological organisms as you care to go.

Anyone interested in the ideological evolution of our society, and the political implications thereof, would do well to think hard about Dawkins’ infamous final chapter on memetic evolution. This may come as a surprise to younger readers, but the word “meme” can be applied to more than just silly kitten pictures and unclear photos of blue/gold dresses.

If you’re a natural reader with no shortage of focus and willingness to push through some occasionally dense (though always fascinating and articulate) prose, I recommend you start with The Selfish Gene, as it lays a theoretical foundation that every other book in this list builds upon.

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(Aside: Below is an excellent video which avoids the use of Dawkins’ coinage, probably because he’s speaking to a generation that associates ‘meme’ with cats and dresses, but nonetheless does an excellent job of describing the concept. I find it gloriously appropriate that the word Dawkins invented to describe the evolution of ideas, has itself evolved into a horrific and shallow version of itself.)

The Moral Animal, Robert Wright

Moral AnimalThe Moral Animal is one of many fine pop-science books that explore the implications of evolutionary psychology for human behaviour. It’s a very good popular introduction to Ev Psych and I’ll always have a fondness for it since it was my first introduction to Evolutionary Psychology as an academic discipline, after reading the mostly-narrative Sperm Wars.

More than any other book on this list, The Moral Animal covers the ethical implications of our primal nature, and the origins of morality as an adaptive construct. Basically: if our conception of morality is just a fitness-enhancing tendency to conform to group norms which ultimately has no basis in objective morality, why shouldn’t I go kill a nun right now?

The Moral Animal didn’t offer anything I took to be a satisfying answer – just some hand-waving and nice feelings – but it was nonetheless interesting and well-written throughout, hence it’s place in the top three of this list.

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The Mating Mind, Geoffrey Miller

Mating mindWhy do humans have such big brains? Our over-sized skulls make childbirth dangerous, use 25% of our bodies’ energy, and generally force humans to be soft, slow, sensitive, poorly-armed prey in a faunascape of much tougher competitors. Intelligence can be useful, but only to a certain point. It’s not like we need brains capable of writing sonnets, composing symphonies, and covering chapels with photo-realistic frescoes.

The human soul, from a survival perspective, is a complete waste of resources. The lion has her teeth, the cheetah her speed, and the turtle her shell, but mankind seems to have dumped its biological character points in a costly but mostly useless gaming console.

In The Mating Mind, Miller argues that humans evolved our big, impractical, calorically expensive brains for reasons unrelated to survival. Rather, our brains serve the same function as male peacocks’ tail feathers – counter-signalling. Basically: only a strong and healthy peacock could possibly survive with such a big, useless tail. So, female peacocks who desire the best mates will pursue the most encumbered, whose survival in spite of themselves is a credible signal of underlying genetic fitness.

Miller argues a similar mechanism is responsible for the existence of brains capable of humour, art, music, rhythm, and complex thought. Our brains are the result of sexual selection, which can be completely arbitrary, rather than natural selection, which is concerned entirely with our actual ability to survive and reproduce. Our brains, like the peacock’s tail, exist not in spite of their high cost but because of it.

In humans, unlike peacocks, the sexual selection effect cuts both ways. Rather than a simple Males Compete Females Choose (MCFC) dynamic, both human sexes are obligated by our evolutionary signalling equilibrium to dump resources into their mostly ornamental brains. This paradigm is called Mutual Mate Choice (MMC), and it has some interesting implications. Here’s Geoffrey Miller in a short publication, Mutual Mate Choice Models as the Red Pill in Evolutionary Psychology:

Thus, MMC usually maximizes variance in “mutation load” across individuals, and maximizes the strength of the general genetic “fitness factor” that seems to underlie some of the variation in intelligence, personality, moral virtues, mental health, and physical health across people (Arden et al., 2009; Prokosch et al., 2005). The result of MMC is that we end up living in a species with the lowest level of genetic equality that any mating system could possibly produce (Miller, 2010).
Ideologically, MMC models can sound like they naturalize neo-Victorian family values of slow courtship, careful mate choice, voluntary eugenics, long-term monogamy, sexual fidelity, and paternal duty. Thus, MMC threatens to impose a sort of puritanical buzzkill on the pop psychologists devoted to the MCFC “men are promiscuous, women are monogamous” mantra, and on the pop anthropologists who champion the “people are bonobos” mass-promiscuity model. They might not wel-come such a stern Galtonian party-crasher.
MMC is the toughest Red Pill to swallow because it leaves us stuck right here in the same old monogamous Matrix, with no sexually liberated Zion in sight, and no consolation other than a deeper understanding of how we came to be here.

[MMC]will also require the ideological maturity to accept that heritable individual differences have been important targets of male and female choice for a very long time, that some current inequalities arose as unintended genetic consequences of our ancestors’ mutual mate choices, and that such inequalities might persist as long as human mate choice remains consensual and free.

This Geoffrey Miller sure does sound like an interesting fella!

So what’s he up to now? Unfortunately, he’s taken a leave of absence to focus on a very promising side project: Ripping off the Manosphere, watering it down to PC-pablum, and partnering with former author Tucker Max on The Mating Grounds, a dating advice website for the mass* market.

