Watch the video reading above, or read the letter in full below (includes citations)
Goodbye, from a critic
I’ve decided I need to let go of my resistance to The Red Pill. Like my issues with psychics, cash evangelists, and MLM schemes, it’s just not worth me getting worked up over anymore. So this is my goodbye.
I have a number of friends who are current or former subscribers to the Red Pill philosophy. They are, in general: kind, interesting, intelligent, and rational. I enjoy their company and our discussions on life, women, and confidence.
And whenever I bring up the flaws in the Red Pill theories and the frightening behaviour of some of the Red Pill community’s members, my friends always say something like, “Yeah, there are a few nasty characters and there is some stuff I don’t quite agree with, but it’s helped me a lot.”
This raises a dilemma for me:
Why is it that every Red Piller I know continues to struggle with women?
Whether they’re a Pick Up Artist veteran who’s been running game for years, or a newly divorced father looking to get back out there, or a young virgin who just wants to bridge the gap between himself and women he finds attractive, they all have one thing in common: no matter how many Red Pills they swallow, they’re still unable to create and maintain a healthy relationship with a woman (or women, for the polygamists).
Now, I didn’t want to commit the same broadbrush fallacy that the Red Pill community is known for making: drawing massive global conclusions from individual anecdotal experiences. Maybe my friends are just the exceptions, and all the other Red Pillers are crushing life?
It was this dilemma that first drew my attention to the Red Pill community, with its forums, videos, books, blogs, and gurus. I wanted to know: Why are so many guys singing its praises without the results to justify such loyalty?
Sure, a few of them were finally getting laid or occasionally dating into the realm of a relationship, but even these guys still couldn’t seem to convince a healthy woman to stay in a relationship with them for any significant period of time without serious drama, and not for lack of trying.
Why not? I had to find out what was happening here because at first glance the Red Pill stuff seemed pretty legit. Work on yourself. Take responsibility for your life. Do Jordan Peterson’s self-authoring program. Get out there and meet women. Take control of your frame. Unleash your masculinity. Make male friends. Don’t be naïve about the risks.
Nothing immediately alarming there. Hell, I say a lot of the same things.
So I started looking a bit deeper, all the while sharing my early impressions and feedback through my YouTube channel and blog. Some of the things I wrote were naïve and premature, even to the point where I later removed the content, while other pieces were well thought out and extensively researched. But either way, I always got a very vocal response from Red Pill advocates.
And that’s when I started to meet the other guys in the community.
Enter the Hate
Cuck. Simp. Blue Piller. Insults in all caps. Threatening messages. Mockery and derision. Interspersed amongst rational and considered feedback, I started getting the hate-mail.
Ironically, I had always expected the worst responses I would get from my content and ideas would be from leftist/feminist types, whom I often criticize harshly, but it was indeed their counterparts who had the nastiest things to say to me.
This Red Pill community, on the surface, prides itself on rationality and reason. Yet their initial responses to disagreement are commonly irrational and unreasonable.
They promote courage yet hide behind anonymous internet avatars to deliver their insults. They claim to be scientific yet disagree using emotional mockery instead of facts. Many of them appear to prefer trolling rather than discussing.
My Red Pill friends constantly claim that these more hateful members of the community are just an unfortunate extremist niche who do not represent the whole. Yet within their insults, comments, and emails, I couldn’t find anything that did not accurately reflect the Red Pill ideals, rules, and community culture. Despite my friends’ protestations, these trolls represented Red Pill rather well.
You can only judge a society by its weakest members. If indeed these were the weakest, what does that tell us about The Red Pill? Why does it attract rather than repel such people? Why do the Red Pill principles align well with everything these damaged and possibly dangerous individuals rant about? Why do former members often and consistently complain about bullying, ostracism, and cruelty from their own community whenever they had the temerity to dissent?
A poisoned well either poisons the drinkers or attracts those who prefer the taste of poison.
So after my first dive into the Red Pill well, I was left with two dilemmas instead of resolving the first one (why isn’t TRP helping my friends with women). Now I had another:
Why are so many Red Pill members psychologically unwell without showing any signs of improvement?
As the plot thickened, I looked even deeper.
As I perused Red Pill material, a theme quickly emerged, a claim so boldly made that it kind of takes your breath away: “All Women Are The Same.”
