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Title Freedomain Radio

Founder Stefan Molyneux
Leader Stefan Molyneux
Description It is an online philosophical community centered around a growing catalog of 2,000+ podcasts, books, YouTube videos and an online forum, hosted by Stefan Molyneux. The philosophy is centered around personal and political freedom and the non-aggression principle.

The leader is an atheist and anarchist and instills a lot of fear in the listener about the government and other institutions. He has predicted imminent economic and political collapse. Molyneux preaches that bad parenting is the cause of all of societies' problems. Through verbal manipulation within the podcasts, as well as one-on-one conversations with listeners, he frames his listener's childhoods as prisons and the parents as manipulative, sadistic guards.

He claims to have the ultimate key to happiness. His solution is called a "defoo", which includes removing all friends and family who don't conform to the new worldview of mass parental corruption. This action is expected of listeners who truly value freedom and integrity, although Molyneux now publicly states it is only recommended under the supervision of a therapist and in the most extreme circumstances.
Levels of membership with special access to high level content for highest paying members Philosopher Kings (over $500).
Molyneux's wife was recently found guilty of professional misconduct for her Ask A Therapist podcasts on Freedomain Radio. A press report of her discipline hearing: 
1. Regulation of individual's physical reality
  a. Where, how and with whom the member lives and associates with
  b. What clothes, colors, hairstyles the person wears
  c. What food the person eats, drinks, adopts, and rejects
  d. How much sleep the person is able to have
  e. Financial dependence
  f. Little or no time spent on leisure, entertainment, vacations

2. Major time commitment required for indoctrination sessions and group rituals

3. Need to ask permission for major decisions

4. Need to report thoughts, feelings and activities to superiors

5. Rewards and punishments (behavior modification techniques- positive and negative).

6. Individualism discouraged; group think prevails

7. Rigid rules and regulations

8. Need for obedience and dependency.
-There is little direct physical contact with the leader, but listening to the podcasts, which are very exciting for many new members takes years.
-There are more than 2,000 podcasts, plus books and videos full of information to get through. Members listen for hours every day.
-The association of members is not directly controlled, but most members who become deeply involved drastically change their behavior.
-The leader and followers are certain that everyone in the world is repressing child abuse and needs to face it. If friends and family are not on board with this theory, they should not be associated with.
-Molyneux argues that if someone supports the government, he or she is okay with the listener being killed or imprisoned for disagreeing.
-Listeners are also encouraged to bring their problems to the leader during a weekly Sunday morning call-in show.
-There is a high-level of social pressure to agree with the group.
-Members are praised for their bravery and intelligence when they defoo, and are ex-communicated when critical of the group.
1. Use of deception
  a. Deliberately holding back information
  b. Distorting information to make it acceptable
  c. Outright lying

2. Access to non-cult sources of information minimized or discouraged
  a. Books, articles, newspapers, magazines, TV, radio
  b. Critical information
  c. Former members
  d. Keep members so busy they don’t have time to think

3. Compartmentalization of information; Outsider vs. Insider doctrines
  a. Information is not freely accessible
  b. Information varies at different levels and missions within pyramid
  c. Leadership decides who “needs to know” what

4. Spying on other members is encouraged
  a. Pairing up with “buddy” system to monitor and control
  b. Reporting deviant thoughts, feelings, and actions to leadership

5. Extensive use of cult generated information and propaganda
  a. Newsletters, magazines, journals, audio tapes, videotapes, etc.
  b. Misquotations, statements taken out of context from non-cult sources

6. Unethical use of confession
  a. Information about “sins” used to abolish identity boundaries
  b. Past “sins” used to manipulate and control; no forgiveness or absolution
-Deception: He lies about his critics, framing them all as child-abusing internet trolls.
-There was also a recent controversy with his therapist wife, who at one point hosted a series of FDR podcasts, called "Ask A Therapist". One day, all of the podcasts including her were removed and any inquiries on the forum were removed without answer. A couple years later, it came out that she was found guilty of misconduct by the Canadian Board of Psychologists for the type of advice she gave in the podcasts. Molyneux still refuses to mention it.
-It was reported that his neighbors found out about freedomain radio and after one of them found a video of their child on his website, warned all the other neighbors not to associate with him. He has since moved, but hasn't mentioned any of this to his listeners.
-All critics of his work are dismissed.
-Compartmentalizing of Info: There are various levels of information gained based on donation status. There is also a secret inner-circle, called "Friends of FDR", which is only granted to members Molyneux "trusts".
-Extensive use of cult-generated podcasts, books and videos.
1. Need to internalize the group's doctrine as "Truth"
  a. Map = Reality
  b. Black and White thinking
  c. Good vs. evil
  d. Us vs. them (inside vs. outside)

2. Adopt "loaded" language (characterized by "thought-terminating clichés"). Words are the tools we use to think with. These "special" words constrict rather than expand understanding. They function to reduce complexities of experience into trite, platitudinous "buzz words".