(*Current stats for The Mating Grounds as of this writing: 268 Facebook Likes, 178 Twitter Followers, 98 YouTube Subscribers.)

Whatever he’s doing now though, Miller has nonetheless produced and popularized some interesting and important ideas in his earlier years, and The Mating Mind is an excellent book. Check it out.

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The Red Queen, Matt Ridley

Red QueenThe Red Queen overlaps with both The Moral Animal and The Mating Mind, but takes a much more speculative approach to the links between our Environment of Evolutionary Adaptation, and modern-day manifestations of behaviour. Ridley incautiously and aggressively posits theories about how natural and sexual selection has shaped human behaviour, as if he just dropped a few tabs of LSD and started writing down whatever came to mind.

This may sound like criticism, but it’s not. The Red Queen is upfront about the speculative nature of most chapters, and Ridley specifically claims that, in his estimation, half the theories in this book are wrong. The result is a book that is refreshing in its willingness to throw ideas around.

The Red Queen is best read (as its position on this list suggests) after you’ve had a good introduction to the theoretical background of Evolutionary Psychology. Treat this book like a conversation with a friend and evaluate some of the more far-fetched “just-so” stories on their merits, and it will be an enjoyable, informative, brain-stretching read.

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The Paleo Manifesto, by John DurantPaleo Manifesto

I’ve read a dozen books about Paleolithic health and nutrition, but The Paleo Manifesto is by far the best. In addition to being a fine introduction to the theory and practice of Paleolithic health, it also outlines a fascinating interpretation of The Old Testament as an allegorical history of mankind’s transition from hunter-gatherer tribes to agricultural civilization:

 Like a dream upon awakening, we struggle to remember life before literacy, life before herding and farming, life before the Fall. But if we step back from the fine details and take in the broad contours, the biblical memory of the Fall has the following arc. We lived in the Fertile Crescent (Genesis 2:10–14). We lived in harmony with our habitat (Genesis 2:8–25). It did not require much effort to procure food (Genesis 2:8–9). We didn’t wear clothes (Genesis 2:25). Then we did something wrong (Genesis 3:6). As punishment, men had to start farming, which was hard (Genesis 3:17–19). We had to eat bread (Genesis 3:19). As punishment, women had to bear more children, childbirth became painful and dangerous, and women fell under the dominion of men (Genesis 3:16). We built the first cities (Genesis 4:17). Our nature now clashed with this new habitat (Genesis 6:5–7, 6:11–12). Agrarian civilizations struggled with famine (Genesis 41), lawlessness (Exodus 20), large-scale warfare (Numbers), and disease (Exodus 7–11). Over time, urban farmers eating plant-based diets displaced hunters and herders eating animal-based diets (Genesis 3:17–19; Genesis 4:2–17; Genesis 25:23–34). Step even further back, and these early herder-farmers had a memory that goes something like this: Life was good. We ate something we shouldn’t have. Now life is bad. It would be a decidedly brilliant set of cultural rules that would help a tribe of herder-farmers adapt to life in the early Agricultural Age, and its most important new habitat: the city.

Durant also interprets the Mosaic precepts of cleanliness as instructions for avoiding food poisoning and microbial infections, far in advance of our overt understanding of the germ theory of disease. Mosaic Laws regarding hand-washing, food preparation, burying the dead, monogamy, and sexual restraint during menstruation may have helped Israelites succeed and thrive in post-agricultural close-quartered urban settings throughout recent history. Strident atheists like Richard Dawkins would presumably scoff at the silly Jews washing their hands and burying their dead, simply because a magic sky fairy (snort!) told them to, but The Paleo Manifesto transcends the contemporarily fashionable disdain for all things biblical, and the result is the most interesting book in the genre from the past decade.

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Why We Get Sick, Randolph Nesse and George Williams

Why we get sickIf our bodies have been fine-tuned by millions of years of evolution, why do they consistently fail us in horrific ways? Why do we degrade with age and develop acute conditions that cripple our ability to survive and reproduce?

Why We Get Sick is a fascinating exploration of the evolutionary rationale for illness and disease. The common principle throughout this book is that everything our genes do requires tradeoffs between various evils, and risk-reward calculations by self-interested genes unconcerned with our happiness and quality of life.

One example: Sickle Cell Anemia (SCA) occurs when a person is born with two copies of a certain gene, and the result is an early death and very little chance of reproduction. So, why does this particular gene exist at all? The answer is that one copy of this gene actually confers a survival advantage in the form of increased resistance to malaria. The result is that rather than dying out, the frequency of this gene strikes an equilibrium in which the expected survival benefit of increased malaria resistance is equal to the expected reproductive cost of an early death from SCA.

I’ve previously written that similar processes may underlie the link between Autism and spatial reasoning skills, which would explain a non-causal link between Autism and delayed fatherhood.

Why We Get Sick is not a book with a lot of practical applicability to your life, but it you’re the sort of curious person who finds these topics interesting, Why We Get Sick is a must-read.