This AWATS “truth” is so well-established and accepted in Red Pill literature that their writers, vloggers, and podcasters never bother to prove it. All the information about female psychology and behaviour is pretty much always presented as all-encompassing. The language used almost never makes room for exceptions. It’s always, “Women are this…” and “Women do that…” and “All women want a…”.
Really? All of them?
This is a serious point, because the AWATS belief is the keystone to the entire Red Pill perspective on dating, relationships, sex and women. If all women are not the same, then the entire Red Pill catalogue is essentially misinformation built on a foundation of quicksand.
So, is this AWATS claim – which is almost never verified or cited in any Red Pill material – actually true? Because if not, I might have the answer for why my Red Pill buddies are still struggling in love.
First, let’s define “women.”
If we start at the most basic biological level, most people will think of XX (female) vs XY (male) chromosomes. Women are supposedly XX. But this isn’t strictly true.
Variations, including XXY and XXYY, occur on a frequent enough basis to be taken seriously (e.g. Klinefelter syndrome). Not to mention, all “men” start as biological females (that’s why we have nipples), before basically going through an in-utero transgender sex-change. To say the X chromosome is “female” isn’t even accurate – it’s actually the life chromosome: we’d all die without it.
And of course, it goes without saying that women can have other physical differences from each other. Size, shape, age, genetic predispositions, other chromosomal arrangements, organ size and function… the list goes on and on.
Two “women” can be biologically and chromosomally different from each other. So already, we know that not all women are the same at the most basic physical level.
No wonder Red Pill never cites studies to prove this AWATS claim – there are no studies to cite, because it’s not true.
What Red Pill advocate may do next is back peddle and qualify this with a claim along the lines of: “Well most women are the same, especially in psychology and sexual relations, and that’s what matters,” or “The exceptions are rare enough to be discounted.”
Let’s say you have a study that claims 87% of women are attracted to “bad boy types.” This kind of study is often vaguely referred to in Red Pill material (though almost never cited or sourced from reputable scientific journals or books). Then another study might say that 66% of women have rape fantasies. Then another study might claim that 95% of divorces are initiated by women. And so on.
Red Pillers provide such dubious studies – combined with vague references to what is clearly a poorly understood and cherry-picked version of evolutionary psychology – as proof that all women are the same. But even if such studies were valid and reliable (i.e. scientific), two questions remain unanswered:
- What about the exceptions?
- What if these aren’t the same women in each study?
What does Red Pill make of the 13% who find nice guys attractive, or the 34% that find rape abhorrent, or the 5% who were dumped by their husbands? If all women are indeed the same, who are these outliers?
And there’s an underlying assumption: that the same 87% of women attracted to bad boys are also the women who fantasize about rape and who just love to initiate divorces. What about the women who like bad boys but are disgusted by rape? What about the women who initiated divorce because they wanted a nicer guy?
What about the millions of exceptions?
How can you possibly promote a one-size-fits-all strategy to deal with such a wide variety of women? Because if you run study after study after study on the same group of women, you will start to see them diverge into ever-smaller groups and categories, until finally there are no categories – the exceptions whittle down to an individual level.
Run this thought-experiment in your head:
You bring together a group of 1,000 women, randomly selected from the public, and you ask them a series of binary yes/no question, like “Do you fantasize about rape?” and “Do you find arrogance or kindness more sexually attractive?” and “Would you be the most likely one to initiate a divorce?” and so on.
Each time they answer, they must move across the room to group up with the other women who gave the same answer, but not just the same answer to the most recent question – to every question. They can only group with women who are completely the same. What do you foresee happening?
If you’re rational, you’ll clearly predict that the final result, after even just a few dozen questions, is every woman ends up standing on her own.
Now let’s include the variables of personality from the scientifically validated Big 5 Personality Spectrums. What effect does being an extrovert have on a woman’s social behaviour? What if she’s also highly agreeable? But then what if she’s highly disagreeable? Would the agreeable and neurotic woman make the same decisions and have the same preferences as the disagreeable extrovert? Of course not.
This is only the tip of the iceberg.
If you take off the red lens and look closer at individuals in society, you’ll be able to find examples of every exception you can possibly imagine. You’ll find women who find dad bods more attractive that ripped abs. You’ll find women who prefer poor artists to rich powerful businessmen. You’ll find girls who hate nightclubs and prefer reading a book on philosophy. You’ll find lesbians!