3. Only "good" and "proper" thoughts are encouraged.

4. Thought-stopping techniques (to shut down "reality testing" by stopping "negative" thoughts and allowing only "good" thoughts); rejection of rational analysis, critical thinking, constructive criticism.
  a. Denial, rationalization, justification, wishful thinking
  b. Chanting
  c. Meditating
  d. Praying
  e. Speaking in "tongues"
  f. Singing or humming

5. No critical questions about leader, doctrine, or policy seen as legitimate

6. No alternative belief systems viewed as legitimate, good, or useful
-There is a lot of heavy indoctrination in the first 200 podcasts or so.
-A lot of manipulative, black and white thinking is present.
-He suggests you either love your family and have nothing but good thoughts about them, or you feel immense obligation, hatred and/or boredom around them.
-He frames collective childhoods as all bad, the government as all bad, and religion as all bad.
-Us vs. Them thinking is ever-present, which leads to many members isolating themselves.
-Lots of loaded language and catch-phrases, like "everyone knows everything about everyone" and "against me" and "the gun in the room".
-He also heavily demonizes parents and the government.
-Although the group claims science and reason as its highest ideals, they are extremely closed to criticism.
-In a personal email with the leader, he told me he hasn't read any critical sites in years, yet knows that they are filled with hatred, toxic and disturbing content (not true).
-They absolutely claim to have the only answer to life's problems and are very elitist and condescending to other view points.
1. Manipulate and narrow the range of a person's feelings.

2. Make the person feel like if there are ever any problems it is always their fault, never the leader's or the group's.

3. Feeling-stopping. Like thought-stopping, this is the automatic suppression or blocking of feelings that are not acceptable by the cult identity- such as feeling "homesick" or feeling "depressed" or feeling "resentful".

4. Excessive use of guilt
  a. Identity guilt
    1. Who you are (not living up to your potential)
    2. Your family
    3. Your past
    4. Your affiliations
    5. Your thoughts, feelings, actions
    6. Social guilt
    7. Historical guilt

5. Excessive use of fear
  a. Fear of thinking independently
  b. Fear of the "outside" world
  c. Fear of enemies
  d. Fear of losing one's "salvation"
  e. Fear of leaving the group or being shunned by group
  f. Fear of disapproval

6. Extremes of emotional highs and lows.

7. Ritual and often public confession of "sins".

8. Phobia indoctrination: programming of irrational fears of ever leaving the group or even questioning the leader's authority. The person under mind control cannot visualize a positive, fulfilled future without being in the group.
  a. No happiness or fulfillment "outside"of the group
  b. Terrible consequences will take place if you leave: "hell"; "demon possession"; "incurable diseases"; "accidents"; "suicide"; "insanity"; "10,000 reincarnations"; etc.
  c. Shunning of leave takers. Fear of being rejected by friends, peers, and family.
  d. Never a legitimate reason to leave. From the group's perspective, people who leave are: "weak"; "undisciplined"; "unspiritual"; "worldly"; "brainwashed by family, counselors"; seduced by money, sex, rock and roll.
Emotional control occurs while listening to the podcasts and watching his YouTube videos. 
-He constantly shows animosity towards the government, religions, families and friends, while playing the empathetic hero.
-He sympathizes when his listeners call in with problems and inevitably traces the issues back to the parents.
-Any doubts members had were blamed on their traumatic histories.
-We all supposedly had Stockholm syndrome and were manipulated into loving our abusive families, which explained when a member would want to return or felt guilt over cutting off contact.
-Stefan Molyneux never seems to take responsibility for a conflict or problem.
-He ignores ex-member testimonies posted on critical sites, even testimonies from inner-circle members.
-Guilty feelings or anything that could cause doubt were blamed on the member. I talked myself out of feeling guilty and homesick hundreds of times over almost 4 years.
-There is quite a lot of guilt used to persuade members to defoo and to donate. If they truly cared about children and the future, they would make personal sacrifices.
-There was a recent controversy where Molyneux posted a sad face on his Facebook page over a $2 donation, which many took as ungrateful. He then went on a diatribe on his Sunday call-in show about how tortured everyone who criticized him must be and how much sympathy he has for all their awful childhoods.
-There is massive fear among FDR members. I was very afraid of everyone in the outside world, causing me to lose my job.
-Fear of economic and social collapse is fostered.
-There is also serious fear of rejection, especially for those who've isolated themselves otherwise.
-There is also fear of our own "false self", which might cause us to act out and cause harm to ourselves and others.
-There is a euphoric happiness that many people experience when experiencing the ideas of FDR for the first time.
-There is a sense of leaving a lot of old baggage behind, but there is also a lot of depression and other problems amongst these same members.
-I am aware of at least one suicide and one attempted suicide within the group.
-He creates a dependency on the group by stressing that leaving will result in a kind of soul death. By leaving or not joining or committing further, you're killing your true self and any chances of happiness and healthy relationships.
-People who leave are either completely ignored or deemed lost causes. In any case, it is never the group's fault that a member leaves.
(articles, videos, information)
The Myth of Bad Parenting 
by Molly Koch (Author of "27 Secrets to Raising Amazing Children")
We humans are a remarkable species.  Some of us with less than ideal parents turn out to be healthy, happy, productive, caring, compassionate individuals in spite of it all. If we canât change the past, we owe it to ourselves to do something about the present and the future. We know that what was done to us matters less than what we will do about it.We human beings are creative. With an inner strength, we can turn our own suffering into compassion and acceptance of ourselves and others.  We can forgive those who hurt us, inadvertently or not.We human beings are resilient. We have a built-in thrust for life and refuse defeat every step of our way to maturity. We are unafraid.Those who condemn âbadâ parents use the same parenting methods to manipulate their adherents â dependency, isolation from detractors, pressure to conform, control, fear, guilt. Thus, the followers of these âteachersâ are placed back in the familiar position of âhelpless child.âAnd we human beings have the gift of intuition; it is here, in the compassionate heart, that we find our own answers to the questions of parenting our children. Rather than turn to individuals who have the one-size-fits-all answers, we need to trust and rely our inner knowledge.
âNothing said to us,nothing we can learn from others, reaches us so deep as that which we find in ourselves.â
(Psychoanalyst Theodor Reik)
From David Cooperson MSW,MA,LCSW 
(Author of "The Holocaust Lessons on Compassionate Parenting and Child Corporal Punishment")

