Stefan Molyneux

A libertarian internet commentator and alleged cult leader who amplifies "scientific racism," eugenics and white supremacism to a massive new audience, Stefan Molyneux operates within the racist so-called “alt-right” and pro-Trump ranks.

About Stefan Molyneux

A glance at Stefan Molyneux’s subscriber count (650,000+) on YouTube suggests that he is a charismatic, persuasive and influential individual. A skilled propagandist and an effective communicator within the racist “alt-right” and pro-Trump ranks, his promotion of scientific racism and eugenics to a large and growing audience is a serious concern. Molyneux has been delivering “race realist” propaganda, based on pseudo-scientific sources, to his audience on an ongoing basis for over two years, and thus has encouraged thousands of people to adopt his belief in biological determinism, social Darwinism and non-white racial inferiority. Molyneux puts considerable effort into cloaking the practical implications of these beliefs across his media platforms.

In his own words

“I don’t view humanity as a single species...”
—Podcast FDR2768, “Collective Guilt for Fun and Profit”, Saturday call-in show, August 9, 2014

“The whole breeding arena of the species needs to be cleaned the fuck up!”
—Podcast FDR2740, “Conformity and the Cult of ‘Friendship’,” Wednesday call-in show July 2, 2014

"Screaming 'racism' at people because blacks are collectively less intelligent...is insane."
—YouTube video, The Death of Europe | European Migrant Crisis, October 4, 2015

“You cannot run a high IQ [white] society with low IQ [non-white] people…these [non-white] immigrants are going to fail...and they're not just going to fail a little, they are going to fail hard…they're not staying on welfare because they’re lazy...they’re doing what is economically the best option for them...you are importing a gene set that is incompatible with success in a free-market economy.”
—YouTube video, The Death of Europe | European Migrant Crisis, October 4, 2015

“...white people will bend over backwards to accommodate you, but when they finally get that they’re just being taken advantage of...you will see a backlash, and that backlash will be quick, decisive, and brutal.”
—YouTube video, The Death of Germany | European Migrant Crisis, September 16, 2015

“...the Germans were in danger of being taken over by what they perceived as Jewish-led Communism. And Jewish-led Communism had wiped out tens of millions of white Christians in Russia and they were afraid of the same thing. And there was this wild overreaction and all this kind of stuff.”
—Stefan Molyneux describes the Holocaust in YouTube video, Migratory Patterns of Predatory Immigrants, March 20, 2016

“...skills and abilities have not been distributed evenly by mother nature between various ethnicities and what that means is that when the shit hits the wall it hits some ethnicities a lot harder than others and then you get endless screams of “racism”...this is one fundamental reason why America is having trouble solving these problems is that everybody knows that if you cut spending which community is it going to be hit the hardest? Hint: it’s not Korean…if you cut social spending in America it’s going to hit the black community the hardest ...the black and Hispanic communities don’t end up acting the same as the white population or the Asian population...the media are compliant and willing to scream “racist” at anyone who points out basic fact-based differences between ethnicities…[and] you can’t deal with the situation until Obama’s out or until people understand that ethnicities in America and all around the world tend to act differently [collectively]...collectively ethnicities tend to act differently, they tend to have different incomes, they tend to have different rates of marital stability, they tend to have different rates of criminality...”
—YouTube video, The Impending Collapse of Western Civilization, November 15, 2015

“One of the biggest questions in America is ethnic crime rates...and y’know the [Asians] are the model minority…[while] the American blacks and blacks around the world have truly shockingly high levels of criminality and the general explanation is y’know slavery plus racism plus poverty, whatever it is which creates this unholy brew...but as far as I understand it there are significant contributions that your field can make to help people untangle [why] there are such differences in ethnic positive and negative behaviours in society...American blacks have roughly a standard IQ below whites... ”
—YouTube video, Genetics and Crime: Interview with Kevin M. Beaver, May 28, 2016

“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.”
—Speech at International Conference on Men’s Issues, St. Clair Shores, Michigan, June 26 - 28, 2014

