Author Topic: Is FreeDomain Radio a destructive cult?  (Read 3763 times)

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Is FreeDomain Radio a destructive cult?
« on: January 25, 2012, 12:19:44 AM »
An ongoing series that seriously and carefully examines the big question.

Read the articles here:
  • Part 1: The journey into FDR---What are the "beliefs" of FDR? How do the publicly-stated FDR beliefs compare to the private beliefs that Molyneux shares with his closest followers? What do the cult experts have to say about FDR?
  • Part 2: The three persuasions of Stefan Molyneux---Molyneux takes on the role of learned psychologist when counseling his members on their family problems. Where does this knowledge and expertise come from? Further, why does the FDR forum, literature, and podcasts appear to be a constant stream of persuasion that your parents were bad, no matter how you perceive your family now?
  • Part 3: The Conversion---Can involvement with FDR change your personality without your knowledge in a way that would have been completely unacceptable to you months earlier? That is the very essence of a destructive cult. This article takes a first troubling look at the question.
  • Part 4: The Tools of Conversion---An identification and analysis of the tools and techniques of conversion in constant use at FreeDomain Radio. If personality changes are occurring, what role does Stefan Molyneux (and his wife) play?

Read the archive of previous comments on Liberating Minds here:  Liberating Minds--Is FreeDomain Radio a Destructive Cult?

And please...continue the discussion below!
« Last Edit: February 02, 2012, 01:19:22 AM by QuestEon »
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    Re: Is FreeDomain Radio a destructive cult?
    « Reply #1 on: April 12, 2017, 10:18:41 PM »
    I'm reading towards the end of part 3 and I need to say something, to inform you of something, if you do not mind. regarding "In extreme cases of manipulation, it is possible to invent or alter memory events."

    - My understanding of the human mind and memories is that when we remember something, we do so in the same way we open a computer text document, it is accessed in edit mode.
    That is to say memories are not set in stone, not write-protected, that every time we access a memory we are opening it in edit mode, and unconsciously we will change it each time. Further, the state of mind one is in at the time we recall a memory can/will influence how we edit it when we 'put it back' so to speak.
    There's a wealth of scientific studies to back up my claim (hence 'informing' you), off the top of my head there's a study into the challenger space explosion where the subjects memories of the events changed drastically.

    - Another study that is relevant to this S&M topic is the one where students are asked to count the number of passes in a baseball match. at one point a guy dressed in a gorilla suit comes in and waves or dances around, yet half the students do not see/perceive this event due to their minds concentrating on the task they have been set. [this may be relevant re S&M's manipulations - otherwise intelligent people don't notice his insidious manips & trickery]

    - Another study I wish to bring up is the minds ability to confabulate (i.e. make up stuff, but not necessarily lying). Something like in a public place, a person shouts out "help my radio has been stolen" [I think it's a radio, there've likely been multiple studies done anyway, as with all these examples I cite], and some fake policemen come on the scene, they are in on the experiment. They ask questions of witnesses, and the unsuspecting public participants will confabulate all sorts of details about the theft and decriptions of the thief, what the radio looked like etc etc, even though it is all a staged experiment and there was no thief or actual radio involved. I don't think this is the sort of making stuff up that some cultures have like when one asks for directions and the person wishes to be helpful so they say any old shit, but it might be a bit of that plus the mind confabulating.

    I think these 3 things about the human mind are all relevant to the issue of stefan S&M molyneux, and since you didn't seem aware of them I wanted to add this to your excellent bank of knowledge.I can find specific references to these proper scientific method studies I've mentioned if you like, altho a websearch - especially of the gorilla one - will find them.


