Blog Blog Blog. Heyo and welcome to the sixth edition of Hashtag Cult Podcast the Blog! It’s me, Bill. Hey. How ya doing? Doing good? That’s good. I’m glad to hear it.
Episode six finds Paulina and Mike discussing a new interview. This time with Codename Tom, a MGTOW member Mike found in the comment section of one of Hashtag Cult Podcast’s own videos! Paulina mentions, the interview with Codename Tom is a more traditional interview. It is less of an intervention because Mike does not have the same sense of hurt he did with his friend who had been brainwashed by a sexist cult. Codename Tom willingly agreed to the interview because Mike did not immediately shut him down at first contact. Mike recognized his MGTOW-like comments on the YouTube video, but rather than shooting him down, Mike offered him the chance to speak his side of the matter. Codename Tom requested to be anonymous, stating he does not like his own appearance.
Codename Tom’s insistence on anonymity was out of fear of doxing. Mike explained, Codename Tom claimed he did not like the sight of his own face, but the true reason was a fear of doxing. Codename Tom is in a bad place, emotionally, right now and probably does have low self esteem but a fear of doxing is real, for many. Doxing is when someone, and/or their family is attacked on social media for comments or beliefs they have made. When others gang up and harass someone online. Doxing can be a very stressful experience. It is not limited to MGTOW members, anyone can be doxed. MGTOWs very much fear doxing so that is why they often like to remain anonymous. They are aware their views are not looked at highly by most of the internet so they hide. They will try to conflate it in to more masculine terms to sound cool, but at the end of the day they fear getting yelled at. Just like most people who not like to get yelled at.
This plays in to the level of “self-mind games” I mentioned in the previous blog. Codename Tom says he has a list of terms to avoid. He has a coaching sheet with him. He is to stay away from certain words so he does not not reveal too much information. He cannot just have a conversation, it has to be a MGTOW manufactured conversation. AND AGAIN, no one but MGTOW knows what constructs a “MGTOW conversation” except for MGTOW members (and even they don’t really know). So, really, Tom is putting in all this extra work really just for himself. Mike is willing to have a normal conversation, but Tom must make sure it is a “proper conversation.” Which is proper only for him. Yikes, so exhausting. Codename Tom has to over analyze everything he and Mike says and make sure it sounds MGTOW appropriate. It has to sound like he is smart and understands all situations. But really he doesn’t. Mike goes on to point on a number of stories Codename Tom mentions are most likely not even true. It’s so much work for really no reason. That should be the real MGTOW slogan.
Codename Tom talks about he has been “shadow banned” by YouTube. Around 10:30, Mike goes on to explain that shadow banning is a real occurrence. Social media platforms will shadow ban people for using words that have been deemed bad or “spammy.” Mike recalls a time he got banned for using the word “desk.” Yes, a word as simple as “desk.” Mike explains this could have been from an office supply company spamming social media sights by exploiting a previously unused hashtag. Sites will not tell you what they words are, they will just ban you. I agree with Mike and Paulina that this is a really immature response to a problem. They don’t try to fix it they just make it go away. Popular Culture follows that principle too much these days. Get really mad at something, yell and yell and yell, until the issue vanishes. Hey, that’s a lot like doxing. DUN DUN DUNNNNNNNNNN. Actually teaching someone/helping them learn from a mistake is toooooo much work. It’s much easier to stick them into a cannon and fire them at the sun.
So, yes, there is a real problem with shadow banning, but Codename Tom was most likely shadow banned because often times MGTOW comments are perceived as spam. According to Mike, MGTOW comments often run on for way way too long, triggering spam detection thus causing the user gets banned. In many ways, it seems like Codename Tom/other MGTOW members take this as a badge of honor. “Oh, I was getting too real and the machine silenced me. They couldn’t handle the truths I was dropping.” But at the same time, as much as they may tell someone, like Mike, that it is somewhat of a badge of honor, it is really more of a curse. Mike discusses how things like shadow banning have helped to create the cult like sense of paranoia hashtag cults have. Hashtag cults have adapted their mindsets to shun non-believers/outsiders out of fear of being banned themselves. It almost becomes a chicken or the egg scenario. Which truly created the other? Mike goes on to explain, the fear of banning or being doxed has created a higher sense of paranoia, and it is difficult to have a proper discourse with someone in this heightened state. Hashtag Cults are not used to being listened to. They are more used to being shut down or being silenced so they have gotten used to it. Mike is trying to break that mindset by letting them actually speak their mind on the podcast.
