Do we need to vet the leaders of men’s communities?
Readership: Men in general; Christian men;
Author’s Note: I’ll preface this article by saying it was drafted over a year ago, and has no relation to the recent article related to Roosh. I believe it is safe to say that both authors are consumers of his content, both pre and post conversion. As Adam pointed out, those who commented on the last post tend to be very skeptical. Whether or not that skepticism towards Roosh is warranted, that skepticism is necessary when dealing with personalities in the sphere, especially when it comes to monetized youtubers.
Grift: Money made dishonestly, as in a swindle.
If you are unfamiliar with the term “Grifter”, just think of a swindler. They come out of nowhere, pretending to be your “friend”, and making the familiar impression that they are “one of you”. Many ask for your money, or sell you some product, promising you the world. They tend to sell themselves as a brand first, and then find their product. What sets the grifter apart from the traditional swindler is betrayal of their audience. The grifter peaks in fame amongst their audience, and then seeks to gain a larger audience by betraying those who made them big. Specifically, they moderate.
If you have been around the Manosphere long enough, then you have seen the grifters who come in every now and then to use the Red Pill™ as a marketing brand for their own purposes (fame and monetary gain). We have seen this with certain speakers, groups, and conventions over the last few years. I am sure those who were online back in the golden-age of the “Manosphere” know of many more examples.
For those who are younger, and who are familiar with YouTube culture, you are most likely familiar with grifters in many areas other than the Manosphere. A more mainstream example would be Glenn Beck. Glenn is a guy who went from HLN to Fox News, then to the Blaze, and is now running the second iteration of the Blaze. Every time he moved on, there was a shift in his political views, a shift in how he dressed, etc. He went from moderate/skeptic to edgy boy/”christian activist”, to Mr. Never Trump, to Trump apologist, and then to whatever he is now. (I must confess I don’t care to keep myself updated on his more recent personality changes.)
Coinciding with these changes, Beck seemed to have a major “health crisis” that takes place every 3-4 years. In 2010 he was telling his audience he would go blind because of macular dystrophy. His schtick back in 2014 was his super rare neurological disorders that could only be cured by a special chiropractor in Texas. It was purely coincidental that conservative talk radio programs began to advertise special, and incredibly dangerous, chiropractic treatments of the upper spine (NUCCA adjustments). Right on time with his pattern, and when he was trying to regain subscribers who fled after his anti-Trump rants, in 2017 his wife came down with a super rare nerve disorder.
FRAUDS IN THE RED PILL
There are several dangers when it comes to grifters in the Red Pill market. First, the target audience is young men who pretty much were not raised. The second is the credibility or authority of the speaker, which is often suspect, and mostly goes unnoticed by todays naïve youth. Third, online personalities build up loyal audiences only to betray them.
“Some men believe in the red pill until they are uncomfortable with it.” ~ Rollo Tomassi
I believe Rollo’s insight has merit when it comes to regular people. But when it comes to personalities online, their discomfort over the Red Pill is a calculated decision that precedes a new conjob. When Red Pill types abandon the legitimacy of the Red Pill on forums such as YouTube, their motivation is always: (1) to gain a larger audience; or (2) to replace a dying audience with a new and growing audience. If personalities just shifted their focus back to something else, it would be one thing. What we see, however, are personalities who don’t stand behind anything other than promoting themselves as some form of brand.
Many people who label themselves “conservative” or “traditional” do this as well. A few primary examples would be Baked Alaska’s life, Laura Southern, Milo, Charlie Kirk, etc. Even Tim Pool went from being moderate-liberal and quasi-objective to being the guy who could be writing Sean Hannity’s talking points.
It’s classic branding and marketing, with roots in narcissism. The personality will do and say whatever they have to in order to stay relevant, grow their audience, and make money. I’m hesitant to believe many in the political arena and the Manosphere are truly Red Pilled.
They are fickle, and have no foundation.
How Fraudulent RP Forums/Channels Are Born
The step-by-step formula for using the Red Pill to monetize a blog or a YouTube channel goes like this:
- Start off with a typical channel that focuses on 1 or 2 things. You know, men’s fashion, beard trimming, and coffee.
- Gain an audience with that niche market.
- Once you reach your peak audience, start interacting more with your audience to establish rapport.
- Slowly pivot the focus of your blog and commentary to Red Pill topics upon discovering this “amazing online community of young men”.
- Act as if all of these people are only asking you your opinion on Red Pill matters.
Presto! Now you are a “Red Pill” channel, and you may sell garbage to your viewers for high prices.
The Life Cycle of a Fraudulent Red Pill Forum
- Start a forum to focus on a generic subject. Lets say you are a pastor and you and some elder buddies start a blog that focuses on gender roles.
- Gain a following until your forums stops growing.
- Open your forum up for interaction, Q&A. This should be done around the 1-2 year mark.
- Slowly pivot onto RP topics.
- Solely focus on RP topics.
- Affiliate with others for economic opportunity and more growth.
- Slowly pivot your focus away from “hard core” RP issues so you can get an even broader audience. Again, at the 1-2 year mark.
- Reject the RP audience who refuses to follow you into the purple abyss.
- Backtrack a little and align your “christian” ministry with a convention of pick up artists whose organizers brag about having over 1,000 conquests.
So who is real? Well, for most people, time will tell. Pay attention to whether people are selling a product, or are monetized in some way. Long term anonymous figures who aren’t monetized would have to be a dedicated larper to be a con. Figures who are independently wealthy and are openly controversial are low risk, as the threat of being silenced doesn’t matter to them. They tend to be ideological.
Some Red Flags to Look For
Sometimes it takes time to discern who is real, and who isn’t. Time will obviously tell, but monitoring for red flags will surely help. Red flags, you ask? That’s right. Watching for red flags is something you should do in every aspect of your life – it’s not just for sifting through choices of women.
Here are a few red flags to watch out for.
- Are these guys repeating something someone else said? If they are, are they adding new commentary, or are they trying to pass this wisdom off as their own?
- How did their channels/forums grow? Did they start off providing good content on some other random hobby or way of life, only to switch to the RP to gain more followers?
- Do their alliances force them to compromise their core beliefs?
- Do they exhibit the same narcissistic traits as the women they tell you not to date? (Research narcissistic personality disorder.)
- Do they have a high-drama social media presence?
- What are they selling to you? Subscriptions, patreons, merchandise, Conferences that cost thousands?
- Do they complain about a marrying a prostitute while bragging about sleeping with hundreds of women?
- Are “holy men” associating and cooperating with behavior and a message that would be denounced in church?