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The Evolution Of Desire, David BussEvolution Of Desire

The Evolution of Desire is the most practical popular book on evolutionary psychology for men who wants to have more success with women, covering many of the common Red Pill paradigms such as dual mating strategies, lover/provider roles, and what cues women follow to classify men as one or the other.

It’s not one of my top recommendations, but it’s definitely a worthwhile addition to your library once you’ve made it through the rest of this list, especially if you’re struggling to understand women and dating.

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The Mystery Method, Erik Von MarkovikThe Mystery Method

In the late 20th century, groups of men on primitive internet message boards discovered evolutionary psychology and its applicability to the seduction of women. They called themselves pick-up artists, and if you’re not interested in their findings, you are simply not a curious person.

Erik Von Markovik (aka Mystery) was one of the most prolific and respected members of the early pick-up community, and The Mystery Method was his Magnum Opus. If you can overlook the occasional anachronistic reference to the pre-internet dating landscape (printed photographs, using telephones for voice chat, and not a single reference to Tinder) this book is a comprehensive and still-relevant breakdown of the application of Evolutionary Psychology to practical seduction and dating. It’s also interesting [like Neil Strauss’s The Game (Amazon)] from a historical perspective, as an insight into the origins of the Pick-Up Artist community, from which the Red Pill/Manosphere is a descendant.

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If you want to be more successful with women, and people in general, you need to do more than memorize lines – you have to develop a more complete understanding of what causes human behaviour. You will never find this knowledge if you only look for it in shallow waters – blogs, Twitter, internet forums.

Learning tactics has its place, but a few good pick-up lines will never replace a lifetime of de-masculinizing indoctrination. If you don’t understand the true foundation of human psychology, you’ll always be a confused imposter doing his best impression of an alpha male.

The nine books in this post will teach you to discern the logic behind male and female behaviours which currently strike you as confusing, irrational, self-defeating, and counter-intuitive. They will give you the tools to minimize unpleasant surprises, and steer social interactions in your preferred direction.

If you want to be more confident and successful in your social life start from the top and work your way through this list. As a bonus, you’ll be a wiser man, with a better understanding of the world around you, and a bit more fun at dinner parties.


Readers: How has reading about evolutionary psychology improved your life? What are the most important unanswered questions in EvPsych right now? Can you suggest any other books deserve to be on this list?

NLP Exercises That Make You A Better Version Of Yourself

The human brain can be a real asshole sometimes, holding back motivation, social courage, or mental clarity right when it’s needed most. Somewhere inside your psyche is a version of you that will nail that presentation, approach that pretty girl, or snap your fingers and instantly get over a period of depression and ennui that’s holding you back, but something is holding you back from being that person.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to unlock all of your best qualities at will?

Below are three simple exercises that (weird as it may sound) can help you visualize your way into a more powerful mindset and unlock the best possible version of yourself. These exercises can only work if you truly invest in them and actually devote a few minutes to vivid imagination for each one. Try them out, and see if they work for you.

Exercise #1) The Switch

Choose someone you admire and respect, either a real-life mentor, a famous person, a historical figure, or even a fictional character. Let’s use Elon Musk as an example.

Now: close your eyes and imagine you and Elon Musk magically swapped bodies, resulting in two new people. One of these is in a bad situation that will end with SpaceX early adopters dying horrible fiery deaths, but forget about him right now.

What happens to the mind and soul of Elon Musk in your old body?

Chances are, Elon is not impressed with the situation he finds himself in. He gets up from the couch, brushes the potato chip crumbs from his chest and does a quick tour of his apartment, piecing together various aspects of his new life. He asks questions like:

  • Is my living space clean, organized, and conducive to productivity?
  • What does my body look like? What food is there in my fridge? Am I a healthy man?
  • What books am I reading?
  • Do I live in a city where I have opportunities to actually do something interesting with my life?
  • What’s my cashflow situation? Do I have the financial cushion to pursue interesting new ideas, or am I broke and living paycheck to paycheck?
  • What is the most important thing that I should be doing right now, to get my life back on track?

The purpose of this exercise is to make you look at your life through fresh eyes. Forget how you see your life, and focus on what Elon Musk would see. More importantly, think about what Elon Musk would do.

I can’t answer this question for you. Maybe it’s as simple as getting off the computer, doing the dishes, and going to bed at a reasonable hour. Maybe you just realized you need to save some money and get out of your Podunk town. Would Elon Musk be stressing over how long it’s taking some girl he hasn’t even met to message him back on Tinder? I don’t think so.

The point is that if Elon is reasonably impressed that you’re making the best of your current situation, you’re probably on the right track. If Elon (or whomever) is shaking his head at what a self-destructive twat you are… well, go ahead and ask your projected simulacrum what lifestyle changes he would recommend.

2) The Board Of Directors

Imagine sitting down at a table with your personal heroes. Living or dead, real or fictional – The sames rules apply as above. This is your board of directors.

Now: close your eyes and imagine explaining to them the pros and cons of an important decision you have to make. Prepare some notes and write out your arguments in advance, making the best case for each option. Try to imagine what each member of the board would say. What questions would they ask? Would they call bullshit on anything?