Mike mentions how an easy way to avoid doxing is by removing those problematic people from your life. Block someone you do not get a good vibe from. Really try to associate with better people. I fully agree with this mindset I just think it is a little easier said than done. I feel it becomes hard, for some, because you want to spread your content to the widest possible audience. But the wider the audience, the broader it becomes, and the broader it becomes the more chances there are of encountering someone who disagrees with you. You might get more eyes on your content, but not all of the eyes may like it. And if someone does not like it they will want to tell you. The problem is, they are not always constructive. So, just be careful. Sticking with the people you vibe with is the best way to do social media. You can all grow together, share ideas, and actually create helpful dialogues with constructive comments.
In many ways, I feel that the comments section is an addiction. You run the risk of hurting yourself, ie, getting negative/mean comments. But, there is that sweet sweet chance of getting compliments from randos and WHOOEY is that a high. It’s an addiction because you do not need a comment section. You can get rid of it whenever you want. But, I feel like that is a thing we tell ourselves so we do not admit we have a problem. We like the comments, we just don’t need the comments. It’s like eating too much dessert. Every so often it isn’t that bad for you, you still get unnecessary calories, but overall it is not a big problem. If you overdo dessert you really start seeing negative side effects and it can start effecting your health. Get the best possible experience out of the internet. The best possible experience occurs when you associate with the best possible people. Don’t hang out with jerks. Why? Because jerks are jerks. Hang out with friends. Friend are cool because they are friends.
BILL JUST WENT ON A TANGENT. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO FAST FORWARD. START HERE.
MGTOW likes to conflate stereotypical masculine traits. Codename Tom mentions how an OCD test did not work on him because he always passes tests. Mike, Paulina, and Rins, the producer, made the good point of — what is an OCD test? Answer— most likely nothing. It sounded cool/kind of smart so Codename Tom used it. But, the takeaway from it is, he “beat it.” He was just too smart and was able to beat this test. Because he just does that because he is naturally gifted. Mike explains this is a common MGTOW trait. Codename Tom convoluted a story to make himself the winner. He makes it a fun story. He had figured it all out because he was just so smart. Therefore, he does not need help. He is all the help he needs. And that right there is one of the dangerous sides of Red Pill Cults. They push people away from getting real help. MGTOW makes it seem like Codename Tom is in control, but really he isn’t. He has just convinced himself he is. What could anyone possibly teach him that he doesn’t already know? Answer— EVERYTHING. MGTOW hasn’t taught him jack. They take pieces of ideas/concepts/pseudo-sciences and smoosh them together into a contradictory ball.
Codename Tom discusses how to read a book called “Snakes in Suits.” Mike and Rins read the book and although it uses some hard science concepts, or concepts extracted from hard science, and does appear to have an accredited author it does not give real answers. Codename Tom uses the idea of the book to explain his problems away. Codename Tom uses the book as a Band-Aid to explain away his problems. “Oh, this is me” and uses it as his cure-all. He does not go the necessary step further of seeking actual help.
Mike explains, around 35:50, this is because MGTOW does not like doing their own research. They repeat things but do not actually know what they mean. They say things to sound smart. Mike believes Codename Tom discusses the DSM because he knows Mike knows what that means, so by saying words like DSM it will impress Mike. Most likely, Codename Tom does not know what the DSM is. But it is a smart sounding word that may be impressive so he uses it. But, if Mike calls him on anything, Codename Tom immediately back tracks and plays it off as a joke. MGTOW always has to appear like they are one step ahead of the conversation. When really they are dramatically playing catch up. They did not study for the test, they just scribble the entire book onto their hand and arm.
This falls into, as Mike calls it “parrot culture.” Mike may not have created that term, but he is the first person I heard it from, so I am giving him credit. It’s a fake it til you are caught lifestyle. Mike mentions there are some comedians who do this when you talk with them. They seem to have all these funny stories and are really engaging, but later you go home and realize all their jokes were from some sitcom that just aired. They pass along concepts and play them off as their own. This falls into what I refer to as “Reddit Humor.” Now, to start, Reddit, is a vast place. It is almost it’s own social media bubble. There are tons and tons of sub-reddits, many of which I am unaware of, so my concept is really based on the big Reddit pages. “Reddit Humor,” to me, is the regurgitation of water down jokes or concepts. They are jokes that sounds like they were once memes. The jokes aren’t clever, but enough people know them, or a joke similar, that they get a laugh. It’s very much what Mike said. I just use Reddit as opposed to sitcoms because I feel like sitcoms are a dying breed. I’ve been using the word breed a lot. Many many young people, young people who think they are funny, are on Reddit, and they all pass around the same shitty jokes to each other. It’s just this tainted humor that feels like there was once a real joke in what this person said, but the way they said it now seems artificial. It’s the same problem Jeff Goldblum had in The Fly. When he sent the raw steak through the teleporter, the steak did not perfect re-animated in the new location. The machine interpreted the steak and made a duplicate. It looks like the same steak, but tastes wrong because it’s not the real thing. It’s an attempt to replicate the real thing. It looks better than it tastes. There, that’s the point I was trying to make.