“... the fomenting of anti-white hatred is extremely strong and very toxic and very dangerous, [and] I can’t help but think, Jared, that if I lived in a society of [only] white peoplethen the giant fly swatter of ‘shut up whitey, you’re racist’ could never be used against me. We could actually have debates about ideas rather than ethnicity, we could actually have debates where reason and argument could win, and of course it’s not like all white people are rational, of course not, right? But the reality is that the giant thermonuclear strike of ‘you’re a racist’ could not be brought to bear in the debate or in the discussion, and, I gotta tell ya, that’s kinda tempting in a lot of waysbecause if other people are unwilling to drop the race card I’m not sure I wanna to play the game anymore…”
—YouTube video, An Honest Conversation about Race: Interview with Jared Taylor, July 8, 2016

“...people have this idea that human groups somehow live in harmony together...but the sum total of human history is endless warfare between competing groups, two subspecies don’t inhabit the same geographical area for long, one will always displace the other, and this idea [diversity], it’s a complete naive reading of history…”
—YouTube video, The Death of Canada. Prepare Yourself Accordingly, July 8, 2017

Background

Stefan Molyneux is a Canadian vlogger, self-published author and self-described philosopher who began broadcasting his opinions online via his Freedomain Radio (FDR) website in 2004. For the first decade of its existence, this site was mainly used to amplify his views on anarcho-capitalist ideology, atheism, philosophy, anti-statism, pseudo-therapy and anti-feminism. Molyneux has been extremely prolific in his output, publishing well over 1,000 podcasts and videos over the past 13 years.

Molyneux also oversees a Freedomain Radio (FDR) community which is comprised of his patrons who have to donate money to become members. The more they donate, the more access they are granted to their guru and his works. The donations requested range from $5 to $100 per month and, according to his website, this money helps “cover the costs” and “spread philosophy.” The disquieting results of some of his online pseudo-therapy sessions made international news in 2008 when the parents of an FDR member (who disowned them after encouragement from Molyneux) went public. This process of ostracizing one’s own family (often without warning) is known in FDR circles as a “defoo”, i.e. to disown your family of origin in order to gain freedom. Molyneux, who ostracized his own parents, is married to Christina Papadopoulos, a psychotherapist who rejected her parents after meeting Molyneux. The pair believe “that there is no such thing as mental illness” and the “About Us” section of FDR’s sister website Defoo.org (which facilitates patrons in ostracizing their families) describes their “advice on championing your inner child, finding a great therapist, and reclaiming your True Self from the destructive prison we know as "childhood." Papadopoulos was reprimanded by the College of Psychologists of Ontario in 2012 when they “found her guilty of professional misconduct because she used the Internet to counsel people to emulate her and sever ties with their families.”

Performing propaganda

So how does Molyneux manage to persuade so many people? Molyneux’s videos are often intentionally long and rambling monologues. Typically he’s filmed staring straight at the camera, talking intensely and at length about a subject as if were an authority or had conducted extensive research. This matches the design of his polished FDR website, which presents the veneer of a non-partisan and professional platform. In general, however, these videos are merely performances of competence as a depth of understanding of the subjects being discussed is evidently lacking. Yet, due to Molyneux’s confident radio-host style delivery and liberal use of infographics, these monologues may appear authoritative or convincing to the uninitiated. They certainly help to distract from what is ostensibly an elaborate illusion of expertise. As cult expert Steven Hassan put it: “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."

The sheer volume of information and disinformation that is thrown at viewers during Molyneux’s videos can overload their cognitive ability to process information, thereby reducing critical faculties and increasing suggestibility. Molyneux is adept at seeding his radical ideas at certain points during his sermons. He does so in a deceptive way; immediately after uttering or endorsing some extremist viewpoint he then couches it in fragmented apologies and strawman counterarguments. Molyneux anticipates the viewer’s natural response to such a radical idea and then aims to overcome it by articulating — and then brushing aside — a potential counter-argument in its weakest and/or most decontextualized possible state. This allows him to sympathize with the follower while showing them how easy it is to overcome their old reservations as he guides them to adopt his extreme view as their own.

The effect is disorientating but potent. The method of persuasion is built on a calculated disingenuousness and a farcical pretense of Socratic dialogue. Molyneux has already made up his mind about the topic at hand and his sole aim is to persuade the viewer to arrive at the same conclusion, or as he would describe it, “the truth.”