At the most basic biological and psychological level, we have enough variables to guarantee that every woman is slightly unique and different from every other woman. Once you start adding variables like childhood experiences, trauma, cultural influences, sexual orientation, age, ethnicity, in the moment mood, and so on, it becomes impossible to accurately claim that all women are the same.
I can’t describe the universe without gravity being true. I can’t describe colours without light refraction being true. So if the truth is that every individual woman is different – which it is – then what happens to all Red Pill theories and strategies? They fall apart. Red Pill can’t accurately describe how to interact with all women following a single-minded perspective without AWATS being true.
Well, this answers my first dilemma: why can’t my Red Pill friends can’t maintain a healthy connection with a woman? Because they’re using a generic, one-size-fits-all approach toward a massively diverse group – a group so diverse that it barely makes sense to even call them a group. Of course that won’t work.
It’s like learning only how to drive a ride-on lawnmower and believing that will also help you fly a jet, haul a truck, and man a spacecraft.
Why I couldn’t get through The Rational Male
On several attempts, I’ve tried to finish reading Rollo Tomassi’s book The Rational Male, the essential bible for the Red Pill devout. And try as I might, I just can’t get through it. This struggle is actually the main catalyst for me writing this letter – I had originally planned to write a full review of his book.
Why couldn’t I finish it? Three main reasons:
- It’s clearly based on an unproven conspiracy theory about men being enslaved by women through societal culture. It demeans men, in the exact same way feminism demeans women: it says we’re the victims,
- It claims to be scientific and makes many absolute factual statements, yet never provides sources, citations, or empirical evidence for its claims, meaning it really has no interest in being scientific,
- Nearly every claim depends on the premise that all women are the same.
Conspiracy theories are not called scientific theories for a simple reason: they’re not supported by evidence. There’s another name for claims that are not supported by valid scientific evidence, especially when counterevidence is readily available: bullshit.
At the beginning of the book, Tomassi – like many other Red Pill gurus I’ve looked into – goes on at length about his qualifications in psychology. He mentions a double-major in psychology (I have the same degree and at best it’s an entry-level introduction to psychology), and then references his many years spent on men’s forums by day while seducing women by night (or words to that extent).
Then, like many other pieces of Red Pill content I’ve seen, there are frequent references in The Rational Male to scientific principles, evolutionary psychology, vague ‘studies’ proving this and that, and hundreds of factual claims.
Yet a truly scientific person would never do any of this.
True scientists are humble about their qualifications, knowing full well how measly their intelligence is compared with Nobel Prize winners and other geniuses. And no self-respecting scientist would make absolute factual claims, and certainly not without citations, careful reference to possible exceptions, and rationale justifying any hypotheses (rather than presenting hypotheses as theories).
I know this appears to be an ad hominem attack (focusing on the author rather than his points), but as all his points are predicated on his expertise, due to his refusal to cite valid source material, then if his expertise is questionable all of his claims also become suspect.
When you combine how unscientific the writing style is, not just for this book but for every Red Pill article, video and forum post I’ve ever digested, and you combine this with the clear scientific fact that all women are not the same, you start to answer the second dilemma: Why does Red Pill produce so many psychologically unwell guys?
The truth is healthy and helpful by nature because it aligns with reality. So if someone is ingesting a lot of a certain type of material and becoming or remaining unhealthy, or at least not seeing consistent improvement, you can rest assured that that material is probably not truthful.
So what is Red Pill, exactly?
When I called it a ‘philosophy’, they told me it’s not a philosophy, it’s a community. When I called them a community, they tell me they’re not a community. I once made the mistake of calling them a movement (with reference to MGTOW), and they insulted me and insisted that they’re not a movement. So what is Red Pill?
Let’s start with identifying what it’s not.
It’s not a philosophy, as it lacks the basic critical thinking and open skeptical dialogue that is a prerequisite for a philosophy. A genuine philosopher does not arise from an echo chamber.
It’s not a community because they have no clear membership process, refuse to identify as such, and often shun members who don’t represent them well (e.g. my Red Pill friends claiming the lunatics aren’t “true Red Pillers”).
And it’s not a movement because they take no affirmative action of any measurable kind, even if they do complain about men’s rights often.
It would be too easy to take the resentful road many Red Pill critics take and call them a cult. While even former members have referred to them using this word, to be fair, Red Pill doesn’t meet cult criteria, namely: they don’t have a single, charismatic leader; they don’t live together in a physical community of any kind; and they don’t have a single set of rules by which to follow. They’re not a cult.