You can refer to the board and it’s members throughout your day-to-day life. It doesn’t have to be a lengthy process. Just take a few seconds to meditate on the imagined presence of people who inspire you, and consider how they would judge your actions and decisions.

The purpose of the virtual board of directors is to replace the negative social pressure of average people with social pressure from great men. No matter how well you structure your life, there will always be negative influences leaking into your mind from people and pop culture you interact with. The cliché response to this problem is that you should be your own man and answer to nobody, but ultimately this is a) impossible, and b) probably not desirable. Man is a social animal; it’s not healthy to fight that instinct. Instead, make it work in your favour – seek approval, but fill your life and thoughts with people whose approval is worth seeking.

3) Method Acting

Are you nervous when you approach girls? Approaching takes a lot of social courage, which most men simply don’t have.

But imagine you signed up for an improv acting class and the instructor told you that in your next scene, you have to play a confident and charming James Bond-type character. Not only would you be much less nervous about approaching girls in that scene, you would probably do a very good impression of how a confident man would act.

So: what’s the difference between doing an impression of a confident person, and actually being confident? Could you do an impression of a confident person every single day for the rest of your life? I bet you could. As an added bonus, developing the ability to perceive life as theatre is a good way to stop taking everything so damn seriously. In “real life” your ego is in control. On stage, there’s nothing to do but play the character you’re assigned and enjoy the show. You have the freedom to define every aspect of who you are and how you behave. There is no spoon.

Why Does This Work?

I don’t have a definite answer to this question, but I will speculate: most people are held back by feelings of inadequacy and imposter syndrome.

In hunter-gatherer tribes, lower-status men who aspire to be the top dog are swatted down hard, so we evolved a mental handbrake that keeps our ambitions in check. In the modern world, no one is going to rip off your testicles for trying to become a better man, but try telling that to your shitty brain. It’s like how morbidly obese people inhale sugary snacks out of a misguided terror of starving to death.

The exercises in this post bypass the self-destructive instinct to rein in your ambition, and reduce feelings of inadequacy. You may not feel like you deserve the life you want, but surely if Elon Musk had to suffer the indignity of building the best life possible from your current situation, he deserves all the good fortune as he gets. An imaginary board of directors mentoring you suggests that the tribe is deeply invested in your success, and so won’t punish your striving; method acting removes your ego from the equation and puts your actions in a context that allows ‘make-belief’ ambition.

An alternative explanation is that everything above is feel-good nonsense and Ev Psych just-so pseudoscience. Whatever the case though, I find these exercises helpful in finding motivation and clarity of purpose in my life. Take a few minutes, try them out, and let us know in the comments if they lead to any interesting revelations.

Further Reading

If you found this post useful and/or interesting, read NLP: The New Technology Of Achievement for more exercises and tools for overcoming phobias, anxiety, and other mental hurdles.

The Secret

Today I’m going to tell you a secret; it’s called The Secret.

Successful people don’t want you to know The Secret, but I’m going to share it with you. Once you know The Secret, you’ll have everything you ever wanted in life – money, love, success, fulfillment – in the palm of your hand.

Are you interested in a life of wealth and love and abundance? If so, here’s my offer: for just $2,400, I’ll give you access to the Thumotic Life Transformation Program, which consists of four Webinars, an ebook, and a one-hour Skype coaching session. You’ll also gain access to the exclusive TLTP Membership Site For Winners. This is such a valuable opportunity, I can’t believe I’m giving it away for such a low price.

Here’s the best part: Once you complete the course, you’ll be authorized to market your coaching services as an official Certified Thumotic Life Coach. This is a business opportunity that will generate millions of dollars in passive income for the rest of your life, as you certify new CTLCs and empower them to change lives with the TLTP.

This is an amazing opportunity. It’s the chance of a lifetime. I’m just a generous fool for making it available at this low price. Are you ready to sign up? Just enter your credit card information below and we’ll get started:

Name____________________ # ________________ Exp Date ___________

This is a real pitch that people actually fall for. I know, because I watched it happen.

Debbie the Success Coach, in a $100 pantsuit and JC Penney jewelry, is delivering a presentation on The Secret To Unlimited Wealth to a rapt audience of a hundred or so. Debbie is here to share her story and some teaser content from her program, but this is just an introduction. True Enlightenment requires access to Debbie’s Webinar series and ebook.

So who is Debbie? Let’s rewind a bit.

The year is twenty-twelve. Recently divorced and unemployed, Debbie had no money and was on the verge of bankruptcy. She was sick. Her credit was shot. Her dog died. She kept trying new business ideas and failing, as if held back by some invisible force. Then one day Debbie finally decided she’s ready for success, and so spent $7,000 on a coaching program with her new mentor, also a Success Coach. Debbie has no idea how she’s going to pay for it, but she maxes out her credit card and has faith that everything will work out. Lo and behold, Debbie believed in herself enough, and she’s now the proud and wealthy owner of her very own Success Coaching business.

Debbie knows what it’s like to feel lost and afraid, but she encourages us to keep our spirits up:

“Often it’s darkest right before the dawn. When I signed up for the program, I didn’t have money to pay rent . But I believed in myself. I believed in my own success.”