“True News”

In 2009 Molyneux began to market his videos under the title “True News” thus shifting his propaganda into the realm of conspiracy theory à la InfoWars. Molyneux wants his viewers to believe that his opinions about world affairs represent a forbidden, “objective truth” that the establishment wishes to suppress. This narcissistic behavior hints at a personality prone to absolutism and megalomania. This was signaled in 2007 when Molyneux posted a “user” comment to the front page of his site that read "Stefan Molyneux is the next Aristotle — or John Locke — or Thomas Jefferson, take your pick.” In 2010, and despite a number of negative news stories about his defoo advocacy, his public profile rose after he appeared as a guest on Max Keiser’s “On the Edge” show on Iran’s Press TV. The following year he appeared on conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ radio program for the first time, and during 2011 and 2012 he was a regular guest on the Russia Today news channel appearing on the “Adam vs. the Man” show hosted by fellow libertarian Adam Kokesh. In 2013 he appeared once again on Russia Today, this time as a guest of Abby Martin where he discussed the folly of the Iraq War. Meanwhile his “True News” series attacked the usual libertarian targets (such as social democracy in Scandinavia) and one YouTube video in this same year predicted “The Decline and Fall of Canada” but notably his apocalyptic vision at this point was along anarcho-capitalist and not racial lines. In contrast his July 2017 videoThe Death of Canada. Prepare Yourself Accordingly, stresses ethnicity, race, culture, immigration, nationalism and the ills of multiculturalism. What changed?

From libertarian to alt-right

From roughly 2013/2014 to the present, the content of Molyneux’s output has become politically extreme, shifting from the Ayn Rand libertarian right (and from supporting Ron Paul in 2008) to the ethno-nationalist far-right, supporting Donald Trump, Geert Wilders, Marine Le Pen and other far-right politicians in their electoral bids throughout 2016 and 2017. Molyneux endorses their nativist, Islamophobic, ethno-nationalist immigration policies and opposition to globalists. This represents a sharp change from his point of view in 2007 when he informed his viewers that “Muslims are not your enemy.” He is now firmly established as a prominent personality within the so-called pro-Trump alt-right reactionary community and he occasionally collaborates with other commentators in this vein such as Alex Jones, Paul Joseph Watson, Lauren Southern and Mike Cernovich.

By far the most disturbing aspect of his move to the far-right is his overt and sustained endorsement, promotion and amplification of scientific racism to his 650,000+ subscribers on YouTube, which has been delivered alongside apologism for Apartheid, the Transatlantic slave trade and the demonization of social justice leaders such as Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King, Jr. Molyneux now believes that non-white human beings (like the Pioneer Fund he singles out Hispanics and blacks) are racially and genetically inferior to whites and that this above all other factors explains the present and the past. This is presented to the viewer with a grin and an air of reasonableness. Molyneux’s embrace of social Darwinism and biological determinism sells a manic and apocalyptic vision of the world to his viewers by consistently warning them about non-white immigration to Europe and the U.S.

Yet how much of an ideological shift was this in actuality? After all, one of Molyneux’s libertarian heroes is Murray Rothbard, the political theorist who coined the term “anarcho-capitalism." A review of Rothbard’s positions suggests that Molyneux is merely repackaging them for the YouTube generation. Rothbard, like his disciple Molyneux, embraced the “scientific racism” of The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life, praising it for "expressing in massively stupefying scholarly detail what everyone has always known but couldn't dare to express about race, intelligence, and heritability." Rothbard believed that The Bell Curve thesis could be used as a weapon by libertarians to “abolish the welfare state.” Once the welfare state is abolished, Rothbard explains how:

... the intelligence argument will become useful to defend the market economy and the free society from ignorant or self-serving attacks. In short; racialist science is properly not an act of aggression or a cover for oppression of one group over another, but, on the contrary, an operation in defense of private property against assaults by aggressors.

Rothbard, like Molyneux, believed that the free market merely exposed the racial and immutable inferiority of non-whites in America and that it is genetics above all other factors that explains and justifies their socioeconomic position. In 1985, Rothbard, an apologist for the Apartheid regime in South Africa, railed against the “liberal crusade” to end the racist power structure. His proposed solution was a caricature of utopian libertarianism when he recommended that rather than boycott South African goods, Americans should invest more, as this would “improve wages...for black labourers” and somehow end Apartheid. To anarcho-capitalists, the solution to every problem is unfettered capitalism.

