The Bearded Weirdo

Note: The Taki post is up. This week it is about the fact that two years of Covid has revealed some unforgettable and unforgivable truths. Behind the green door, there is the first podcast of the new year.

Politics in a democratic society is always going to attract a lot of very strange people, but there is a range of acceptable strangeness. As a result, the weirdness tends to be normalized in that you just expect it. No one is surprised to learn that people in politics have the morals of carny folk, because politics is entertainment. We are not shocked by it unless the behavior falls way outside the norm. That is what makes the Jack Murphy scandal both amusing and interesting.

For those unfamiliar, Jack Murphy was a leader in the man-o-sphere scene, which is a broad term covering anti-feminism, the pick-up artists, men’s rights and the general discussion of manliness in the modern age. Murphy pitched himself as a bit from all of those buckets, but mostly the latter. He ran something called the Liminal Order and charged men $100 a month to learn how to be better men. He also had ornamental facial hair and worked for The Claremont Institute.

It also turns out that he produced gay porn and was into something called cuckoldry, which is a sexual fetish involving voyeurism and sex with strangers. If you are interested in the details of Mr. Murphy’s side hobbies, someone calling herself Megan Fox posted them at PJ Media. Of course, Jack Murphy is not really Jack Murphy, Irish he-man, but rather, he is someone named John Goldman, who is not Irish. It is hard to imagine how this story could get any more ridiculous.

Putting aside the seediness of it, this story raises a question that seems to be at the heart of most scandals. Did this guy not know how the internet works? He was selling gay porn on-line, so he had to know something about the internet. Did he really think that no one would ever look around at his internet life? It appears he made little effort to conceal any of this stuff. How is it possible he did not know he would get caught and why was he not prepared to answer for it?

You cannot write it off to hubris or ignorance. A quick search of his two names brings up this article from three years ago. He was working for the D.C. Public Charter School Board in 2018 as a finance manager. He was also posting as an alt-right character under his fake name at the time and the board found out about it. Interestingly, he was not fired from his job. In fact, the local ACLU came to his defense. Even so, he should have learned that there are no secrets on-line.

Another question that comes up in these cases is how is it possible that these guys keep getting away with these scams? Charging men $100 a month to learn how to be better men is crazy, but not uncommon. Mike Cernovich used to run self-help seminars where he would charge people to be their life-coach. Ross Jeffries in the 1980’s ran seminars where he taught the art of seduction. YouTube is full of guys peddling something like this to desperate men.

The answer to the question here is that there are a lot of men in a modern society who can find no role as men in society. Just as childless women hopped up on feminism often turn into on-line harpies, men living in a feminized society often turn into desperate suckers willing to pay anything for fraternity. Murphy/Goldman was simply exploiting this need for fraternity and male bonding. He is a con-man who finally found easily exploitable marks on the alternative right.

Far-left types and feminists find this story very amusing, as they assume it says something about the imaginary Right they think they are battling. They are correct that this is a phenomenon on the Right, but that is only because there is no place for naturally occurring males on the Left. Otherwise, there is very little that is right-wing about the man-o-sphere. The politics are decorations that are used as a lure to draw in the desperate males looking for brotherhood.

The best you can say about the man-o-sphere, with regards to politics and political inclination, is that it is uniformly anti-feminist. The gamers, the pick-up artists and even the groypers entered politics through the anti-feminism door. The ugliness of feminism has driven males away from mainstream and left-wing politics. This is why Murphy/Goldman had to transform himself from a standard issue on-line lefty into a Trump supporting right-wing anti-feminist in order to work his grift.

Behind all of this is the fact that he found an easy home among people who are supposed to be more prudent and intellectually rigorous. In 2021, the Claremont Institute made him a Lincoln Fellow. For some reason, everything involving the name Lincoln turns out to be riddled with sexual degeneracy. Putting that aside, how is it possible that they did not know he was a faker? They surely did a background check on him before inviting him to the team.

You can look at this two ways. One is they were desperate for attention, so they just invited in someone who seemed to have a big audience on-line. Charlie Kirk, who is as dumb as a hamster, was also a Lincoln Fellow. In other words, it is the old guys trying to get some street cred by inviting in those who they think are the cool kids on this internet thing they have been reading about in the papers. They never thought to look into his background to see if he was also selling gay porn.

The other answer, the most likely one, is they knew he was a fraud, but they did not care as he was willing to play ball. It was the old quid pro quo. They would grant these “internet influencers” some intellectual legitimacy in exchange for them spreading the right message to their followers. They knew he was not an Irish he-man, but that did not matter, so they did not look any further. They just wanted access to his audience, so they never bothered to ask any questions.

That is a good lesson for anyone involved in political activism. Politics attracts a lot of weirdos, because we live in a liberal democracy, which favors carny folk. That means you have to know the back story of the people you wish to trust. If it does not add up or they are lying, then you are best to avoid the person entirely. The same way one judges a new coworker or new neighbor should apply more so in politics. The old Cold War term, “trust but verify” should be the way in dissident politics.

In the end, this story is nothing but a bit of momentary amusement, but it is another good sign as we head into the next phase of dissident politics. This scandal is not on this side of the great divide, but on the normie side. Murphy/Goldman had no influence on this side as this side has become much more skeptical about these guys who are on-line political entertainers. That suggests there is a maturing in dissident politics and an awareness of the weirdo problem.

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