On Truth (The Tyranny of Illusion)

Stefan Molyneux’s book On Truth: (The Tyranny of Illusion) is available for a free review at FreeDomain Radio. (Just click the link!)

The truth about On Truth

It’s vaguely understood at FDR that On Truth: The Tyranny of Illusion is the first book you are supposed to read. With any luck, On Truth will inspire you to exit your current life path and take an extended detour in the FDR “community.”

When you read the first or introductory forum post by an FDR member, it is quite possible that he or she has already been strongly nudged toward that exit. He or she may have already listened to a number of the 1000+ podcasts. (You are supposed to listen to them from the beginning. In order.) And it is very likely they have read On Truth.

Through that process, Molyneux apparently hopes, a metamorphosis of memory will begin to occur. In the beginning of that metamorphosis, the events of childhood may be remembered as before, but the member’s beliefs about parent motives behind those events will begin to change. This is not my opinion; it is his stated goal.

If all works as Molyneux hopes and the member has become convinced that On Truth is the truth, then by the time that initial FDR post is written, members have already begun to recast their perceptions on their family.

In my series about cults, I mentioned that a critical defining element of destructive cults is that they have “secret knowledge.” By that I mean knowledge or information they do not initially share with acolytes. Quite often, it’s an idea or collection of ideas that the uninitiated, rational person would reject immediately. The destructive cult’s job is to “condition” the acolytes to accept it.

In a conversation on Liberating Minds, someone offered the opinion that the introduction for On Truth proves that FDR is completely up front about its views and proves there is no “secret knowledge.”

Is that true?

Consider this. Here is the intro to On Truth:

From a short-term, merely practical standpoint, you really do not want to read this book. This book will mess up your life, as you know it. This book will change every single one of your relationships – most importantly, your relationship with yourself. This book will change your life even if you never implement a single one of the proposals it contains. This book will change you even if you disagree with every single idea it puts forward. Even if you put it down right now, this book will have changed your life, because now you know that you are afraid of change.

I like that intro because I think it is clever and well-written marketing. It would entice many people to read the book, me included! But does it really tell you what the book is about?

Compare it to my version—the truth-in-advertising intro. It’s completely factual and it is the truth about On Truth:

From a short-term, merely practical standpoint, you really do not want to read this book. This book will mess up your life, as you know it. It will encourage you to think of your parents as prison guards and your childhood as a prison. If you believe this book, then you will revise your memories so that you no longer believe your parents were doing their best to share their values with you, but were instead using bullying and intimidation tactics to cover up their own corruption. For the next 72 pages, I am going to use every logical argument I can think of to convince you that you were a victim of abuse. If you believe everything in this book, you will be far more likely to consider completely discarding your family and friends—and convince yourself you are doing it without guilt or remorse.

My version sounds ugly. Almost sensationalized. But it is entirely accurate and—if you haven’t read On Truth—it probably came as a surprise to you.

The word “prison” alone appears 20 times in the book.

The fact is, On Truth isn’t about truth at all. It is simply the beginning of the conditioning. It is the life detour that has taken many intelligent, well-meaning 20-somethings down the road of separating not only from parents, but also siblings, extended family members, and friends.

All in the long, slow drive to happiness Molyneux promises as part of his vision.

A destination almost none of them appear to reach.

Ready to take Molyneux’s exit?