Debbie half-laments, half-brags that she’s drifting away from her family and friends, as a necessary step in her adoption of a Success Mindset. Her loved ones are nice people, Debbie assures us, but they’re caught in the negativity and self-limiting beliefs of mainstream society.

At one point Debbie literally pulls out a few $100 bills, spreads them into a fan, and brings them to her face while making kissy-kissy sounds: “Part of a Success Mindset is admitting to yourself that you love money.” The rest of the audience seems to lean forward, hungrily eyeing the three-figure sum.

Debbie’s Webinars feature, as far as I can tell, a whole lot more of Debbie talking about Success. The Webinar is much better than the fifteen-minute appetizer she’s delivering tonight, she explains. It doesn’t matter if you’re broke, jobless, in debt – this program is the way out.

Debbie’s performance is theatrical to the point of absurdity, but there’s not a trace of irony in the building. She closes with an emotional crescendo:

“I know some of you here today are on the verge of incredible success. I can feel it. You just need to purge the doubt, believe in yourself, and adopt a Success Mindset. If that’s hard to do, just remember where I was. I had no money. I had no plan. The people in my life didn’t believe in me, and tried to hold me back. I could have given up, but I didn’t, and how here I am.”

Confederates start walking down the aisles, distributing pens and sign-up forms on high-stock paper. Debbie continues, overcoming unvoiced objections:

“You need to believe in yourself, and believe in your inevitable success. There will always be friends and family who aren’t ready for a higher form of consciousness. I know it hurts, but if you want success, if you want wealth, you can’t let them influence you.”

Debbie scans the room, confirming that everyone has a pen in hand. She smiles and presses on: “Now, let’s all do an exercise in Success Visualization. Even if you’re not going to sign up for this course right now, I want you to write your name and payment information on the sheet and imagine participating in this course, The Secret To Unlimited Wealth. Even if you don’t have the money right now, don’t worry, this simple visualization exercise can still have an amazing effect.” In the end, I count at least seven people hand in their forms.

Debbie is the closing act. We also heard pitches from an herbal supplement pyramid scheme; an obese woman with a self-published book on visualization, manifesting, affirmations, and learning how to love yourself; an unemployed single mom who wrote a book about self-acceptance and finding happiness despite whatever trials of poverty and bastardy you may face. We closed with a guided meditation session led by a local spiritual wellness coach. She also has a Webinar.

As Debbie wraps up, the seated audience disperses for hor d’oeuvres and mingling. Vendor booths (from which vantage point your correspondent has been observing this show unfold, hoping that you, the reader, will have given me enough credit to wonder what circumstances led me here) line the outer perimeter.

In the booth next to mine is a shameless and well-known herbal supplement pyramid scheme staffed by a pair of sharply-dressed middle-aged men. A third man approaches the booth and is invited to sit down. The mark is a middle-aged African wearing a cheap black suit, brown loafers, aggressively non-matching shirt and tie, and a fedora, worn indoors, that looks like it came with a toy gun and Sherrif’s badge in the Wal-Mart toy aisle. He’s leaning forward, nodding obsequiously, taking notes. The effect is as cartoonish as it sounds.

The two sharks deliver a well-polished pitch, handing off to each other with the easy timing of television news anchors. They use the word ‘opportunity’ a lot. The mark explains in broken English that he’ll be the best supplement and vitamin-shake salesman the sharks ever saw, and he’s so grateful for the chance to join their team. They shake hands, a credit card comes out, and paperwork is signed.

In case you’re not familiar with pyramid schemes, here’s what happens next: either a) the hapless fool will waste money he can’t afford on an expensive lesson in how to protect yourself in a low-trust society (likely) or b) he’ll be a quick learner, and make a career out of selling dreams to people who trust him. If the latter, he will not only learn but internalize the positive-thinking, feel-good, ‘opportunity’-laden tropes of the Success Cult, partly because it’s in his sales script, but also because he genuinely believes it. Why wouldn’t he? It worked for him.

For the visual learners, here’s an example of how these businesses operate. Watch this video and look into the owner’s eyes. Do you believe that he believes himself? The best liars always do.

This is the sad world of America’s most promising high-growth industry: the formation, management, and liquidation of quasi-religious movements designed to transfer wealth, status, and social capital from the naïve to the cynical. Debbie’s event was my first close-up look at the Success Cult sub-culture, an insulated world of gullible and unsuccessful losers, buying and selling each others’ books, webinars and live conferences.

The actual products aren’t important. Diet supplements, money-making schemes, and exploitation of wannabe-entrepreneurs are the most common. What matters is the common dream they sell: happiness, financial security and a flat stomach. Humans aren’t complicated.

The most successful of these schemes appeal to more than the victims’ greed. They must, because greed is rational. A truly effective get-rich-quick scheme has to provide a quasi-spiritual cognitive framework which allows member to rationalize their indoctrination as something greater than commercial interest. That’s how you create a truly powerful money-making movement. That’s how you create a cult.

A Memetic Exegesis Of Cults

Are you a member of a cult? Of course that’s a silly question. If you knew, you’d recognize it and leave.

