Notorious antifa doxing activist accused of racism and predatory behaviour
One of Twitter’s most prominent antifa doxing activists has been accused of blackmail, racism and engaging in predatory behaviour toward underage girls, according to a Medium post made by an alleged former housemate. Additionally, the allegations have brought renewed scrutiny to the “cyber warrior’s” rise to antifa stardom.
By day, Christian Michael Exoo is a 38-year-old library supervisor at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York. However—online—Exoo uses the moniker “AntiFashGordon.” He has gained a large following in left-wing networks for his activism with antifa and by releasing “doxes,” or personal information, of his ideological opponents to his 25,000 followers on Twitter.
Exoo proudly boasts on his Twitter biography that he has gotten people fired from jobs, removed from schools and kicked out of homes.
Before becoming an online antifa activist, Exoo contributed to Salon, Alternet, Truthout, and other left-wing media outlets. Exoo also worked for Weave News, a left-wing citizen-journalist and activist group that was founded at and funded by St. Lawrence University, where his father, mother, and brother are employed as professors. Exoo was also a one-time aspiring actor.
With an undergraduate degree in information science, Exoo teaches doxing training seminars under the euphemism of “open-source intelligence research.” In 2017, he trained students at St. Lawrence at a conference organized by Weave News. In one presentation slide to his class, it read: “In this exercise, we are going to find the Facebook profile of our subject, and find all of the posts he’s ‘liked.’”
Victims of doxing suffer public shaming and often real-word harassment and death threats. Left-wing defenders of doxing say it is necessary to reveal and punish the far-right. But Jesse Morton, a former Islamic radical and now counter-extremism expert, says that victims of doxing are often radicalized further because of it.
“There are certain cases where it has silenced ideologues clearly calling to violent extremism, but the effects are often counterproductive,” Morton says. “It only cements the views of those doxed, can trigger violence and further entrenches extremists in the view that they’re under attack.”
Morton spent three-and-a-half years in federal prison for his involvement with an Islamic terrorist group. Since 2016, Morton has been involved in counter-terrorism work and currently leads Light Upon Light, a Washington D.C.-based counter-hate nonprofit.
“[AntiFashGordon’s] efforts only fuel the far-right’s propaganda,” Morton says. “They provide evidence for the victimization narrative that drives recruitment and thereby make it incredibly easy to replace any member doxed into leaving with several more recruits.”
Under his pseudonym, Exoo has been interviewed and praised in numerous stories for his role in being a powerful antifa “cyber warrior.” But a recent Medium post by “Sora M.C.,” who claims to be an ex-housemate of Exoo, accuses him of frequently using a slew of racial slurs in the course of his “investigative” work and of general predatory behaviour.
The anonymous author writes: “I’m here because I’m a young, Black, transgender activist delivering a warning to organizers once again after having been psychologically manipulated by an egotistical and power-abusing person who has a pattern of inappropriate behaviour on- and off-line.”
The writer continues: “His motivations are primarily to aggrandize himself and make him feel admired by others—to be a white saviour.”
The author describes a time where the two were in a grocery store together, and Exoo allegedly seemed excited that an underage girl had flirted with him.
The author also goes on to state other examples of how Exoo allegedly acted in an abusive or inappropriate manner that left them uncomfortable on multiple occasions, including one incident of alleged inappropriate touching.
“Sora M.C.,” says some of these allegations were previously published on Twitter last summer, but they deleted it after Exoo allegedly held their personal items “hostage.”
Exoo has been exceptionally careful in removing his name and traces of his identity from any of his current social media accounts. However, his alleged involvement in a doxing project that defrauded people into disclosing their addresses may have backfired.
In summer 2018, a website offering free anti-antifa t-shirts was circulated and shared among right-wing users on Facebook. However, the site was a fraudulent project that never had any merchandise and instead was used to fool some three-dozen people into giving their names, phone numbers and addresses, which were then released publicly. The site asked victims to pay money in order to have their information removed. It is unknown if any money was transferred.
A crowd-sourced investigation found the site’s domain was purchased through Bluehost by Christian Exoo. After that revelation, Exoo temporarily locked the “@AntiFashGordon” account and deleted his personal Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Twitter directed us to their private information policy when reached for comment on how they handle doxing on their platform.
“You may not publish or post other people’s private information without their express authorization and permission,” the policy states. “We also prohibit threatening to expose private information or incentivizing others to do so.”
“@AntiFashGordon” is still active on Twitter.
Before becoming a prominent online antifa doxing activist, Exoo had a long history of radical left-wing views. In 2017, he expressed support for political violence. “It’s really satisfying to punch a racist. They bleed nice, too,” he tweeted. Many of his posts conflate regular conservatives with the far-right and neo-Nazis.
Exoo also expressed support for George Ciccariello-Maher, the infamous former Drexel University associate professor who tweeted controversial posts calling for a police officer to be killed and voiced support for “white genocide,” among other things. Exoo signed a petition in support of Ciccariello-Maher in 2016 and also wrote on Twitter: [He] is a wonderful person, fantastic scholar, and a national treasure. Come at me, alt-right bros.”
While Exoo’s cyber activism exists within the online realm, his radical posts have appealed to at least one known extremist who unleashed his violent desires onto the real world. In August 2019, it was revealed that Connor Betts, the antifa black bloc activist who killed nine in a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, was a fan of Exoo.
