Tucker Max has a new site, The Mating Grounds, which is simultaneously ripping off and attacking The Red Pill/Manosphere.
Here is proof that The Mating Grounds is ripping of Danger and Play.
Here is proof that The Mating Grounds is lying about Roosh.
It’s not all stolen content. The Mating Grounds also published a flagship series of posts about women and dating, the content of which suggests Tucker Max and co-author Geoffrey Miller have never read and understood a single post in the entire Red Pill ouevre.
So truly, I have no idea what’s going on behind the scenes at The Mating Grounds. Max and Miller appear to be deriving “inspiration” from The Red Pill, while still not actually grokking any of our wisdom. Is this all a confused attempt to stir up a false controversy? Has Tucker Max actually drank the Kool-Aid, and started to believe his own trite dismissals of the seduction community?
Only one thing is certain: The Mating Grounds is pathetic, and it’s doomed to fail.
So why am I writing about it? Why not just ignore Tucker Max? It is tempting to simply turn away from the dying gasps of Tucker Max’s career. But I’m not, because there are lessons to be learned from the rise and fall of Tucker Max.
Tucker Max was a hero of mine. I discovered his writing at the age of eighteen, and idolized his literary persona for the next five years. His descent into mediocrity has been painful for me to watch.
Most would say that Tucker Max was nothing more than a brief flash-in-the-pan, a pony whose only trick was vulgar frat boy humour. But the reality is that Tucker Max’s stories were more than just entertainment: They articulated a new male identity that was unapologetically masculine and intellectual.
Tucker Max was the founder of the 21st-century internet-driven masculine renaissance – a movement that we now call The Manosphere, or The Red Pill. His writing and his forum created the first synthesis of traditional masculinity, the seduction community, and opposition to political correctness.
He also founded a community of writers that helped each other develop their craft. Many young male writers today – men such as Ryan Holiday, Aurini, myself, Philalawyer, Ben Corman, and others – were helped and inspired by Tucker Max in their early days.
Tucker Max taught nerds how to be men, but he also taught men how to be nerds. When I discovered Tucker Max at the age of eighteen, I had carved out an identity that consisted of sports, drinking to excess, and chasing girls. I had given up a childhood obsession with reading great books, because I had decided that I was a cool guy – and cool guys don’t read. Tucker Max showed me that a strong masculine identity is compatible with a thirst for knowledge. For that lesson, I will always be grateful.
Max also disrupted the publishing industry with an incredibly prescient understanding of the weaknesses of the status quo in the face of internet-driven decentralization. He foresaw the weaknesses of the mainstream publishing industry, and the coming age of direct relationships between producers and consumers of art.
The original Tucker Max forum was similar to the Roosh V Forum, and I don’t make that comparison lightly. There was a weekly book club that taught me how to actually read and think about great books and authors like Fight Club, Sperm Wars, 48 Laws Of Power, and The Autobiography of Malcolm X. I discovered the seduction community through the old forum’s discussion of Neil Strauss’s The Game. There was even a community for young writers to submit their own essays and short stories for criticism.
In the glory days of Tucker Max’s career, he was the leader of a smart, loyal, and purpose-driven masculine renaissance movement.
In 2007, Max’s nascent publishing empire collapsed. He left his friends and partners hanging out to dry, and stopped paying the salaries of his writers. He released an independent film that lost millions of dollars and earned terrible reviews. The combination of these two failures was too much for his psyche to handle; he took his forum offline, shut down all channels of communication between himself and his readers, and went AWOL for several years.
Upon his return in 2013, his first move was to apologize for his earlier work, and beg forgiveness:
“I was a ridiculous narcissist in my twenties. It’s not even that I didn’t care about other people. It’s way beyond that. I just didn’t even understand that other people even existed or mattered. I do not believe I was a true NPD [narcissistic personality disorder] in the clinical sense. But, dude, I was close.“I ended up hurting a lot of people and not even realizing it. Because of that narcissism, I didn’t connect well to other people. I used a lot of people a lot of times, in ways I didn’t understand.
Then he started The Mating Grounds and came out guns blazing against The Manosphere/Red Pill community:
“We believe that most “Pick-up Artists” are sociopathic, bullshit scammers. The PUA scene is not transformational, it’s transactional. Its not about getting to know women, it’s about getting over on them. We believe Mating Grounds is the answer to the PUA strategy for all those men who have nothing meaningful to show for their efforts.”
Fair criticisms can be made of the Red Pill and Seduction communities, but a man would have to be blind (or dishonest) to claim that they are wholly without value.
And here’s some simple logic: Max and Miller claim that “most” of the pick-up scene is garbage, which implies that some pick-up artists are not garbage. So, why doesn’t The Mating Grounds identify which parts of the seduction community are bad, and which are good? Why not separate the wheat from the chaff?
The answer is simple: Linking to other sources of dating advice would be counter to Tucker Max and Geoffrey Miller’s business strategy of cashing in on the good will and brand equity they’ve earned with their previous good work. Tucker Max is respected and admired by many, for his early success in articulating a new masculinity to a generation of American men. Geoffrey Miller is respected and admired for his work as a theorist and popularizer of evolutionary psychology and its applications to human mating behaviour.
But today, Max and Miller are unwilling to use the podiums they’ve earned in their better years to do anything more than re-hash the standard politically correct pablum. They are afraid of the backlash that would come if they strayed too far off the reserve of acceptable, politically correct thought. They have no new ideas to contribute, and they know it. Rather than be open, honest, and transparent, they are cynically monetizing their captive audience of men who haven’t yet realized that Max and Miller have very little to offer.