Cults are designed to minimize the ability of followers to experience such epiphanical moments of clarity. Consider how specific tenets of a cult-like memeplex can wall off avenues of likely exit. For example: friends and family are a common vector of doubt, thus the frequent exhortations to be cautious of their negativity as memetic vaccination. Debbie’s Success Cult warns members to resist the pernicious influence of low-consciousness friends and family who might try to lead them astray.

Another example: the general lionization of Positive Thinking as a broad-spectrum antibiotic against any loss of faith. If you doubt Debbie for any reason, you’re merely trapped in a self-limiting belief, which you must learn to overcome, no matter how many Webinars it takes.

Yet another: you must demonstrate your faith in yourself, by making hefty investments in your self-development (i.e, purchasing expensive motivational conferences and ebooks) or else you don’t have a Success Mindset, you don’t truly believe that you’re destined for wealth, and you will remain poor indefinitely.

The cruelest epi-meme, anchored so effectively by Debbie’s story of debt and redemption, is that It’s Always Darkest Right Before The Dawn, and you really should max out your personal line of credit at 20% APR for all of this.

As I’m watching the carnage unfold, I try to take comfort in the knowledge that I don’t belong here. I’m not one of these people; I just signed up for a booth at something billed as an entrepreneurs networking event, to sell some legitimate business services (N.B., which reasonably-priced services none of these entrepreneurs can seem to afford, Success and Abundance Mindsets notwithstanding). But as much psychic distance as I put between myself and the audience, I’m still deeply ashamed to be here. It’s more than just an empathic cringe of compassion. A man is defined by the company he keeps, and I’m spending this afternoon with some of the most intellectually and spiritually desolate human beings in the history of our species.


You can learn a lot about people by watching how others communicate with them. Debbie’s carefully-crafted presentation implicitly tells us everything we need to know about how she perceives her audience. For example, here are a few assumptions implicit in various aspects of Debbie’s sales pitch:

  1. The audience is impressed and enticed by the physical presence of the few hundred dollars cash Debbie uses as a prop.
  2. They are impressed by Debbie’s bragging about recently purchasing a house (of unspecified size, location, or value) as if entering the propertied class is proof of uncommon riches, rather than a token available to your typical Burger King assistant manager with good credit.
  3. They are not savvy enough to experience any cognitive dissonance between Debbie’s claimed ability to manifest unlimited wealth, and her middle-class lifestyle, Powered By Wix™ website footer, and sartorial misfortune.

On the surface, Debbie is all about Positive Thinking and The Success Mindset. She approaches her audience like a good friend and caring mentor, excited to help guide them through whatever temporary darkness they’re trapped in. Debbie loves each and every person in the room, and she knows deep down they’re all special people with unlimited potential. But her presentation accidentally reveals her true estimation of them, which is that they’re a bunch of complete fucking losers.


Only an idiot, or a smart person in a temporarily idiotic state of mind, would ever sign up for a cult like this. Cult leaders know this, and they tailor their communication accordingly.

Have you ever received an email regarding a trapped Nigerian prince, hot sexy single ladies from your neighbourhood, or an exciting new pill that will add six inches to your dick? These well-known scams are often riddled with obvious and deliberate spelling and grammar mistakes. They are literally incredible, because they are designed to appeal to the credulous.

It would be trivial for the spammers to hire someone on Fiverr and make their emails ring true. So why are they written in a way that makes intelligent people recognize them as bogus? The answer is that professional spammers want to drive away everyone but the dullest and most credible of mooks. Midwits might pry for more information, talk to saner friends, and come to their senses before pulling out a credit card. By sending out an initial email that’s as stupid as possible, spammers ensure they only invest time in patsies foolish enough to make it through to the end of the sales funnel.

Another example of marketing aimed at the lowest common denominator is the sort of ad generally found on populist conservative news websites (Warren Buffet Predicts Economic Collapse; Five Signs Cancer Is Growing In Your Body; GNC Approves All-Natural Testosterone Booster; etc) which are clearly targeted at clueless and senile older folks. If curiousity compels you to click on ads like this, you’ll find yourself in a funnel of emotionally-charged squeeze pages designed to separate lonely, demential retirees from their fixed incomes. The products themselves (usually over-priced ebooks rehashing the most generic of investing, dietary, and cancer-prevention advice) barely matter. The real art is in the elaborate and ruthlessly optimized content funnel leading up to the paid product.

Condescension As Design Aesthetic

The commonality in all of these examples, and perhaps in all communication whose goal is to manipulate rather than elevate and inform, is condescension. Cult leaders and marketers with no respect for their clients all adopt the same tone of talking down to their audience. Commercially-motivated condescension is the most meaningful of insults, because it cannot be motivated by a desire to hurt or score rhetorical points. It can only be genuine.

This is what really irks me about listening to Debbie and her ilk. It’s not her crappy product or grating personality. It’s her condescension to the audience, of which I’m a member, and the implicit insult to my intelligence. She’s addressing me like I’m half-retarded, and by standing here and listening with a blank face – whether out of politeness, lack of courage, or because I also want to make some money off these people and I’m willing to play along if that’s what it takes – I’m complicit.