Codename Tom regurgitates smart sounding concepts he has heard before. Or heard someone else hear before. He really does not know what he is saying. He also makes up stories to sound more in control/more masculine. Around 37:40, Codename Tom tell a story of how he refused to be doped up by a pretty female doctor. Well, gasp, a female doctor, how horrid. Mike analyses that this story most likely never happened. Codename Tom, as a MGTOW, is using this fake story to reveal how the medical world is just trying to dope people up, and if you don’t have the money, they don’t want you. Codename Tom caught wise to this scheme and beat them at their own game. While, yes, there may be some truth to doctors over-medicating patients, the actual story Codename Tom tells is no true. Around 41:00, Mike explains, MGTOW uses stories like this to appear as prophets or luminaries. MGTOW mindset is, the only reason they ever appear on camera is because they must teach the poor, stupid interviewer the truth. They must enlighten this lowly creature before them. The interviewer does not see the world the way they do, the true way, so they must take the time to bless this creature with information. MGTOW likes to appear as educators, not evil people. They are simply educating the world, not corrupting it.
And Mike let’s Codename Tom speak. He does not shoot him down, which as I mentioned before, MGTOW is not used to. MGTOW is used to existing only in the comment sections and not really interacting with most people.
The episode ends with Mike and Paulina discussing the existence of the comment section and the difference between internet cults and traditional cults. Mike explains that internet cults really just borrow ideas from traditional cults. Internet cults just copy real cult tactics, 1:02:00. Mike stresses that Hashtag Cults are more serious than internet cults. They are much more covert, and are used to being covert. Hashtag Cults are more of an evolution of tradition cults. They have adapted to new surroundings, and exist amongst comment sections in a secretive enough way that they are not caught. Mike tells Paulina that her father’s posts have MGTOW members in them. Many many comment sections do. They are everywhere.
Paulina mentions how she has pretty much left social media. She does not like it and really does not like the internet. Mike suggests just disabling the comments sections, which you can do on all them major platforms. Just disable the comment sections and only interact with the nicer communities. There are nice communities on the internet. They do exist. There may be some misguided people in those communities, some people with real mental problems, but that comes back to my comment are there are jerks everywhere. Don’t hang with the jerks. Hang with the nice people.
My ending thoughts on when someone says they hate the internet. I equate it to when someone says they hate the country they live in. My feelings are: the country, the land itself, has not done anything wrong. In the case of the country, you are not really mad at the country, you’re mad at the people running it. Or you are mad at someone in a position of power, over you, that you do not like. The same goes for the internet. The internet is just a place. The internet, itself, is not evil. There are people not the internet who are not great. They are jerks. But there are nice things on the internet. You just need to find them. I think today’s culture is very geared toward the negative. Too many of us focus on the negative. If we know there are negative things on the internet, then that’s the main thing we focus on, so therefore we hate the internet. Now, I will say, I do not know what Paulina goes through. She mentions the published eye vs public eye. In a future episode, she mentions who her family has been in the media spotlight for years, often times unwanted. I do not know that life. I do know what it is like feeling completely exposed on the internet. So, I will not comment on that part of her hating the internet. But I will say, it’s not the internets fault, it is certain people using it.
My final final thoughts are: my head hurts after listening to Codename Tom. As I mentioned in my previous blog, the amount of mental gymnastics he goes through just to say a damn sentence is astounding. It must be exhausting being a MGTOW. What could possibly be so satisfying to them that it takes this much work. I feel like it MUST be the inflated sense of self-satisfaction. They feel they know the truth an all that, but I am curious if members retire at an early age? I cannot imagine there is a solid retirement package, and it takes soooooooo much work I feel like members must burn out after a few years. Even if they aren’t truly cured of the MGTOW indoctrination, they simply become too tried spouting the convoluted rhetoric, or literally just forget half the things they were “taught.” Since none of it makes sense I feel like the human brain at some point just goes OH WOW GET THIS CRAP OUT OF ME!!!!
Don’t MGTOW everyone.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Bill Moore is a comedian who has never searched “how to find a girlfriend?” or “why did my girl friend break up with me?” instead he makes jokes with people like Chuck Nice and Many other funny comics like Dave’s Friends, his sketch group: