Ian Bernard announced today that he has removed Stefan Molyneux’s Free Domain Radio as a Liberty Radio Network affiliate citing Molyneux’s “truth about” videos (I don’t believe anyone claiming to know the truth.), misogynistic statements, the use of IP law to suppress dissent (while he allegedly opposes IP – Intellectual Property), and the various outlined cult red-flags”. Molyneux is a notorious figure in Libertopia for not only his gargantuan ego but also his vitriolic comments about women and half-cocked analysis of economics and current events. Being an arrogant blowhard is par for the course on the idiot fringe of politics but Molyneux has managed to develop a therapy cult centered on the idea of people ditching their families in favor of a virtuous life of intellectual superiority and giving him all your money.
Anyone else find Ian’s decision a bit ironic and a tad hypocritical? Let’s examine more of his commentary.
A few years ago, Molyneux was criticized (in The Guardian and elsewhere) for being a cult leader. Several aspects of Molyneux ring several cult red-flags, like jargon, a charismatic guru, encouraging followers to completely disassociate with family and friends who don’t agree (the jargon for this is “de-fooing”), and also the suppression of dissent within and without the group.
Former fans of Molyneux have said they’ve been ostracized and banned for dissenting on Molyneux’s forums and former “inner circle” (another cult red-flag) members have spoken out.
I think that he’s developed a cult of personality by surrounding himself with people who some critics describe as “Stefbots” and has no one around to check his ego.
Let’s discuss jargon and charismatic figureheads. AKPF, “Statists”, “Men With Badges”, “Men in Robes”, “Men With Guns”, “Government People”, “Aggressors”, “Locked in a Cage”, “Haters”, “Hired Killers”, and the hijacking of the terms “liberty” and “freedom” to serve some solipsisism and unwarranted self-importance. All that’s missing is “Men Without Hats“, “Men at Work“, and “Men in Black”. Ian’s pose of principled disapproval about jargon and manipulative figureheads fall a bit flat from a guy who orchestrates a libertarian media empire that traffics in sloganeering and buzzwords.
As for the suppression of dissent, that can be easily demonstrated by popping into the Free Keene Facebook page or website and dropping a comment about how much you disagree with his cash cow or tactics. You could also ask the people who were kicked out or shunned for not following Bernardian doctrine to the letter or having the audacity to suggest that it might be wrong.
It’s routinely made a joke by FK but it’s evident to anyone with two brain cells that Bernard wields power in the liberty politics community in Keene and NH. The Free State Project board is alternately buying his services and completely terrified of him as demonstrated by their refusal to censure his actions. He makes people sign contracts and pay fees to enter his home which also the base of operations for Free Talk Live and numerous other NH-centered liberty projects. Interacting with him is an exercise in verbal gymnastics and selective hearing of criticism. Ian will accept no responsibilities for the actions done in the name of his organization nor will he ever admit that the result of these actions can be extremely negative and harmful.
In short: What the hell makes him any better than a arrogant clod like Stefan Molyneux?