I discovered Mr. R several years ago when a friend of mine introduced me to his first books. In a few years, this guy became one of the most influential online promoters of pick-up techniques flavored by concepts stemming from the “manosphere” (or the “red pill movement”, consisting in interpreting the social and sexual dynamic between men and women through the prism of primitive and selfish biological imperatives). I never followed his blog nor his forum, so I can’t say I really know the guy. But I was always quite impressed to see how many online followers he managed to attract throughout these years. Mr. R was certainly one of the biggest online pillars when it came to helping out men maximising their chances to engage in casual sex with women. He made a living out of it for more than a decade, published many books on the topic, and was even featured here and there on TV shows when his infamous trickster side appeared entertaining for mainstream TV producers.
Until one very day, after a psychedelic mushrooms trip during which he got a direct message from god, the “God pill” as he calls it.
Ok, I might exaggerate a bit here since it seems that his faith in god built up somehow gradually over a year or so. But nonetheless, he took a radical shift of perspective after his mushrooms trip by coming out as an orthodox Christian. He recently unpublished most of his pickup books, coinciding with his recent “decision to forbid casual sex discussions on his forum”. So interesting! What has been the main content of his online material and books for more than a decade was all of a sudden radically forbidden to talk about. Indeed, it is not possible on his forum to talk anymore about “meeting women with the intention of fornicating with them”, “maintaining relationships with multiple women”, “stories of sexual activity while not married”, or “promoting masturbation, oral sex, anal sex”.
My very first reaction when I heard about his radical turnaround was that I didn’t give a shit. There is so much online noise about useless mental masturbation stuff that I didn’t think it was even worth checking his new opinions. But when I finally did and realized how extreme his change of perspective was, I naturally asked myself questions. How can a man change so quickly and so radically his whole world’s view? How a single trip of psychedelic mushrooms could lead to such a shallow and highly socially conditioned perspective about sex and god, especially coming from a man who seemed very rational in the first place? What about his thousands of online followers he was kind of mentoring? And finally, a part of me also wanted to rationalize what appeared as an incomprehensible change of perspective.
My gut interpretation about what this guy is going through really looks like spiritual bypass to me. He certainly is still under the heavy burden of his shadow, i.e., the unconscious material of his psyche that has been repressed throughout his life and on which he never dared to work on. In that case, spiritual bypass acts as a defense mechanism preventing us to dig within ourselves and find our inner truth, and help us avoid the big picture about ourselves. Mr. R is all of a sudden using the orthodox church and its socially conditioned doctrines to find redemption. Indeed, it is so handy to expect to be saved simply by following an external code of conduct and belief system (i.e., don’t masturbate, don’t have sex before marriage, pray your Lord, and you will be saved my son). Even if prayers might be a good tool to connect within ourselves, in Mr. R’s new adoption of these religious precepts, it looks more about checking out than checking in. My guess is that this guy has not be dealing with his own shadows so far and doesn’t take full responsibility for developing himself psychologically and spiritually in order to sort himself out. God (or whatever you call it) has to be found from within, and such a self-exploration has nothing to do with the adoption of shallow and rigid precepts coming from old-fashioned religious and social conditioning.
His 180° change in perspective also reflects a very immature black-and-white world view, showing that he is not ready to accept and integrate paradoxes of life and evolution into a whole and nuanced big picture of our reality. For instance, yes, at their peak value on the sexual market, women might sometimes be flaky and unconsciously manipulative when their behavior is driven by biological imperatives, but at the same time they bring us more easily to the present moment, the only thing that is. Yes, casual sex can also be driven by primitive, selfish and animalistic motives, but can also be transcended towards higher purposes of love and feeling of connectedness. Being integrated with a well-balanced adult consciousness is about acknowledging the bright and dark sides of our inner and outer existence, and not about taking shortcuts by adopting an external frame of reference claimed as the absolute truth.
Mr. R is now rejecting everything about casual sex after having heavily invested most of his adult life in this very business. When it comes to his women and business life though, Mr. R is certainly a solid high-achiever. He pushed himself very hard to get what he wanted, to face some of his fears, and dealing with strong adversity as a publicly exposed figure. No doubt about that. However, it seems today that he remains disconnected from his core self and deep aspiration, and hasn’t yet faced his most intimate inner daemons. You can over-achieve on external areas of your life (whether it is with women, work status, family life, or money), but still, if you chase these goals without being conscious of your life purpose, you will never find contentment in these achievements. In these situations, you might think that you are performing out of free will when actually unconscious shadow motives are at play behind the scenes.
So, Mr. R is now swallowing his new magic “God pill”. What does it mean for him to fully embrace this rigid dogma then? Getting married, settling down, feeling guilty of thinking about having sex with other women besides his wife, and pray Jesus like a good boy for forgiveness when it happens? I don’t really care actually. What I just wish for this guy is that his new faith will bring him closer to his inner truth and will inspire him to find the courage to look more from within instead of expecting redemption from an external religious dogma.
However, what I am more concerned about in this situation is the impact of non-genuine behavior on the world, at an era of massive online communication. The fact that Mr. R is now completely denigrating what has been driving him most of his life simply shows that he doesn’t have the integrity and stability it requires to take the lead. Indeed, what about the impact he’s had over a decade on thousands of men who were following a track that now appears to him completely nonsense? And from where all these ideas came from then? Of course, I am pretty sure that he might have initiated positive and constructive shifts in many of these men’s lives who got inspired to take bold actions for themselves, and to provide important insights on biological imperatives on the sexual market which are inherently part of our existence, and that cannot be denied. However, I also now believe that significant shadow behaviors and toxic lines of thinking have also been passed on along the way, and at a large scale within his community. And it clearly highlights some irresponsibility and lack of awareness of his own actions.
Finally, to wrap-up on a more positive note, the worst-case scenario is really when such men actually remain totally unaware of their shadow motives until they die. At least in that case, even if the “God’s pill” might only be a temporary milestone in Mr. R’s personal and spiritual growth towards future integration of his shadows, at least he has been very brave to publicly come out with his new opinions. By doing that, whether you agree with his choice or not, at least it forces all of us to take some new perspective. And from now and then, adding entropy to our brains and belief systems and shaking the status quo brings us closer to our inner and subjective truth as well.