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Stefan Basil Molyneux (/stəˈfæn ˈmɒlɪnj/; born September 24, 1966) is a far-right, white nationalist Canadian podcaster and YouTuber who is known for his promotion of scientific racism and white supremacist views.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8]

Stefan Molyneux
Stefan Molyneux 2014-02-10.jpg
Stefan Molyneux in 2014
Personal information
BornStefan Basil Molyneux
(1966-09-24) September 24, 1966 (age 53)
NationalityCanadian
EducationHistory (B.A., McGill University, 1991; M.A., University of Toronto, 1993)
ResidenceMississauga, Ontario, Canada[1]
OccupationPodcaster, YouTube personality
Websitefreedomainradio.com
YouTube information
Channel
Years active2005–present
NetworkFreedomain Radio
Associated acts
YouTube Silver Play Button 2.svg100,000 subscribers 2015
Updated February 02, 2019

Molyneux is described as a leading figure of the alt-right movement by Politico and The Washington Post, and as a far-right activist.[9][10][11][12] Tom Clements in The Independent described Molyneux as having "a perverse fixation on race and IQ."[13]

The Freedomain internet community which Molyneux leads has been described as a cult and Molyneux has been described as a cult leader, using cult indoctrination techniques on his followers.[12][14][15][16][17]

Background

Molyneux was born in Ireland and raised mainly in London before moving to Canada at the age of 11.[18] Molyneux attended the Glendon College of York University, where he was an actor at Theatre Glendon[19] and a member of the Debating Society.[20] He then attended the National Theatre School of Canada in Montreal.[18][21] In 1991, at age 25, Molyneux received a B.A. degree in History from McGill University. He later received an M.A. degree in History from University of Toronto in 1993.[15][21]

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.[21][22]

In 2005, Molyneux began a podcast called Freedomain Radio (FDR).[23] 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.[15] Molyneux funds his efforts through listener support.[24]

In 2017, Molyneux interviewed James Damore, the Google employee who was fired after writing the Google's Ideological Echo Chamber memo.[25]

In July 2018, Molyneux and Canadian internet personality Lauren Southern toured the Australian cities of Sydney and Melbourne.[26] 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".[27] 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.[28][29][30]

Molyneux has frequently hosted prominent white supremacists on his podcast, such as Peter Brimelow (founder of the white-nationalist website VDARE) and Jared Taylor (founder of the white-supremacist magazine American Renaissance).[11]

Views

Alt-right, racism and white supremacy

Molyneux is known for his promotion of white supremacist views and for his promotion of related conspiracy theories.[31][32][33] He is a proponent of the white genocide conspiracy theory.[34][35]

Molyneux has been described as a part of the "alt-right" by Politico, Metro, New York magazine, Vanity Fair, and CBS News, and has been described as "one of the alt-right's biggest YouTube stars" by The Washington Post columnist J. J. McCullough.[9][10][36][37][38][39] Business Insider, CNN, The New York Times, and BuzzFeed News have characterized Molyneux as far-right.[11][12][40][41] Data & Society, a research institute, described Molyneux as "a Canadian talk show host who promotes scientific racism".[33]

According to The New York Times, Molyneux is fixated with "race realism."[12] He has hosted white supremacists on his show, such as Jared Taylor.[12] Molyneux has blamed "rap culture" for unarmed black men getting shot by police.[12]

Nassim Taleb argued that "Molyneux thinks he can manage to keep... catering to a Nordist supremacist following... yet claim this is not racist so he doesn't get banned from social media." [42] The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) describes Molyneux as a "internet commentator and alleged cult leader who amplifies 'scientific racism', eugenics and white supremacism to a massive new audience" and that "Stefan Molyneux operates within the racist so-called 'alt-right' and pro-Trump ranks".[43]

Men's right activism

Molyneux describes himself as a men's rights activist.[12] 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."[44] Molyneux believes feminism is a form of socialism.[12]

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".[45] 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".[45]

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."[17]

