The Instigator
A341
Pro (for)
Winning
6 Points
The Contender
bossyburrito
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Stefan Molyneux is a Cult Leader

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
A341
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/4/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,847 times Debate No: 61283
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (11)
Votes (1)

 

A341

Pro

First round is for acceptance only.

Definition:

Cult leader: "The leader of a system of veneration and devotion directed towards a particular figure or object"
bossyburrito

Con

I accept, sure - I'm quite a big Molyneux fan.
Debate Round No. 1
A341

Pro

Before I start I am a Libertarian Anarchist (if you want anarcho capitalist) and I agree with a lot of Molyneux's libertarian views.

Censorship

Molyneux has this bad habit of kicking people off of the freedomain radio forums if they directly challenge any of the points made by Molyneux. Further Molyneux has been using the DMCA (*cough* government force *cough*) to take down many youtube videos [1] [2] which criticize him. He has critizised others who use the DMCA [7].

Insane/Cultish Claims

Molyneux claims that homosexuality is a result of child hood abuse [3].
Molyneux claims that wanting to take part in contact sports is a result of child hood abuse [4].
Molyneux claims that mental illness's are made up by the government [5].
Molyneux claims that climate change is made up by the government [6].
Molyneux claims jews were responsible for communism [8].
"Physicists kind of [expletive] me off, 'cause they've always got their [expletive] pale hands in my goddamn wallet, and stealing from my child's future, indebting her. You know, go be a [expletive] engineer, you lazy, pasty bastards. Go do something useful that people wanna buy." [9].

Cutting People Off From Their Families

From the best numbers I can ascertain something like 50,000 people have "DeFOOed" (left their families) because of Molyneux . This is something that Molyneux has tried to inniciate in many people [10]. This is a recognised sign of a cult [11].

[1] https://www.youtube.com...

[2] https://www.youtube.com... (this is a playlist of recovered videos)

[3] https://www.youtube.com...

[4] https://www.youtube.com...

[5] https://www.youtube.com...

[6] https://www.youtube.com... (this acts as a rebuttal to all the claims of Molyneux https://www.youtube.com...)

[7] https://freedomainradio.com...

[8] https://www.youtube.com...

[9] https://www.youtube.com...

[10] http://www.molyneuxrevealed.com...

[11] http://www.culteducation.com... "Increasing isolation from family and old friends unless they demonstrate an interest in the group/leader."
bossyburrito

Con

In response to the claimed censorship.

1. The accusation about the censorship of opposing views on the FDR forums is not sourced or justified, and from a quick look at the forums it seems that the opposite is the case. It can be seen that Stefan is open to differing opinions, and respects them if they are presented in a calm and non-aggressive manner. This forum thread {1} is an example of a post in which Stefan is directly said to be wrong on an important issue, and, in it, Stefan replies with, quote, “Thank you so much for the information, I had no idea, I really appreciate you sharing, I will have a look in detail[.]”

2. Most, if not all, of the videos in the playlist you linked that were taken down as a result of copyright claims by FDR only consisted of the audio from FDR shows with occasional captioning and commentary in text-form. These videos clearly violate copyright law, and, regardless of Stefan’s opinion on IP rights, it cannot be said that taking them down is “suppressing dissent” or is “cultlike behaviour”. At worst, you are accusing him of being a hypocrite – that does not help you in fulfilling your BOP.


In response to the “Insane/Cultish Claims”


1. Just for the record, Stefan has publically recanted his views on homosexuality that you mentioned {2}.

2. The majority of the claims on your list are just said to be “insane/cultish”, with no justification as to why this is so (and, with your definition of “cult leader”, I don’t see how any of these directly support the idea that FDR is a cult), just that they are supported by Molyneux. No reasons are given for most of the claims as to why they aren’t valid, as if they are just to be accepted as being such because of some self-evident nature they possess. Even if they were completely and utterly debunked, it would be irrelevant to the debate – one is not a “cult leader”, even by the definition given by PRO, just because they support unorthodox or irrational ideas. As such, these videos do nothing to further the fulfillment of the BOP by PRO, and I do not need to respond any further to them.


In response to Stefan’s support of DEFOO-ing

I must ask, if the idea of DEFOO-ing is cult-like, would it not follow that most of the modern western world would be cultists? Stefan does NOT universally support DEFOO-ing - he does not want all children to disassociate themselves from their families. He advocates doing so in the cases of emotional or physical abuse – this is to be done for the child’s own sake, not in order for them to be “better devoted” to Molyneux or whatever other sinister theory. Molyneux is applying the concept of a battered spouse leaving the abuser to familial relationships. There is nothing more “cult-like” about this than there is about women supporting that wives who are being consistently harmed should leave the source of the harm, if they can. It is baseless to assert that Stefan is a cult-leader because of this.