In July 2017, Molyneux interviewed South African Steve Hofmeyr, who tweeted in 2014 that “blacks were the architects of Apartheid. Apartheid was a system of segregation. You have to ask why.” In 2015 Molyneux published a video wherein he quoted an unnamed historian who claimed that “Apartheid wasn't an expression of racism but concern over the survival of the white population.” The source for this quote is Ilana Mercer, a paleolibertarian writer and pro-Trump activist. Mercer’s 2011 book, which forms the basis for Molyneux’s YouTube video, is entitled Into the Cannibal's Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa. The tome received a glowing review from Jared Taylor’s American Renaissance website. “Apartheid was never based on a theory of racial supremacy; rather, it was a survival strategy for the badly outnumbered Boers,” the review reads. This is a mirror image of Molyneux’s sleight of hand: a decontextualized racism is deemed immoral but it is argued that Apartheid makes sense. The real message Molyneux and Taylor are delivering to their audiences is that the application of racial discrimination in South Africa was essential to ensure white survival (read: dominance) and that force and laws should be applied to keep different races apart.

Rothbard, like Molyneux, believed in the voluntary separation of the races and both made an about-face on the principle of open borders when they embraced “race realism” and ethnonationalism. Rothbard, like Molyneux, had a positive association with the former KKK leader David Duke, endorsing Duke’s political program in 1992 while Duke, in turn, has endorsed Molyneux’s propaganda multiple times on social media over the last few years, most notably in his promotion of Molyneux’s apologia for George Zimmerman, known for the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin. One could say that Molyneux’s deference to Rothbard is so obvious that the title of his 1974 book, Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature, summates the content of hundreds of hours of Molyneux speaking on YouTube.

The connections don’t end there. Murray Rothbard was a leading member of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, the libertarian “think tank” founded by Lew Rockwell in 1982. This institute opposes the Civil Rights Act and was described in a 2000 SPLC report as being neo-Confederate adjacent with neo-fascist sympathies. Chip Berlet, an investigative journalist and scholar of the far-right, noted in the Intelligence Report in 2003 that this institute “promotes a type of Darwinian view of society in which elites are seen as natural and any intervention by the government on behalf of social justice is destructive.” The Mises Institute also promoted the work of Holocaust denier James J. Martin who was “a regular contributor to [the] neo-Nazi American Mercury magazine.” James J. Martin’s final book was printed by the Institute for Historical Review, a journal dedicated to propagating Holocaust denial. Molyneux worked for the Mises Institute as a narrator in 2011 and 2012 and published nine different articles on Lew Rockwell’s personal website in 2005. Rockwell, the founder of the Mises Institute, also embedded Molyneux’s take on the killing of Trayvon Martin on his site in 2013. Molyneux’s work on Rockwell’s site appears alongside articles by the Holocaust denier Joseph Sobran and members of the neo-Confederate League of the South.

Amplifying eugenics, biological determinism and white supremacy

Riding the coattails of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, Molyneux’s move to the far-right is but an opportunistic homage to the more reactionary creeds and alliances of his hero, Murray Rothbard. This has helped drive traffic to his site and to gain followers, donations and influence by rehashing the race realist underbelly of an influential libertarian, just as the alt-right began to gain internet prominence. Like so many before him, Molyneux intellectualizes his bigotry and insularity by appealing to the false authority of scientific racists and eugenicists. He has endeavored to spread this to his followers by interviewing a veritable ‘who’s who’ of the disgraced and discredited race science community, many of whom are directly associated with, apologists for, or funded by, the Pioneer Fund. In all of these videos, Molyneux offers no criticism of the views of the interviewee, which amounts to a tacit endorsement of their bogus race realism.

A timeline of Molyneux interviews

September 14, 2015: Interview with Charles Murray, libertarian, biological determinist and co-author of The Bell Curve, a work based heavily on Pioneer Fund research. 

October 5, 2015: Interview with Jason Richwine, the author of a 2009 Harvard dissertation who claimed that “the average IQ of immigrants in the United States is substantially lower than that of the white native population, and the difference is likely to persist over several generations.” Aaron Patrick Flanagan of the blog Imagine 2050 noted that Richwine’s dissertation leans heavily on Pioneer Fund research and that his references include “22 publications penned by past Pioneer grantees and/or Directors (e.g. Arthur Jensen, Jean-Philippe Rushton, Richard Lynn) [and] 13 publications that Pioneer directly funded.” Richwine has described Charles Murray, co-author of The Bell Curve, as his “childhood hero.”

