Stefan Basil Molyneux (/
Stefan Molyneux in 2014
|Born||Stefan Basil Molyneux|
September 24, 1966
|Education||History (B.A., McGill University, 1991; M.A., University of Toronto, 1993)|
|Residence||Mississauga, Ontario, Canada|
|Occupation||Radio host, YouTube personality|
|Updated February 02, 2019|
A supporter of Donald Trump's presidential campaign, he has been described as alt-right by Politico and The Washington Post, and far-right and right-wing. The Freedomain Radio internet community which he leads has been described as a cult. Molyneux formerly worked in the software industry.
Molyneux was born in Ireland and raised mainly in London before moving to Canada at age 11. Molyneux attended the Glendon College of York University, where he was an actor at Theatre Glendon and a member of the Debating Society. He then attended the National Theatre School of Canada in Montreal. 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.
In 2005, Molyneux began a podcast called Freedomain Radio (FDR). 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. Molyneux funds his efforts by soliciting direct payment from listeners and viewers.
In July 2018, Molyneux and Canadian internet personality Lauren Southern toured the Australian cities of Sydney and Melbourne. 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". 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 The event was cancelled at the last minute when the Powerstation's owner rescinded the booking, citing opposition from local groups and the offensive content of their speech.
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).
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."
Alt-right and racism
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. Business Insider and BuzzFeed have characterized Molyneux as far-right. In a 2016 YouTube video, Molyneux has denied that he identifies with the alt-right movement. Data & Society, a research institute, described Molyneux as "a Canadian talk show host who promotes scientific racism".
The SPLC describes Molyneux as a "libertarian 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".
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". 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".
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."
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. In April 2008, Bell had called in to the show asking about his veganism and his feeling of disgust towards people that eat meat. Molyneux suggested that this disgust could have come from witnessing an authority figure who was cruel to animals. 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.
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. 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."
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