{1} https://board.freedomainradio.com...

{2} https://www.youtube.com...

Debate Round No. 2
A341

Pro

According to the website culteducation.com here are the warning signs for a cult leader:

Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability.
No tolerance for questions or critical inquiry.
No meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget, expenses such as an independently audited financial statement.
Unreasonable fear about the outside world, such as impending catastrophe, evil conspiracies and persecutions.
There is no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil.
Former members often relate the same stories of abuse and reflect a similar pattern of grievances.
There are records, books, news articles, or television programs that document the abuses of the group/leader.
Followers feel they can never be "good enough".
The group/leader is always right.
The group/leader is the exclusive means of knowing "truth" or receiving validation, no other process of discovery is really acceptable or credible.

Now lets go through these one by one.

"Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability."

Now it is difficult for Molyneux to engage in as authoritarian practises as the FDR cult isn't under one roof. However Molyneux defiantly doesn't support any meaningful diversity of opinion or forgiveness of past actions which went against the message of the cult, I don't think this covers but it is close.

"No tolerance for questions or critical inquiry."

Any questions posed to Molyneux are quickly censored [1].

"No meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget, expenses such as an independently audited financial statement."

If Molyneux has ever published a budget I am yet to find it.

"Unreasonable fear about the outside world, such as impending catastrophe, evil conspiracies and persecutions."

Lets say that if anything counts it's this [2] in this video Molyneux claims that all his followers should remove themselves from relations and friends who are not adherents to the non aggression principle (which I accept) because all non adherents will want to kill you.

"There is no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil."

I can't find anything on this.

"Former members often relate the same stories of abuse and reflect a similar pattern of grievances."

If my opponent denies this I suggest he look in the comments section of this debate otherwise here is a forum of ex FDR members discussing their experiences [3].

"There are records, books, news articles, or television programs that document the abuses of the group/leader."

Here are some [4] [5].

"The group/leader is always right."

Other than a few inconsequentially's Molyneux more or less claims constant and unquestionable integrity [6].

[1] https://www.youtube.com...

[2] https://www.youtube.com...

[3] http://www.molyneuxrevealed.com...

[4] http://www.dailymail.co.uk...

[5] https://www.techdirt.com...

[6] https://www.youtube.com...
bossyburrito

Con

I'm sorry, I've lost completely all motivation to do this debate. I give my apologies to Pro, and ask that all points be awarded to him as I am dropping all his arguments.
Debate Round No. 3
A341

Pro

Ok, not sure how to respond to that but sure.
bossyburrito

Con

Full forfeit.
Debate Round No. 4
bossyburrito

Con

All points to PRO.
Debate Round No. 5
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by opiumfiend 2 years ago
opiumfiend
WOW the contender hasn't done much research has he been living under a virtual rock lol
Posted by bossyburrito 2 years ago
bossyburrito
Lol, alright.
Posted by A341 2 years ago
A341
The first round was to see how much of a Molyneux fan boy my opponent is.
Posted by buffygeek 2 years ago
buffygeek
Cult expert Steven Hassan lists Freedomain Radio as a cult or high-demand group on his website: https://www.freedomofmind.com...
Posted by DanaNutter 2 years ago
DanaNutter
"The accusation about the censorship of opposing views on the FDR forums is not sourced or justified,"

This guy hasn't been around much has he? I've written two blogs on the subject, the first shortly after being banned for posting something they didn't like in chat.
Posted by DrElvisHChrist 2 years ago
DrElvisHChrist
No rational human could come up with a rebuttal. Expect the typical Freedomainiac replies.
Posted by opiumfiend 2 years ago
opiumfiend
awesome topic. i used to be a big fan myself until i took the red pill. im a member of fdr liberated and am quite fascinated by the topic but alas there is no way i could argue as the contender lol.
Posted by A341 2 years ago
A341
Might have found one http://www.debate.org...
Posted by A341 2 years ago
A341
There was one on here a while ago, I know because she introduced me to him. Since then her account was deleted but I hope I can find someone to debate this.
Posted by RainbowDash52 2 years ago
RainbowDash52
I doubt you will be able to find a Molyneux supporter on this site, since they mostly like to debate on the freedomain radio forum where everyone who disagrees with them gets banned. Molyneux followers can't handle a debate outside their home-field.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
A341bossyburritoTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Concession.