Here’s an exercise for the reader: Are you confident in your ability to recognize when you’re being condescended to? Can you think of any other communities or subcultures that have adopted the marketing tactics and communication style of the Success Cult?  You’re probably sharp enough to see through Debbie, but what if you’re a sucker for some less-obvious charlatanry?

Have you figured any of this out yet, or am I going to have to sell it to you in an ebook?


Thesis: The Red Pill blogosphere has been taken over by shallow internet marketers who are, at best, indifferent to any of its sociopolitical foundations.

Some think this is a good thing, that the Red Pill is outgrowing its vestigial association with alt-right politics, and is now free to reach its true potential as an apolitical community of autistic bodybuilders endlessly discussing the relative merits of Being Motivated Vs. Not Being Motivated, communicating exclusively in list format, and selling each other ebooks. These blogs are written by smart, cynical men with an internet marketing background, who recognize the Red Pill community as a massive potential cash cow.

Here’s one example: How To Beast

The author is a smart guy. If you’re interested in copywriting and content marketing, his site is a well-executed case study. But the goal of his site is not wisdom or artistic worth, it’s the prompting of an emotional high that leads to clicks and purchases. It’s Buzzfeed for men who lift weights and talk to girls, written and designed for the meaty middle of the bell curve.

There’s nothing wrong with creating for the masses, but doing so is ultimately incongruous with any pretense of the Red Pill being a community of men aspiring to greatness. How To Beast is a great site for men who lack the depth and focus to acquire knowledge unless it’s gift-wrapped and spoon-fed, but it has no place in a community of men seeking to elevate themselves.

Here’s another: Freedom and Fulfillment

Freedom and Fulfillment gives his readers more credit than most. I hesitated to call him out here, because his blog is smart, he covers a lot of topics that I’m interested in as well, he is honest and forthright about his affiliate relationships, and I think he might really be interested in writing a blog that helps people.

But (of course there’s a but) he’s also trying to sell you a $1,000 membership site about building a drop-shipping business. He might claim the product is worth every penny. He might even believe it. He might tell himself a little story before he goes to bed every night about how he’s not actually selling his soul every time he cashes in a new affiliate commission. But his sales page tells me everything I need to know about his character, and how much he respects his readers:

Throughout university I had always been interested in making money online. I had experimented with different things but it had never really gone anywhere.

After I graduated I was set on generating an online income for myself, but didn’t know how to go about it. The problem wasn’t that I wasn’t willing to work hard—it was that I didn’t really know where to put the effort in.

I wished that there was some sort of structured opportunity to make money online that I could just “put the work into”.

I then heard a podcast featuring a guy who was living in Thailand and living off his eCommerce business. He had learned about eCommerce through an online course called Dropship Lifestyle. I visited the DSL website later that day, and I had a feeling that this was the opportunity I had been looking for.

In truth, I had more than just a feeling. It might sound crazy but I actually knew for certain that this was my path to online income. I was 100% sure that this was my “ticket” to making money online.

I wanted to register right away, but was hesitant because it was a big purchase for me at the time. I was a broke student and the only money I had was left over from student loans. I decided that I would sleep on it and decide the next day.

The next day, I remember I was walking back to my apartment after playing soccer with some friends and actually thinking to myself: You have to do it.

This was a big moment in my life (having just graduated university) but I somehow knew that this was the right step to take. Not only was I fully convinced that I needed to register for the course, but more importantly I was certain that I needed to work on it as hard as possible to become successful with it.

(Do you immediately recognize this sort of language as a blatant attempt to win your trust, relate to you, and sell you something you may or may not need? If not, chop your credit card in half and stay off the internet for a while.)

Freedom and Fulfillment is an instructive example because, unlike the other two, he does a very good impression of a decent guy. It’s the Law Of Sewage: A drop of wine in a barrel of sewage makes sewage; a drop of sewage in a barrel of wine also makes sewage. F+F ultimately shows how one small decision to cash in on gullible readers can poison the well of trust.

Lastly: see this Return Of Kings Sponsored Post, in which the owner of an online fitness empire reveals that he’s just a regular fella, Red Pill devotee, student of the crimson arts, long-time-listener-first-time-caller, who just happens to have a $100 upfront / $60 per month membership site teaching gullible high school outcasts the secret to six-pack abs:

You might know me from YouTube as the #1 most subscribed fitness trainer. Or you might have even watched a video on my sixpackshortcuts channel.

But here’s what you probably DIDN’T know…

I’ve been a daily reader of Return Of Kings since 2012. Before that, I used to be your average frustrated blue pill chump. I was actually on track to get married and to have kids with the crazy girl I used to date…lol.

But (thankfully) in 2012 we broke up, and that led me to finally question everything I’d been taught about women, masculinity, and the world. That led to me discovering ROK and finally taking the red pill.

I’ve personally learned a ton from ROK, and I think it’s safe to say I’ll probably save over a million dollars over my lifetime from learning not to spend ridiculous amounts of money on WOMEN. So I contacted Roosh to see if I could use my expertise to help fellow ROK readers…

I recommend you check out the sales page and video for the fitness program which Mike Chang, philanthropist, has been given the opportunity to promote on Return of Kings.