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      Re: Is FreeDomain Radio a destructive cult?
      « Reply #2 on: April 13, 2017, 08:32:33 AM »
      I realise I just sort of threw these ideas out into the void without any explanation of why they might applicable. I figured most ppl could work it out, but in the interests of being clear and explaining properly what I mean:

      - The challenger disaster/how the human memory works
      it's frightening to think our memories work in this way, but moving past that - the fact that we always access memories in 'edit mode' means that the mind is not a passive recorder of events, and that memories are "in perpetual flux and movement" (I quote david hume, altho he's talking about the human animal). e.g. sit down with someone for a hour and chat, then compare what you both think you talked about in that convo, it's very likely you'll have different ideas of what was said. so we can never be sure 'what really happened' about anything, and as other studies have shown, our emotional state/state of mind plays a part in how we remember and edit memories at the time we are accessing them.
      [clearly it's also true that "In extreme cases of manipulation, it is possible to invent or alter memory events", this fact about memory does exacerbate things tho]

      - my 2nd point is something known as Inattention Blindness
      while it may be of shaky relevance, as the gorilla study is about the mind focusing on a task and not noticing things in the visual field (which there is strong scientific evidence that we don't actually see much of what we think we are seeing; we see what's in focus, and the brain/mind fills in the rest of the details). But I think it may be applicable by e.g. while we are focusing on a task, say interacting with a very eloquent speaker who's very authoritative, we may not notice we're being steered, or any manipulations and the like.

      - the minds ability to confabulate (make up details) without necessarily lying
      further to the above points, if we are interacting with this speaker whom we admire, and/or is authoritative sounds like he certainly knows his stuff etc, we may be predisposed to being helpful (re why leading questions are bad) and fitting our experiences into the idea he is talking about etc. I phrase this awfully, but it's readily understandable I think. Finding anything vaguely relevant and then repeatedly editing our memories until they seem to be something that isn't anything like they were before. of course, an emotionally charged conversation will make it easier for us if we like the guy, to fit our experiences and memories into the bigger picture that he's painting. I think this is different from the false memory thing concept too - altho clearly related - because, well ok I might just be describing false memory but whatever. I'm not writing an essay to be graded here ... er I am obv writing an essay for my own enjoyment, & apologies if I'm too long winded.

      These are staggering things to try and wrap ones head around on their own, as they contradict the feelings we get of what life is, and memory, perception etc, as we live and experience it. and frightening too, endlessly.
      So let's take all 3 of these aspects of the mind & human nature together, and apply them to 'what S&M does' (which yeah could be totally unconscious of him, maybe he's certain the world and human relations operate in a particular way, he's very forceful at argument and his hunger for 'winning' 'debates', and also he sees what he expects to see [which is actually yet another frightening aspect of how our minds work]). These 3 things mean that it's very easy for susceptible people and those not trained or learned in critical thinking to go along with what he does and have no awareness of it, it's a self conversion to this charismatic happy seeming guy's world view & big picture that happens just because of how our minds and memories work

      [My sources are my own private reading & interests in critical thinking, how the mind works, and as such I couldn't name sources off the top of my head. But these ideas are well known enough in their fields that a websearch will find them - and provide fascinating reading. I do recall Oliver Sacks' books are kind of related, but also he says some stuff that implies one can have full fresh memories of things we think we've forgotten, in later years & due often to brain damage of some sort. There's these two contradictory ideas that the mind is not a passive recorder, but also that we can remember freshly when we've forgotten, years later, suggesting that it is a recorder and the events are in there somewhere, but then again this may just we think we have vivid memories of previously forgotten events, and it's just that, we think it's the case.
      Anyway, happy reading.]
      « Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 08:38:01 AM by ThisBeTheVerse »


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        Re: Is FreeDomain Radio a destructive cult?
        « Reply #3 on: April 14, 2017, 09:22:50 AM »
        Manipulation of memories is a subject I find particularly interesting. Here are links to some earlier threads on this forum on the topic (including source links):



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          Re: Is FreeDomain Radio a destructive cult?
          « Reply #4 on: April 14, 2017, 11:25:16 AM »
          Manipulation of memories is a subject I find particularly interesting.

          You think you find them interesting.

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            Re: Is FreeDomain Radio a destructive cult?
            « Reply #5 on: April 14, 2017, 12:51:39 PM »
            In my opinion, I conclude it is a destructive cult because Molyneux is selling a utopian vision to his followers (the stateless society where everyone is "free" and evil 'statist' enemies cease to exist because they are defeated by mindless chanting of 'not and argument' and 'you want me shot dead'), and to the extent that political utopias are impossible and don't reflect the reality and complexity of human relationships, that self delusion always ends badly.  It's just a matter of time.
            "They are just money detonators!"  - Stefan Molyneux, passive-aggressive parenting expert, describes his wife and child as worse than taxation, podcast 2650