Until recently, the closest I was able to come is to call it a religion. They believe information on faith rather than reason. They punish heresy and reward blind worship. They have ‘priests’ who tell everyone what the virtues are and how one must live by them. They even have a bible, of sorts, in Tomassi’s book. But they don’t have a clear god or set of gods. They don’t have a church. They don’t have commandments. They’re not a religion.
There is only one set of criteria regarding group knowledge and community by which Red Pill exactly fits:
A conspiracy theory.
- They have a clear enemy whom they claim has power over the world (i.e. women, specifically feminists and feminist allies).
- They cherry-pick evidence to suit their narrative.
- If you’re not with them, you’re automatically part of the conspiracy (i.e. Blue Pill).
- Pseudoscience and outright lies are presented as facts.
- They portray themselves as victim-heroes.
- They claim that their version of the truth is the only version, and that any scientific or empirical findings that disagree with them are part of the conspiracy (i.e. biased by feminism in some way).
Red Pill has all the hallmarks of a conspiracy theory.
The irony of the manosphere
I don’t mind conspiracy theories that do no real harm, like Flat Earthers and Chemtrailers and 9/11 Truthers. Apart from being a bit awkward and embarrassing, they mostly just whinge on Facebook and Reddit and nothing really bad actually happens.
This is not the case for the Red Pill conspiracy.
The misogyny in the forums and blogs, and the years of lost opportunities from members following their advice, is but a drop in the ocean of the harm caused by The Red Pill mentality.
Men subscribing to Red Pill, and it’s subsidiaries that follow the same conspiracy theory – MGTOW, Incel, and SlutHate – have members who have taken it a step further, and actually committed violent crimes against women (and other men) in the name of the Red Pill perspective, including mass murder. This has happened on multiple unconnected occasions.
When multiple members of a group commit mass-murders repeatedly and the group generally applauds them for doing this (or at least doesn’t condemn it), you cannot then claim with certainty that the group is healthy or helpful.
The manosphere in general, of which Red Pill is a significant piece, claims to be protecting men against feminist-inspired misandry and legal unfairness. But the irony of this is how it mirrors exactly the extreme left feminist movement – the very thing it claims to be the solution for!
Third-wave feminism and Red Pill are guilty of the exact same offences:
- Pseudoscience being presented as fact
- Anecdotal evidence, cherry-picked studies, and personal feelings being given priority over facts and more valid statistics
- Indoctrination of members through an echo-chamber environment
- Targeting recruitment at psychologically vulnerable and damaged people, usually youths
- Spreading hate under the banner of rationality or loving support
- Damaging to men and women alike, and further dividing the genders rather than uniting them
- Present themselves as the victims, and claiming one gender suffers worse than the other
- Make false claims about rape
- Blame society for their own personal problems and weaknesses
The list goes on and on. And if you think I’m building a straw man here (misrepresenting Red Pill), just spend a few hours going through their main forum.
I understand the appeal
I get it. I promise I do.
Maybe you’re a 25-year-old guy who’s never been laid and women seem to ignore you.
Or you’re a recently divorce-raped single dad who just had his world torn apart by a horrible bitch, and now has no idea how to start dating again.
Or you’re a confused, lonely teen who’s been bullied and mistreated.
Or you’re a regular guy looking to improve himself and want to know what it means to be a man.
Yes, the resources are lacking for us guys. Everything out there seems to be directed at helping women, and it seems society gives you shit for even wanting help. And that’s because society does give you shit for wanting help!
So one day you stumble across a community that celebrates manhood.
“Such a community exists?! And I can be a part of it? No more loneliness and self-loathing? There’s a way out of this confusion and misery? I might even get laid? Fuck yeah, sign me up!!”
I get it.
But then, after a while, the community starts to get a little darker than you expected. You see some things in there that make you a tad uncomfortable. You’re told you just need to “wake up” to the hard truths of life and women. But maybe it still doesn’t quite sit well with you.
Maybe you’ve never really hated all women. Maybe you see your mother as a good person, or maybe a few girls were kind to you in high school, or maybe one of your ex’s was a great person to spend time with. There’s just something not quite right about the constant reference to all women as superficial, nasty, manipulative, soul-sucking, money-hungry whore bitches.
Sure, you resent the way some women have treated you, we all do, but are they really worthy of pure hate? Should we manipulate them into sex? Should we use and abuse them? Should we be dishonest with them and pretend to be something we’re not just to get our dicks wet?