In 2009, Tu Thanh Ha wrote that Molyneux was called the leader of a "therapy cult" after Tom Bell, a Freedomain Radio (FDR) community member, severed contact with his family.[15] In April 2008, Bell had called in to the show asking about his veganism and his feeling of disgust towards people who eat meat.[14] Molyneux suggested that this disgust could have come from witnessing an authority figure who was cruel to animals.[14] 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.[14]

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 (0.04%) 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.[14] 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, "If I advised a wife to leave an abusive husband, there would not be articles about how I am a cult leader."[14]

Molyneux and FOO were subjects of an investigative documentary by Channel 5 in the United Kingdom, which aired on August 20, 2015.[16][46] 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.[47]

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. ^ "Stefan Molyneux". Southern Poverty Law Center.
  3. ^ "How YouTube reactionaries are breaking the news media". Columbia Journalism Review.
  4. ^ "Alternative Influence". Data & Society. Archived from the original on 2018-09-18. Retrieved 2018-09-19. In his YouTube videos, Molyneux openly promotes scientific racism, advocates for the men’s rights movement, critiques initiatives devoted to gender equity, and promotes white supremacist conspiracy theories focused on 'White Genocide' and 'The Great Replacement.'
  5. ^ Evans, Gavin (March 2, 2018). "The unwelcome revival of 'race science'" – via www.theguardian.com.
  6. ^ "Notre Dame Cathedral fire spurs Islamophobic conspiracy theories on social media". NBC News.
  7. ^ "Twitter's "verified" users are spreading viral misinformation".
  8. ^ Winter, Aaron (2019), Lumsden, Karen; Harmer, Emily (eds.), "Online Hate: From the Far-Right to the 'Alt-Right' and from the Margins to the Mainstream", Online Othering, Springer International Publishing, pp. 39–63, doi:10.1007/978-3-030-12633-9_2, ISBN 9783030126322, retrieved 2019-06-01
  9. ^ a b Schreckinger, Ben (April 7, 2017). "Trump's Troll Army Isn't Ready for War in Syria". Politico Magazine. Archived from the original on 2017-08-10. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
  10. ^ a b McCullough, J. J. (March 10, 2017). "Canada's obsession with American politics is nothing to apologize for". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2017-08-16. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
  11. ^ a b c CNN, Nathan McDermott, Andrew Kaczynski, and Chris Massie, (November 30, 2018). "Rep. Steve King appeared on podcast frequented by white nationalists". CNN. Archived from the original on 2018-12-02. Retrieved 2018-12-02.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h Roose, Kevin (2019-06-08). "The Making of a YouTube Radical". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-06-08.
  13. ^ Clements, Toms (4 September 2019) "I fell down the rabbit hole of alt-right propaganda and this is what I learned" The Independent
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ a b c d Ha, Tu Thanh (December 12, 2008). "How a cyberphilosopher convinced followers to cut off family". The Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on 2014-05-11. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
  16. ^ a b "Trapped In A Cult?". Channel 5. 2015-08-20. Archived from the original on 2015-11-19. Retrieved 2015-11-18.
  17. ^ a b Collins, Ben (5 February 2016). "Meet the 'Cult' Leader Stumping for Donald Trump". The Daily Beast. Archived from the original on 2016-10-12. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  18. ^ 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. Archived from the original on 2018-06-13. 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.
  19. ^ Johnson, Phil (February 23, 1988). "Horrors! Dracula's at Glendon College". Toronto Star, The. Ontario, Canada. p. Neighbors: N17. Archived from the original on 2018-09-28. Retrieved June 18, 2014 – via NewsBank (Access World News).
  20. ^ da Costa, Cathy (February 8, 1988). "World Champions at Glendon" (PDF). Pro Tem. York University/Glendon College. p. 4. Retrieved May 9, 2014.
  21. ^ a b c Burg, Robert (May 26, 1997). "Their software keeps tabs on site data". Toronto Star, The. Ontario, Canada. p. Business: D1. Archived from the original on 2018-09-28. Retrieved June 18, 2014 – via NewsBank (Access World News).