Their cowardice comes through in the quality of their writing, and in their inability to create new content. They are a perfect case study of what Stephen Pressfield in The War Of Art. calls ‘Resistance’. Pressfield defines Resistance as the negative force which stifles our creativity and prevent us from making great art. Resistance is fueled by fear, timidity, shame, and inauthenticity.
With this concept in mind, let’s take a step back and look at the history of The Mating Grounds.
Four years ago, in the final chapter of Hilarity Ensues, Tucker Max announced that he was retiring from Fratire and working on an advice book for young men.
In early 2012, he announced that his personal blog, Tuckermax.me:
“From here, this blog will go onto other issues and I will write about a ton of other things, but I’m going to keep coming back to this again and again:How does someone who has a little bit of talent and a lot of motivation succeed in life?It’s the question I faced and answered in my life, I think it’s the question that a lot of other people want answered, and I have some perspective on that issue that can help other people.”
About a year ago, Max and Miller launched The Mating Grounds with promises of big things to come.
So far, they’ve published a pretty good literature review of health and supplementation advice for men (you can get it here, but Mangan’s is better); a mediocre series of posts about how to succeed with women (read the first one here and judge the quality for yourself), and now they’ve released a series of podcasts. Outside of a few high-quality guests however, there’s very little substance.
So, Tucker Max has been working on The Mating Grounds for five years, and he has hardly done anything.
These are the actions of a man whose spirit has been crushed.
As the Manosphere v. Mating Grounds debate heats up, Tucker is going to have a harder and harder time getting out of bed in the morning. He is going to sit through energy-sucking meetings with some regretful intern whose job is to sift through social media mockery and blog posts like this one. Every time he sits down in front of a keyboard or microphone, whatever remains of his soul will scream at him: Fraud! Phony! Charlatan!
He will look in the mirror and recognize a man with too much fear in his heart to produce authentic art.
The tragic irony is that all this would be painfully obvious to Tucker Max in his prime. Max and Miller still had the talent and to build something truly great. They’re only failing because they’re afraid to try.
(The second greatest tragedy is that Tucker Max went from banging Miss America contenders, to this.)
So what really happened to Tucker Max? What happened to his courage? His insight? His willingness to be hated for speaking the truth?
Here are a few theories:
1) Alcohol Rotted His Brain
Tucker Max was superlatively intelligent in his twenties. But what happens to a human brain when you spend a decade getting blackout drunk three or more nights per week? Did alcohol dial Tucker Max down from “voice of a generation” to “still a pretty good writer, but…” ?
We’ll never know for sure. But, it’s worth asking the question of whether or not alcohol is hurting you.
2) Low Testosterone
Tucker Max destroyed his body’s ability to produce testosterone naturally with an X-ray. Did he never fully recover? In his testosterone e-book, he explicitly disavows Testosterone Replacement Therapy. I had just dismissed this as a lie, but if Tucker Max is actually relying on almonds and Vitamin D to restore his testosterone levels, maybe his lack of artistic courage is a result of low T.
3) He Got Tired Of The Rebel Identity
It’s no secret – not even to himself – that Tucker Max is a clinical narcissist. During his five-year hiatus from public life, he seems to have discarded his hard-partying artist/rebel identity, and adopted a new mask of new-age conciliator, a bridge between the new masculinists and mainstream feminism.
This seems like a pretty obviously stupid identity to me, but who knows what went on in those therapy sessions?
4) Regression Towards The Mean
Maybe Tucker Max wasn’t so exceptional after all. Maybe he was in the right place at the right time, did something great, and couldn’t handle the pressure and expectations of having to follow that up with something comparable.
What Are We Going To Do?
The Manosphere is a tribe.
Tucker Max and Geoffrey Miller have no honour. They are some combination of dishonest and deluded. Maybe they actually do believe their own bullshit about how they are building a completely new resource for young men, or maybe they are pure cynics trying to make a final buck off their following. I don’t know and I don’t care. They have attacked the Manosphere in general. They have attacked (and possibly defamed) Roosh V specifically.
Conflict is inevitable; so is our victory. The Mating Grounds is the opposite of the Red Pill blogosphere. We are anti-fragile. The spotlight is our friend. Conflict is our lifeblood, and direct comparisons will always come out in our favour. Max and Miller are trying to squeeze out a few bucks and another year or two of relevance, before their naive audience realizes what the rest of us already have: They are out of juice. They have nothing more to say. Their muses are crushed under the cognitive dissonance between The Red Pill reality they know to be true, and the pretty lies they cling to in an attempt to stay palatable to the mainstream.
The Mating Grounds is afraid to link to us. We are not afraid to link to them.
They are afraid to allow comments on their site, because they have to control the message. This is a consequence of their dishonesty and disingenuity. Do you disagree with my take on Tucker Max? Tell me so in the comments. Tell us all on the Roosh V Forum, on Danger and Play, or elsewhere in the Red Pill blogosphere. Write clearly and respectfully, and you will be engaged and argued with – not swept under the rug.
The Mating Grounds will collapse on its own. But we can hasten the process by calling attention to its failings. Doing this will help persuade casual readers that we are more worthy of their attention and loyalty, and it will help us dominate search engine results for Tucker Max and The Mating Grounds. More importantly, by calling attention to Tucker Max’s dishonesty and inauthenticity, we will crush his soul. We will make him dread waking up in the morning and facing the blank page.
It won’t take long. He knows that he has created little of value in almost a decade.
He knows that whatever following he has is a mile wide and an inch deep, compared to the tribal loyalty and brotherhood of his competitors.
He knows that this fans will evaporate the minute they find us.
He knows that he is a broken man: unworthy of the movement he helped create; unworthy of the friends he earned in a previous life; unworthy of whatever temporary respect his name still commands; unworthy even of this blog post, which is as close as the world will ever see to an official biography of his life and works.
Tucker Max knows all of this. And if he didn’t before, he does now.