Maybe you say Yes. In which case, Red Pill is going to seem like heaven to you. It will echo back exactly what you already believe because that’s what it is: an echo chamber for the hurt, broken and bitter. A place to vent your hate, where you’ll be applauded for deceiving women and getting your revenge.
But maybe you say No.
Maybe you just wanted some support and advice so that you didn’t have to suffer so much. Maybe you actually enjoy the company of women and feel like feminine energy improves your life. Maybe you just wanted to figure out what it means to be a real man so that you would naturally attract the opposite sex. Maybe you see women as allies rather than enemies. OK, maybe you want to get laid, but you also want the woman to enjoy it too.
If that’s the case, you need to escape from the Red Pill conspiracy!
Thankfully, there are finally now other resources beyond Red Pill to help men in love, confidence and masculinity. And I’m not just pitching for myself. I have no affiliation to any of the following:
Dr Glover has his NMMNG groups, resources and coaching.
John Wineland teaches men how to connect with women to a level you might not believe is possible.
David Deida might understand women better than they understand themselves.
The list grows every day.
There is now a plethora of healthy, masculine role-models, coaches, and communities available to you. And they don’t preach hate and victimhood and conspiracies, they preach responsibility, integrity, and connection. They often base their findings on science and philosophy. They try to ensure everyone wins.
Not to mention healthy female advisors and coaches, who have your best interests at heart, like Brene Brown, Esther Perell, and Byron Katie. If you ever wanted to truly heal your resentment toward women, hire a female coach who also advocates for men, someone you admire and respect. It will do you wonders.
The reason I’m so strong in my relentless critique of Red Pill is that it’s filled with guys I care about and want to see succeed, and it seems to be hurting these guys more than helping them.
The main reason I was unable to finish Tomassi’s book, or indeed many of the posts and videos I tried to read as I explored this community, is because I could feel myself getting infected by them.
There’s a sweet, lulling poison in their words; language that’s carefully designed to appeal to men who enjoy rationality, logic, and clear answers. Lies are disguised as science, hate is disguised as advice, and the victimization of men is disguised as being rescued from the Matrix. It’s poison, and I literally start to feel sick when I consume it.
So, this is my final letter to the Red Pill community (probably).
Why? Because every time I critique them, even their most rational responses – tucked in-between the all-caps ‘cuck’ comments – merely insist that I should read more Red Pill stuff. But I just can’t take any more. I don’t want to get sick.
I want to maintain my love for humanity instead of feeling like a victim.
I want to be free to always speak my mind honestly rather than sneak and deceive.
I want to love my wife without trying to dominate her.
I want to support both male and female leaders who are making the world a better place.
I want to raise my daughter to be confident and free, and not see her as the enemy.
And I fear that I won’t be able to do all this stuff if I drown the Red Pill well.
There’s no arguing with a conspiracy theory because arguments require a commitment to rationality and evidence. There’s nothing I can do about the Red Pill belief-system because it exists inside a reality where facts don’t matter.
But maybe I can help some of its devotees to escape.
My hand is outstretched to any man who wishes to climb out of the well, shake off the drops of victimhood, blame and resentment, and find peace in his masculinity and his relationships with women. I might not have all the answers, but I know of many places where you can find them, and you won’t have to hate anyone to get there.
I pledge to you that I will never mock or insult you for disagreeing with me. There’s a reason I’m still friends with guys in the Red Pill community – I don’t hold their opposing beliefs against them.
Indeed, I will welcome a rational debate. You will never be told you must do things my way, in fact, you will be encouraged to find your own way, even if it contradicts mine. I do myself sometimes commit the same sins I’ve accused Red Pill of (e.g. I don’t always cite factual claims either), but because of this, I’m always open to being challenged.
To those of you who refuse to leave Red Pill, I still love you as brothers. I know you’re hurt and confused and feeling hopeless, and maybe you see me as the enemy. And maybe I am the enemy of Red Pill, but I’m not your enemy. I will always be ready to help you find a healthier, more effective path to tread, even if that path has nothing to do with me or my work.
And if you never want my support, that’s OK, all I ask is that you honour this final request: please don’t con my female friends into having sex with you under false pretences; please don’t abuse my male friends for treating women with respect; please don’t insult my wife just because she is a woman; and please don’t rape or murder my daughter.
Thank you for reading. You may now turn on the caps lock to deliver your response.