Stefan Basil Molyneux (born September 24, 1966) is an Irish-born Canadian podcaster and YouTuber. Molyneux, a self-published author, usually speaks on topics including anarcho-capitalism, politics, race and intelligence, multiculturalism, right-libertarianism, anti-feminism, As of August 2017, his channel has over 650 thousand subscribers and 190 million total video views.
Molyneux has been described as a part of the "alt-right" by Politico, Metro, NY Magazine, Vanity Fair, and CBS, and has been described as "one of the alt-right’s biggest YouTube stars" by Washington Post columnist J. J. McCullough. Business Insider has characterized Molyneux as far-right.
Molyneux theorizes that the pursuit of virtue in our personal lives could bring about a stateless society that abhors the initiation of force (see non-aggression principle). In addition, the free market (see anarcho-capitalism), polycentric legal systems and private "dispute resolution organizations" (DROs) could be empowered to find new and more peaceful ways of adjudicating common law infractions and contractual disputes.
In 2012, libertarian philosopher David Gordon gave a critical examination of Molyneux's 2007 Universally Preferable Behaviour: A Rational Proof for Secular Ethics in The Mises Review, stating, "He fails, and fails miserably. His arguments are often preposterously bad." Gordon would reply again to Molyneux's own response to the criticisms.
Family of origin (FOO) relationships
Molyneux refers to the family that people are born into as their "family of origin" or "FOO". Molyneux suggests that the family of origin relationships may not necessarily be desirable and in some circumstances may even be detrimental and thus for those individuals having suffered abusive childhood relationships it would be advantageous for them to sever such involuntary relationships as adults, or "deFOO". In this way, he views all adult relationships as being voluntary and discretionary rather than obligatory. According to a 2008 article in The Guardian, both Molyneux and his wife have "deFOOed".
According to Steven Hassan, a licensed mental health counselor with experience on cults, "Partly what's going on with the people on the Internet who are indoctrinated, they spend lots of hours on the computer. Videos can have them up all night for several nights in a row. Molyneux knows how to talk like he knows what he's talking about, despite very little academic research. He cites this and cites that, and presents it as the whole truth. It dismantles people's sense of self and replaces it with his sense of confidence about how to fix the world."
In 2009, Tu Thanh Ha wrote that Molyneux was called the leader of a "therapy cult" following Freedomain Radio (FDR) community member Tom Bell breaking off all contact with his family. Molyneux suggested that this disgust could have come from witnessing an authority figure who was cruel to animals.
Molyneux and "deFOOing" were one of three subjects featured on the February 18, 2016 episode of the documentary series Dark Net. The episode calls Freedomain Radio a cult.