For judging any man, I hold two principles:
- Does he practice what he preaches?
- Is he content with what he practices?
I recently watched an Owen Cook video with some friends. It’s been a year since I last discussed RSD. My opinion has not changed.
Gurus like Owen Cook remain fascinating figures. Men seek avatars to learn from and Owen explicitly is such an avatar, especially since he actually talks in front of crowds, as opposed to anonymous writers on the internet who might as well be keyboard-hitting monkeys.
But no one is perfect and sometimes the most ostensibly successful persons are the most fucked up. The greater the rise, the harder the fall. Such it was with Ken Wilber, as documented by Mark Manson (who himself completely sold-out since the days he garnered praise from Nick Krauser. My local bookshop sells Manson’s book ‘the subtle art of not giving a fuck’, yours probably does too).
Anyway. As with Ken Wilber, so it is with Owen. Below his most recent video.
We watched Owen talk for about 20 minutes, when my friend, who used to be pretty big on RSD, paused the video and exclaimed: ‘this is nonsense. He is just bragging and talking nonsense!’ My friend is right. Owen has no coherent message here. What Owen says here is a random collection of stuff he knows his audience expects him to say, and his audience plays along because Owen says what they paid him to say, but any sense of meaning is lost. It is noise, with little to no information.
It wasn’t always like this. Old Owen was better. For instance take the clip below.
Beardless Owen talked sense, had some good concepts. ‘Pinging’ always stuck with me, which refers to your dependance on other people as anchors for reality. Women ping all the time. Arrogant men ping little and if they are forced to ping they often do so irritatingly slowly. The person who pings less has most power.
But the seeds of his failure were already visible in the fruits of his success. Lemme explain.
Tyler’s big thing has always been deconditioning your social conditioning. What is social conditioning? Everything you’ve been taught by society, your parents, your teachers. You are taught to feel depressed, confined and self-hating. You are taught to shut up and keep your head low. In reactionary circles, social conditioning is known as the false life script.
So Owen wanting to end this makes perfect sense. So far, so good.
The problem arises with his proposed replacement. What is his proposed replacement? Well, in a nutshell: not giving a fuck, being your best self. Do what you like, when you like. Be who you like to be.
Which is great advice. For a fortune cookie. See, men need freedom, sure. But men also need direction, purpose. The reason traditions are important is that they provide a place of belonging for men. Just because our current societal rituals are rotten does not mean we can do away with rituals all-together. Need rituals.
What are such rituals? Rituals derived from the acceptance that we are imbued with genetic programming. As a white male this means you want territory, you want power, you want your own female, you want your female to give birth to your children, you want to protect and care for your family and be loved in return. More or less.
Deviation from this path is possible, but you do so at your own risk. The life-long bachelor does not age too well I think. Paraphrasing Spandrell, life-long bachelors have too much idle time on their hands, do silly things. Jim puts it stronger: if a man does not own a woman he becomes horribly broken. I for one think you end up feeling lonely.
How does this relate to Owen Cook? Well, his wife divorced him and took his 2 kids.
This piece of personal information is crucial. It is sad. But it is also strange. Here’s a guy travelling the world telling men how to achieve success with women, yet he could not convince the mother of his children to stay with him.
Owen Cook’s best teachings are as deeply purple-pill you can describe life without going red. He made all the right observations about women. He described social dynamics accurately. He went into the evolutionary background of it all. But he failed to draw the obvious conclusions that everyone who has taken the red pill has. Owen Cook’s genes want him to own a woman, want him to be patriarch of his family, and if the opposite happens, if his woman leaves him and takes away his children, he becomes horribly broken. Which is exactly what happened.
Men need freedom, but men also need chains of family. But men like hearing about freedom more so Owen did exactly that.
It is ironic that the same thing that brought Owen success, namely telling men what they wanted to hear without setting off too many CRIMETHINK alarms, led to his own downfall.
Not that he has literally hit rock bottom, of course. Dude is still richer than I’ll ever be. But a guru always cares more about his reputation than his bank account, and the end of Owen’s reputation has arrived.