Am I worked up in a moral lather over Chang’s cynical exploitation of gullible young men? Not really. My point is that any self-respecting man should feel embarrassed to associate with this kind of sales pitch, or anything that even faintly resembles it. It’s low-consciousness, it insults your intelligence, and if you don’t recognize the insult, it’s because you deserve it.

And this problem isn’t limited to entryist new blogs. Even among Red Pill writers with a nobler raison d’etre than selling ebooks and get-rich-quick schemes, there’s been a shift toward shallow, simple, monetizable, lowest-common-denominator pablum. The Manosphere has become a commercial rather than artistic enterprises, and many of our blogs became stylistically indistinguishable from get-rich-quick scheme hucksters and hundred-dollar six-pack abs products. Thumotic was one of the worst examples, hence the guilt and self-loathing fueling this sprawling five-thousand word post.


Condescension manifests in more than just text; just as Debbie sub-communicates her disrespect for the audience via a sales pitch that a twelve-year old would roll her eyes at, a blogger’s design aesthetic says a lot about the type of reader they’re speaking to. Consider a few examples of stylistic decisions, and the beliefs they imply:

  • Aggressive and omnipresent email opt-ins -> “You’re too stupid and unfocused to remember to come back to my site, so I desperately need to get your email address, lest you click away and get lost in the attention-sapping vortex of Buzzfeed and Tumblr. ”
  • Prominently-displayed ads to affiliate links and the authors’ own books -> “I want your money. Also, you’re a child, so I have to dangle something shiny in front of you to get your attention.”
  • Elaborate long-form squeeze pages with emotionally-charged language -> “I want your money. Also, you are foolish and impulsive, so I must sell to your fears and insecurities rather than earn your trust and make a logical case for the value of my product.”
  • Short articles broken up with excessive paragraph breaks, sub-headings, and bullet-point lists -> “You are functionally illiterate. I must hold your hand and walk you through my thoughts, or you’ll leave my site to read something with animated gif images.”

Jennifer-Lawrence-ok-thumbs-upIn the special case of bloggers who write about internet marketing, there’s a level of irony that softens the blow. An internet marketing blog (such as Copyblogger) must conform to its own stated best practices, and serve as an example of the techniques it advocates. The result is a layer of wink-nudge irony that acknowledges the readers’ savviness and insusceptibility to the hard sell, while still making the hard sell. “I know this sales funnel is condescending, and I know you know it, but we’re talking about the finer points of building condescending sales funnels, so let’s just play along.” It’s similar to how movies like Pacific Rim can be appreciated as effusive character-driven robot opera by the hoi polloi, or irony-laden self-parody by self-identified sophisticates.

Anyways. These stylistic decisions all show the author’s disdain for you, the reader. They also show the author’s disdain for himself, and his estimation of his ability to hold your attention in long-form prose. I don’t think this is necessarily a conscious decision writers make; the mediocre always outnumber the exceptional, so writing more accessibly (i.e, stupidly) tends to move the needle in terms of pageviews and conversions. Writing for the average is easier, more profitable, and (because the average are more prone to obnoxious hero-worship) more ego-boosting for bloggers. It’s no wonder many take this path.

“But it works!”

This, the appeal to efficacy, is the ceterum censeo of internet marketers: squeeze pages increase conversion rates; pop-up forms increase newsletter sign-ups; short, simple posts with lots of sub-headings increase time on page. It’s all true.

But maybe there are better goals out there than views and affiliate commissions. Maybe the best practices of an industry built on shallow exploitation of transient dimwits aren’t always applicable to a social and political movement composed (ideally) of the most intelligent, literate, introspective, politically conscious men of our generation. Maybe we’re playing a different game, with different rules.

How to save yourself from a cult

Here’s a quote I truly believe has the power to change your life:

Let the youthful soul look back with the question: what have you truly loved up to now, what has elevated your soul, what has mastered it and at the same time delighted it? Place these venerated objects before you in a row, and perhaps they will yield for you, through their nature and their sequence, a law, the fundamental law of your true self. Compare these objects, see how one complements, expands, surpasses, transfigures another, how they form a stepladder upon which you have climbed up to yourself as you are now; for your true nature lies, not hidden deep within you, but immeasurably high above you, or at least above that which you normally take to be yourself.

Nietzsche, Schopenhauer As Educator

I wrote this post because I realized that at some point, Thumotic stopped being something that elevated me. None of the people I consider heroes would be impressed with what this blog has become: generic ‘life-hack’ advice; affiliate links plastered across every page; emotion-priming sales copy designed to elicit purchases from naive teenagers, who came here looking for a masculine role model, and left with an ebook I made a 75% commission on.

This blog – and the Red Pill community as a whole – is at it’s best when it aspires to novelty, depth, and artistic grandeur. It recedes into mediocrity when it tries to compete with internet marketing scumbags for the cud-chewing masses. We exist because young Western men need a smarter, better alternative to a mainstream culture that’s trying to destroy them. That’s one hell of a mission, and it’s time we became worthy of it.