Stefan Molyneux

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Stefan Molyneux
Stefan Molyneux 2014-02-10.jpg
Stefan Molyneux in 2014
Personal information
Born Stefan Basil Molyneux
(1966-09-24) September 24, 1966 (age 51)
Athlone, Ireland
Nationality Canadian
Education History (B.A., 1991; M.A., 1993)
Residence Mississauga, Ontario, Canada[1]
Occupation Radio host, YouTube personality
Website freedomainradio.com
YouTube information
Channel
  • Stefbot
Years active 2005–present
Subscribers 808,000+
Total views 247.5 million
Network Freedomain Radio
Associated acts
YouTube Silver Play Button 2.svg 100,000 subscribers ????
Subscriber and view counts updated as of July 13, 2018.

Stefan Basil Molyneux (/stəˈfæn ˈmɒlɪnj/; born September 24, 1966) is a Canadian podcaster and YouTuber. Molyneux, a self-published author, usually speaks on topics including anarcho-capitalism, politics, relationships, race and intelligencemulticulturalism, libertarianism, anti-feminism,[2] and familial relationships.

A supporter of Donald Trump's presidential campaign, he has been described as alt-right by Politico and The Washington Post, and right-wing by CNN.[3][4][5][6] The Freedomain Radio internet community which he leads has been described as a cult.[7][8][9][6] Molyneux formerly worked in the software industry.

Background

Molyneux was born in Ireland and raised mainly in London before moving to Canada at age 11.[10] Molyneux attended the Glendon College of York University, where he was an actor at Theatre Glendon[11] and a member of the Debating Society.[12] He then attended the National Theatre School of Canada in Montreal.[10][13] In 1991, Molyneux received a B.A. in History from McGill University, where he was active in the McGill Debating Union. He then went on to receive an M.A. in History from University of Toronto in 1993.[13][8]

Career

In early 1995, Molyneux and his brother Hugh founded Caribou Systems Corporation, a Toronto-based provider of environmental database software. The company was sold in 2000.[13][14]

In 2005, Molyneux began a podcast called Freedomain Radio (FDR).[15] He uses the same name for the website on which he distributes his own writings, hosts podcast archives, and provides an Internet forum for FDR listeners. Molyneux also produces videos and commentary on current events, and he presents a weekly call-in show on which listeners can ask questions or discuss personal issues.[8] Molyneux funds his efforts by soliciting direct payment from listeners and viewers.[16] As of July 2018, his channel has over 800,000 subscribers and 240 million total video views.[17]

In 2017, Molyneux interviewed James Damore, the Google employee who was fired after writing the Google's Ideological Echo Chamber memo.[2]

In July 2018, Molyneux and Canadian internet personality Lauren Southern toured the Australian cities of Sydney and Melbourne.[18] NITV quotes Simon Copland, an SBS freelance writer, who thinks that Molyneux disparaged pre-colonisation Australian Aboriginal culture, calling it "very violent", and downplayed massacres perpetrated against Aborigines, saying that the European takeover of Australia had been less violent than other such takeovers, and that the settlers "were trying to stop infanticide and mass rape".[19] Molyneux and Southern subsequently traveled to New Zealand for their speaking engagement at Auckland's Powerstation theatre. The event was cancelled at the last minute when the Powerstation's owner rescinded the booking, citing opposition from local groups and the offensive content of their speech.[20][21][22]

Views

A Voice for Men

Molyneux was a panelist at a 2014 Detroit conference held by the men's rights movement and manosphere organization, A Voice for Men. According to Jessica Roy of Time magazine, Molyneux argued that violence in the world is the result of how women treat their children, and that "If we could just get people to be nice to their babies for five years straight, that would be it for war, drug abuse, addiction, promiscuity, sexually transmitted diseases, ... Almost all would be completely eliminated, because they all arise from dysfunctional early childhood experiences, which are all run by women."[23]

Alt-right

Molyneux has been described as a part of the "alt-right" by Politico, Metro, NY Magazine, Vanity Fair, and CBS, and has been described as "one of the alt-right’s biggest YouTube stars" by Washington Post columnist J. J. McCullough.[4][5][24][25][26][27] Business Insider and BuzzFeed have characterized Molyneux as far-right.[28][29] In a 2016 YouTube video, Molyneux has denied that he identifies with the alt-right movement.[30]

Family of origin (FOO) relationships

Molyneux refers to the family that people are born into as their "family of origin" or "FOO". Molyneux suggests that family of origin relationships may not necessarily be desirable, and in some circumstances may even be detrimental, and thus, for those individuals having suffered abusive childhood relationships, it would be advantageous for them to sever such involuntary relationships as adults, or "deFOO".[31] In this way, he views all adult relationships as being voluntary and discretionary rather than obligatory. According to a 2008 article in The Guardian, both Molyneux and his wife have "deFOOed".[31]

Stateless society

Molyneux theorizes that the pursuit of virtue in our personal lives could bring about a stateless society that abhors the initiation of force (see non-aggression principle). In addition, the free market (see anarcho-capitalism), polycentric legal systems and private "dispute resolution organizations" (DROs) could be empowered to find new and more peaceful ways of adjudicating common law infractions and contractual disputes.[32]