I was recently contacted by colleagues about Stefan Molyneux, a cult leader with a 

legion of followers many of whom have parents who have abused or neglected them 

as children.  I viewed many of his you tube presentations. He lures people into his 

fold by convincing them that they should totally cut ties with their family of origin 

and follow his beliefs as that is the best way to cope with the past maltreatment. He 

then convinces them to give up their money to him and follow the others as a group 

to survive in us versus the world scenario.  This has produced destructive results. 

He,also, directs followers with less or negligible traumatic childhoods to break ties 

with parents over their views on government intervention and the economy 

differing from his own. His views on cutting off relationships with parents have 

influenced his wife, a clinical psychologist, who has been sanctioned by professional 

psychology boards and organizations for using such tactics in her position as a 

therapist with devastating effects. It is even more dangerous for someone without 

any training or education in `therapy to use the cutting ties technique on a 

wholesale basis.

I have more than 30 years as a licensed therapist working with children and families 

and an administrator, social worker and trainer for the Philadelphia Department of 

Human Services Child Protection Agency, one of the largest in the country. I have 

years of experience working with abused and neglected children.  I taught 

workshops on the issue of separation, which involves children who are removed 

from their homes due to maltreatment of parents. Years of research and clinical 

experience by seasoned professionals demonstrate that almost all of these 

maltreated children continue to long for and love their parents. This is also true of 

adult children of parents who abused and neglected them as children. I have written 

published articles on this subject including the effect of abuse and neglect on the 

developing brain and the possibility for change with an empathetic environment.  I 

have a website where these articles can be seen and 

provides access to a book that I recently wrote, âThe Holocaust Lessons on 

Compassionate Parenting and Child Corporal Punishment â This book can be 

obtained for free on Amazon Kindle or bought through Amazon.        

I have experienced these separation issues first hand. My brother was placed as a 

child out of the home because of abuse by our parents.  With therapeutic 

intervention the family was able to resolve many of the problems and were 

reunited. In fact the childrenâs agency who worked with our family apologized for 

not first trying more therapy in the home to heal the family rather than a relatively 

quick placement.  My brother and I were always attached to our parents through the 

whole process. The relationship was not perfect but the brain has plasticity as 

demonstrated by my mother writing a letter to us when she was 92 apologizing for 

the frequent spankings that occurred with a great deal of hard earned insight.                                                                                                                           

A mountain of research on attachment theory, child development and neuroscience 

over decades disputes his ideology of abandoning parents and relatives cold turkey 

without regards to the dire consequences. Attachment theory describes how the 

bonds develop and endure for many of these children and parents and how severing 

these bonds cold turkey is dangerous. Also techniques to repair these relationships 

have been successfully applied. Neuroscience has demonstrated that the plasticity in 

the brain occurs especially for children but also for adults..  His wifeâs use of this 

severing ties scenario and the ramifications for her clients leading to being rebuked 

by professional psychology organizations and authorities demonstrates the 

therapeutic communityâs rejection of these actions.

I have seen this separation issue on both sides of the therapy. 

Then following my motherâs heart felt letter I wrote the book on this subject which 

was another step in my necessary healing process. 

David Cooperson MSW,MA,LCSW