The two Molyneuxes were colliding in view of everyone. A former member of the Freedomain Radio “community” had been interviewed by Paulie Doyle, who painted a picture of a man with such bizarre and overreaching self-importance that he records himself even during the most mundane encounters, with the justification “wouldn’t it be amazing if you could hear Socrates having a conversation with his barber?”
Elsewhere, one of Molyneux’s agents had managed to silence a very noisome critic known as Tru Shibes through a blatantly false DMCA charge. Tru Shibes had been making life miserable for Molyneux—exposing the logical flaws, frightening misogyny, and overall general weirdness in Molyneux’s on-line rants.
Eliminating Tru Shibes should have been simple—Molyneux had tried it before with another rival forum and most people outside Freedomain Radio barely noticed. But this time it had gone terribly wrong. A lot of people noticed both the act and the blatant hypocrisy and malice behind it.
And they were writing about it. And talking about it.
Now, this very public exposure of the “hidden” Molyneux should have been more than enough to concern the forum leader but the worst was yet to come. As Molyneux channeled his public persona in preparation for another fun back-and-forth with Rogan, there was something he didn’t realize.
Rogan knew it all.
Rogan now had background information about Molyneux’s true beliefs. And about Tru Shibes.
He also knew that Molyneux’s wife, Christina Papadopoulos—a practicing therapist in Mississauga, Ontario—had recently been severely disciplined by the College of Psychologists of Ontario for her participation in Freedomain Radio.
In the early days of FDR, Papadopoulos had been frequently cited as the intellectual architect behind Molyneux’s strange connection between anarchocapitalism and family. (Shortest possible version: “You’ll never be a truly virtuous anarchocapitalist as long as you are still speaking to your parents. And the rest of your family. And pretty much all of your friends.”)
The clever brand name that Molyneux or perhaps his wife created for this practice is “defoo.” And that was one of the main reasons the College investigated Papadopoulos, eventually finding her guilty of misconduct. Papadopoulos’ discipline was severe. Perhaps the only thing that saved her license was when they pulled her files—they found that she never recommended defooing (neither by that word nor any other) to any of her own patients.
So much for her husband’s grand theory.
Yep—Rogan had done some research. And he had questions.
Suddenly, the public Molyneux found himself in the very uncomfortable position of answering questions about the hidden Molyneux. Rogan peppered him with questions about defooing. About the DMCA takedown of Tru Shibes. About his wife’s discipline for professional misconduct.
Unprepared, off-guard, Molyneux did something that is still reverberating on the internet.
He lied a lot. And he lied about some very big things. As Rogan questioned Molyneux about defooing, which Molyneux either minimized or denied altogether, Rogan showed him a video in which Molyneux dramatically ridicules his followers who are not willing to cut off all ties with anyone who supports a state’s ability to make and enforce laws. (which is basically what defooing is all about, except the first people you cut out of your life are your parents.)
Even after watching the video, Molyneux denied his stance on defooing. Molyneux’s defense almost sounded like the old joke about the cheating husband caught in bed with his mistress: “Who are you going to believe? Me, or your lying eyes?”
He lied about his wife’s discipline by the College of Psychologists of Ontario.
Did he lie about Tru Shibes? That’s a little less clear, but consider this. When Rogan, who knew about the Tru Shibes incident, began asking about the DMCA takedown, Molyneux appeared to misunderstand—quickly switching the conversation to a relatively unknown YouTube poster who had released comparatively few videos. What Rogan didn’t know is that FDR had conflated the two—using a potentially legitimate grievance against the almost-unknown person to simultaneously take down Molyneux’s highly effective critic. Molyneux’s employee had submitted lists of multiple Tru Shibes videos over several bogus DMCA complaints to YouTube—a tactic to get the necessary “three strikes” needed to remove the Tru Shibes account as quickly as possible.
In order to believe Molyneux’s performance on the Rogan show, you have to accept the notion that while he knew about the virtually unknown poster and FDR’s actions against him in great detail (as he demonstrated on Rogan’s show), he apparently knew nothing about the same actions against the well-known, frequently referenced, and highly subscribed Tru Shibes.
Does that sound plausible to you?
In the end, Rogan gave his audience a window into the hidden Molyneux in a way that hasn’t happened since The Guardian’s Kate Hilpern first exposed Molyneux in 2008.