December 29, 2015: Interviewed Linda Gottfredson, a Pioneer Fund backed academic who publicly defended The Bell Curve and believes that “racial inequality, especially in employment, is the direct result of genetic racial differences in intelligence.” During this interview, Molyneux blamed the “government’s efforts to get more minorities into housing” for the global financial crash of 2007. Gottfredson also approved of Molyneux’s remark that a person with a high IQ is “a different kind of an animal,” and that IQ explains all inequality in human societies; that racism and sexism are merely “pseudo-scientific explanations” for socioeconomic inequality. Molyneux’s lack of understanding of the complexities of human intelligence and its measurability is also revealed during this interview when he compares human intelligence to a person’s height or their ability to sing.

February 27, 2016: Interviewed Garret Jones, an economist at George Mason University whose recent monograph was positively reviewed by VDARE in July 2017. Jones draws heavily on the work of white supremacist and eugenicist Richard Lynn, and even personally thanked the Pioneer Fund figurehead in an article he published in the Journal of Economic Growth in 2005. In 2015 Jones delivered a lecture which argued that less democracy in the United States would lead to better governance. George Mason University receives substantial funding from the Koch Foundation.

April 17, 2016: Interviewed Helmut Nyborg, a Danish eugenicist and former dean of the Psychology Institute at Aarhus University, who publicly argued that the poor are genetically inferior and should be paid to cease reproducing. In 2012 he edited a special journal in celebration of Richard Lynn’s 80th birthday. Molyneux’s interview with Nyborg was promoted on the neo-Nazi website, The Daily Stormer, and the white nationalist Radio Free South Africa. U

July 2, 2016: Interviewed Richard Lynn, eugenicist and current chair of the Pioneer Fund. His work was cited 24 times in The Bell Curve, and Murray and Herrnstein specifically used it to argue that black people are racially inferior. Lynn believes that “we do need to think realistically in terms of "phasing out" of such [incompetent] peoples. If the world is to evolve more better humans, then obviously someone has to make way for them otherwise we shall all be overcrowded...to think otherwise is mere sentimentality.” His work is currently published and distributed by Washington Summit Publishers, which is run by white nationalist Richard B. Spencer. Spencer has called for the “peaceful ethnic cleansing” of the United States.

July 8, 2016: Interviewed Jared Taylor, the editor of the white nationalist American Renaissance website and recipient of financial support from the Pioneer Fund. In 2005 Taylor wrote that "Blacks and whites are different. When blacks are left entirely to their own devices, Western civilization — any kind of civilization — disappears."

December 7, 2016: Interviewed Nicholas Wade, the author of the book Troublesome Inheritance, which Jon Phillips has noted propagates the old white supremacist trope “that white people of European descent are inherently smarter, better, more ‘civilized’ than members of other races, especially black Africans and their descendants.” Much of Wade’s thesis relies on Pioneer Fund research, particularly that of Richard Lynn.

August 2, 2017: Interviewed Peter Brimelow, the editor of the anti-immigrant hate site VDARE.com. Brimelow has published work by white supremacist Jared Taylor, J. Phillipe Rushton (former head of the Pioneer Fund) and Kevin MacDonald, a leading antisemite who believes that “Jews are genetically driven to undermine the power of whites by pushing such things as Third World immigration.” MacDonald is also known for accepting Holocaust denier David Irving’s invitation to act as his expert witness during the Lipstadt v. Irving trial in 2000. In 2014 Molyneux cited and endorsed a string of MacDonald’s antisemitic conspiracy theories. In this same video, he also cited Frank Salter, a so-called political ethnologist and eugenicist. Salter acts as advisor to Pauline Hanson's One Nation, a far-right Australian political party seeking to ban all Muslim immigration. Alexandar Mihailovic noted that Salter has published apologetics for MacDonald in academic journals, and was personally thanked by MacDonald in one of his volumes alongside Jean-Philippe Rushton, the former head of the Pioneer Fund.