In 2012, libertarian philosopher David Gordon gave a critical examination of Molyneux's 2007 Universally Preferable Behaviour: A Rational Proof for Secular Ethics in The Mises Review, stating, "He fails, and fails miserably. His arguments are often preposterously bad."[33] Gordon would reply again to Molyneux's own response to the criticisms.[34]

White genocide

Molyneux believes in the White genocide conspiracy theory.[35] In a 2018 interview with Lauren Southern about violence against white farmers in South Africa, he stated that the media and NGOs were under-reporting the subject because they "don’t want to scare the whites in the west with what happens when whites become a minority in a highly aggressive and tribalised world".[36][37]

After portrait painter Kehinde Wiley was chosen to paint Barack Obama's presidential portrait, Molyneux called Wiley a "white genocide fetish artist",[38] noting that in 2012 Wiley had created two paintings of black women holding up the severed heads of white women, which Wiley later referred to as "sort of a play on the 'kill whitey' thing".[39][40]

Cult accusations

According to Steven Hassan, a mental health counselor with experience on cults, "Partly what's going on with the people on the Internet who are indoctrinated, they spend lots of hours on the computer. Videos can have them up all night for several nights in a row. Molyneux knows how to talk like he knows what he's talking about, despite very little academic research. He cites this and cites that, and presents it as the whole truth. It dismantles people's sense of self and replaces it with his sense of confidence about how to fix the world."[6]

In 2009, Tu Thanh Ha wrote that Molyneux was called the leader of a "therapy cult" following Freedomain Radio (FDR) community member Tom Bell breaking off all contact with his family.[8] In April 2008, Bell had called in to the show asking about his veganism and his feeling of disgust towards people that eat meat.[7] Molyneux suggested that this disgust could have come from witnessing an authority figure who was cruel to animals.[7] Bell responded by describing memories of his father being verbally and physically cruel to the family cat, causing him to feel intimidated by the father, and then described his emotional detachment toward his mother and the rest of his family.[7]

The following month, Bell left a note stating he no longer wanted contact and left home. It was reported that, of the estimated 50,000 users of the website, about 20 FDR members had also "deFOOed" (disassociate from family of origin), and that many parents chose not to speak to the media in an effort to avoid alienating their children further.[7] A representative of the British Cult Information Centre said they were following FDR, and noted that one sign of cults was that they cut people off from their families. Molyneux responded by saying that "If I advised a wife to leave an abusive husband, there would not be articles about how I am a cult leader."[7]

Molyneux and FOO were subjects of an investigative documentary by Channel 5 in the United Kingdom, which aired on August 20, 2015.[9][41]

Molyneux and "deFOOing" were one of three subjects featured on the February 18, 2016 episode of the documentary series Dark Net. The episode calls Freedomain Radio a cult.[42]