  22. ^ "Blue292 acquires Caribou Systems" (Press release). Durham, NC: Blue292. January 28, 2002. Archived from the original on August 2, 2003. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  23. ^ "An Introduction to Freedomain Radio". Freedomainradio.com. Archived from the original on 2018-06-19. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  24. ^ 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.
  25. ^ Levin, Sam (August 9, 2017). "Fired Google memo writer gives first big interviews to rightwing YouTubers". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 2017-08-26. Retrieved August 26, 2017.
  26. ^ Kinsella, Luke (31 July 2018). "What I learnt about the far right from Lauren Southern". News.com.au. Archived from the original on 2018-07-31. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  27. ^ Smith, Douglas (30 July 2018). "Far-right Canadian duo's vile rampage against Aboriginal culture at Sydney event". National Indigenous Television, Special Broadcasting Service. Archived from the original on 2018-07-30. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  28. ^ "Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux's speaking event cancelled". Newshub. 3 August 2018. Archived from the original on 2018-08-03. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  29. ^ Truebridge, Nick; Niall, Todd (3 August 2018). "Auckland's Powerstation owner apologises for booking controversial speakers". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  30. ^ "Auckland venue cancels controversial far-right Canadian pair's speaking event". 1 News. 3 August 2018. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  31. ^ Evans, Gavin (March 2, 2018). "The unwelcome revival of 'race science'" – via www.theguardian.com.
  32. ^ "Notre Dame Cathedral fire spurs Islamophobic conspiracy theories on social media". NBC News.
  33. ^ a b "Alternative Influence". Data & Society. Archived from the original on 2018-09-18. Retrieved 2018-09-19.
  34. ^ Hankes, Keegan; Janik, Rachel; Hayden, Michael Edison (April 28, 2019). "Shooting at Poway Synagogue underscores link between internet radicalization and violence". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  35. ^ "Alt-right speakers Stefan Molyneux and Lauren Southern anger NZ Muslims". Radio New Zealand. 20 July 2018. Archived from the original on 2018-07-20. Retrieved 2018-07-20.
  36. ^ Smith, Adam (August 19, 2017). "Heartbroken mother describes how she lost her son to alt-right movement". Metro. Archived from the original on 2017-08-19. Retrieved August 20, 2017.
  37. ^ 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. Archived from the original on 2018-08-02. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
  38. ^ Kosoff, Maya (August 9, 2017). "The Fired Google Engineer Is Doubling Down". Vanity Fair. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
  39. ^ "Fired Google Engineer Who Wrote Controversial Gender Essay Speaks Out". KPIX-TV/CBS News. Associated Press. August 9, 2017. Archived from the original on 2018-04-21. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
  40. ^ Tani, Maxwell (August 23, 2017). "'UNLIMITED WAR': Breitbart and the far right start to turn on Trump over his Afghanistan decision". Business Insider. Archived from the original on 2017-08-26. Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  41. ^ 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 News. Archived from the original on 2018-06-12. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
  42. ^ @nntaleb (31 Dec 2018). "Molyneux" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  43. ^ "Stefan Molyneux". Archived 2018-11-25 at the Wayback Machine Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved: December 5, 2018.
  44. ^ Roy, Jessica (July 2, 2014). "What I Learned as a Woman at a Men's-Rights Conference". Time. Archived from the original on 2018-06-08. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
  45. ^ a b Hilpern, Kate (November 15, 2008). "You will never see me again". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 2013-12-23. Retrieved January 7, 2009.
  46. ^ Wyatt, Daisy (August 20, 2015). "Trapped in a Cult? – TV review: Disappointing Channel 5 shock-doc fails to come up to scratch". The Independent. Archived from the original on 2015-11-18. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  47. ^ "Dark Net – Season 1, Episode 5". Showtime. Archived from the original on 2017-08-08. Retrieved 12 June 2017.

External links