References

  1. ^ Ha, Tu Thanh (December 19, 2014). "Controversial podcaster listened in on therapist wife and clients: lawsuit". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved May 30, 2018. 
  2. ^ a b Levin, Sam (August 9, 2017). "Fired Google memo writer gives first big interviews to rightwing YouTubers". The Guardian. Retrieved August 26, 2017. 
  3. ^ Krieg, Gregory (November 10, 2016). "How did Trump win? Here are 24 theories". CNN. Retrieved July 24, 2017. 
  4. ^ a b Schreckinger, Ben (April 7, 2017). "Trump's Troll Army Isn't Ready for War in Syria". Politico Magazine. Retrieved August 10, 2017. 
  5. ^ a b McCullough, J. J. (March 10, 2017). "Canada's obsession with American politics is nothing to apologize for". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 10, 2017. 
  6. ^ a b c Collins, Ben (February 5, 2016). Meet the 'Cult' Leader Stumping for Donald Trump. The Daily Beast. Retrieved: October 12, 2016.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Whipple, Tom (January 10, 2009). "The mother and son torn apart by web 'cult' that destroys families". The Times. Retrieved August 6, 2017. 
  8. ^ a b c d Ha, Tu Thanh (December 12, 2008). "How a cyberphilosopher convinced followers to cut off family". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved April 28, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b "Trapped In A Cult?". Channel 5. 2015-08-20. Retrieved 2015-11-18. 
  10. ^ a b "Author Stefan Molyneux To Russia, with love". The Mississauga News. Mississauga, Ontario. June 1, 2003. p. Arts & Entertainment: 15. ISSN 0834-6585. OCLC 290997481. Retrieved June 18, 2014 – via NewsBank (Access World News). Molyneux is an Irish-born author who grew up in England and Africa before coming to Canada 25 years ago. 
  11. ^ Johnson, Phil (February 23, 1988). "Horrors! Dracula's at Glendon College". Toronto Star, The. Ontario, Canada. p. Neighbors: N17. Retrieved June 18, 2014 – via NewsBank (Access World News). 
  12. ^ da Costa, Cathy (February 8, 1988). "World Champions at Glendon" (PDF). Pro Tem. York University/Glendon College. p. 4. Retrieved May 9, 2014. 
  13. ^ a b c Burg, Robert (May 26, 1997). "Their software keeps tabs on site data". Toronto Star, The. Ontario, Canada. p. Business: D1. Retrieved June 18, 2014 – via NewsBank (Access World News). 
  14. ^ "Blue292 acquires Caribou Systems" (Press release). Durham, NC: Blue292. January 28, 2002. Archived from the original on August 2, 2003. Retrieved June 6, 2014. 
  15. ^ "An Introduction to Freedomain Radio". Freedomainradio.com. Retrieved June 18, 2018. 
  16. ^ Horsager, David (October 2012). The Trust Edge: How top leaders gain faster results, deeper relationships, and a stronger bottom line. New York: Free Press. pp. 25–26. ISBN 978-1-4767-1137-9. OCLC 820783989. 
  17. ^ "Stefan Molyneux". YouTube. Retrieved 27 August 2017. 
  18. ^ Kinsella, Luke (31 July 2018). "What I learnt about the far right from Lauren Southern". News.com.au. Retrieved 31 July 2018. 
  19. ^ Smith, Douglas (30 July 2018). "Far-right Canadian duo's vile rampage against Aboriginal culture at Sydney event". National Indigenous Television, Special Broadcasting Service. Retrieved 31 July 2018. 
  20. ^ "Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux's speaking event cancelled". Newshub. 3 August 2018. Retrieved 3 August 2018. 
  21. ^ Truebridge, Nick; Niall, Todd (3 August 2018). "Auckland's Powerstation owner apologises for booking controversial speakers". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 3 August 2018. 
  22. ^ "Auckland venue cancels controversial far-right Canadian pair's speaking event". 1 News. 3 August 2018. Retrieved 3 August 2018. 
  23. ^ Roy, Jessica (July 2, 2014). "What I Learned as a Woman at a Men's-Rights Conference". Time. Retrieved May 30, 2018. 
  24. ^ Smith, Adam (August 19, 2017). "Heartbroken mother describes how she lost her son to alt-right movement". Metro. Retrieved August 20, 2017. 
  25. ^ Kilgore, Ed (August 14, 2017). "Don't Look Now, But Alt-Right Demonstrations Are Scheduled for Nine Cities Next Weekend [Update: Now Cancelled]". New York. Retrieved May 30, 2018. 
  26. ^ Kosoff, Maya (August 9, 2017). "The Fired Google Engineer Is Doubling Down". Vanity Fair. Retrieved May 30, 2018. 
  27. ^ "Fired Google Engineer Who Wrote Controversial Gender Essay Speaks Out". KPIX-TV. Associated Press. August 9, 2017. Retrieved May 30, 2018. 
  28. ^ Tani, Maxwell (August 23, 2017). "'UNLIMITED WAR': Breitbart and the far right start to turn on Trump over his Afghanistan decision". Business Insider. Retrieved August 28, 2017. 
  29. ^ Ling, Justin (January 8, 2018). "The Far Right Can't Decide If The Iran Protests Are A Good Thing, Or A George Soros Deep State Coup". BuzzFeed. Retrieved May 30, 2018. 
  30. ^ What Is The Alt-Right? Vox Day and Stefan Molyneux on YouTube
  31. ^ a b Hilpern, Kate (November 15, 2008). "You will never see me again". The Guardian. Retrieved January 7, 2009. 
  32. ^ Molyneux, Stefan (October 24, 2005). "The Stateless Society An Examination of Alternatives". LewRockwell.com. Retrieved May 8, 2014. 
  33. ^ "The Molyneux Problem | Mises Daily". Mises.org. 2012-07-04. Retrieved 2017-02-12. 
  34. ^ "Mr. Molyneux Responds; Mises Daily". Mises.org. 2012-07-11. Retrieved 2017-02-12. 
  35. ^ "Alt-right speakers Stefan Molyneux and Lauren Southern anger NZ Muslims". Radio New Zealand. 20 July 2018. 
  36. ^ Molyneux, Stefan (February 10, 2018). "White Farmers Slaughtered in South Africa | Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux". YouTube. 
  37. ^ "News Corp Australia's promotion of Lauren Southern is disturbing". The Guardian. 16 July 2018. 
  38. ^ "Free-speech group says 'dangerous precedent' will be set if they lose lawsuit". Newshub. 19 July 2018. 
  39. ^ Molyneux, Stefan (February 13, 2018). "President Obama's Anti-White Racism Portrait Scandal". LiveLeak. 
  40. ^ Rodney, Seph (Feb 18, 2018). "Kehinde Wiley's Obama portrait controversy proves Americans struggle to engage with art". NBC News. 
  41. ^ Wyatt, Daisy (August 20, 2015). "Trapped in a Cult? – TV review: Disappointing Channel 5 shock-doc fails to come up to scratch". The Independent. Retrieved November 18, 2015. 
  42. ^ "Dark Net – Season 1, Episode 5". Showtime. Retrieved 12 June 2017. 

External links

  • Official site – Freedomain Radio
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