Four months before his massacre, Betts was informed of a far-right rally in Dayton by none other than Exoo himself. “Thanks for the heads up,” Betts wrote in response to Exoo announcing the details of the event. At the protest, a witness who went to school with Betts said he saw him masked and carrying a rifle similar to the one he would later use in the August mass killing.
Christian Exoo did not respond to repeated queries for comment.
Working in the media for over two decades has afforded me the chance to meet many of my heroes. Some encounters lived up to expectation and others were small disasters.
Lighting up an imported stogie with Robert Lantos in his midtown home was delightful. Sitting under a cabana at the Beverly Hilton with Gary Shandling was heavenly. And sitting in the green room with the late Don Rickles in Montreal was emotionally orgasmic.
But how do I describe my exchange with Jordan Peterson?
Let me give it my best shot. Some moons ago, a friend of mine was one of Peterson’s students. She spoke of her intriguing psychology professor and promised that she would let me tag along for a morning lecture at U of T. I passed it off as a flip invite that would never come to be—but I secretly hoped I was wrong.
Sure enough, one day, as I had my face buried in paperwork at my Summerhill intern desk, my friend Sarah stopped by out of nowhere. She told me to pack up my stuff and escorted me to class with her. I should have never doubted her.
Sarah and I did a fast parallel park on Bloor Street West and sauntered over to The Arts and Sciences Building. Cue Sinatra’s “Come Fly with Me.” Sound the trumpets. I was in Peterson’s world.
I guess you might say Peterson was enjoying relative obscurity then, in as much as genius can ever be truly obscure. It tends to illuminate, even under the dim of low wattage bulbs. But compared to his ubiquitous fame now, he was an unknown.
The lecture hall filled quicker than a king-sized beer mug at happy hour. The empty glass of water at the podium was a prolepsis for some of Peterson’s epic rants and proliferating insights. The excitement was palpable. And so was the budding adoration for the professor at the helm.
“This guy’s lectures are dope. The best Prof in Canada. Dude’s got game” proclaimed a well-tattooed man sitting one row under me.
I took another look around as Dr. Peterson made his way to the podium. To my surprise, students were devoid of the glassy film that usually covers the eyes of hopeful graduates. Laptops were fully charged. Pens were dipped in fresh ink. Hangovers were whipped into submission by copious amounts of caffeine and adrenaline.
This was not the lecture hall culture that I remembered. This was a brave new world known as Peterson’s Playhouse. Peterson wore blue jeans with a dark cardigan and a dress shirt underneath. He was clean-shaven with an ashen pallor. He was dark under the eyes and looked quite exhausted— which as I understand it now, was insomnia’s doing.
After gathering his thoughts, Peterson started lecturing. He quickly led us into a comprehensive examination of why both individuals and groups participate in social conflict, and the reasoning and motivation individuals take to support their belief systems (ideological identification) that result in mass killing and pathological atrocity.
Just another day at the office for Alberta’s most influential intellectual export. Midway into his 2-hour lecture, Peterson started to speak about the Holocaust and the horrors of Auschwitz. He did this as an academic adjunct to his primary supposition about belief systems.
Unexpectedly, he went into a searing psychological examination of the Nazis and the hundreds of thousands of German soldiers who were left bereft of human conscience as they dangled in the throws of ideological imposition by the Hitler regime.
Now I have attended many Holocaust remembrance events over the years. Each one, heart-rending in its own way. I have sat with survivors of the camps—each conversation sending shivers down my spine and taking me into the deepest recesses of spiritual pause.
But this was something different. Peterson struck an isolated chord.
Maybe it was the surprise of seeing a gentile Professor speaking with such passion and conviction about a topic that was so personal to me. I am not quite sure. But as Peterson’s voice cracked with raw emotion, I felt my own connection with the worst tragedy of Jewish history, grow deeper and stronger.
“We read about the Holocaust, and study it now, but we have no way to actually comprehend this kind of evil. This kind of unbridled malevolence,” Peterson said, eyes watering and body trembling.
“You don’t think it can happen again, well guess again man,” the professor exclaimed.
“Don’t underestimate the human capacity for evil. And it lives in all of us. You need to know how bad you CAN be, to commit to how good you MUST be,” said Peterson, as though it was his last breath.
I was so taken by the emotional power of the lecture that I waited 40 minutes after class to shake Peterson’s hand and thank him personally. I watched from a distance as he met his perfunctory obligations and shook hands with students.
The line moved quite slowly but I finally got to meet him.
“How can I help you, young man,” he said to me playfully.
“I just wanted to thank you, Professor, for such an amazing lecture,” I said. “As a Jewish person
I found your words about the Holocaust to be soul-stirring. I did not expect such words in a university environment,” I said nervously.
He said, “What is your aspiration? What are you hoping to do in life?”
I said, “I am a poet and aspiring writer, director, producer.”
“Well, history is in the hands of our best writers. So make us proud,” he said with a smile.
I would like to say the chat went on longer but that was it. Over before it really began. Some shlemiel came out of nowhere and nudged me to the side with an oversized Macbook. I could have sued. Diamond and Diamond could have sent me into early retirement with that one.
When I see Peterson on the big American talk shows or speaking at sold-out theatres across the world, I think back to the early lecture I attended. Was there any sign back then of the international fame that awaited him? Was he earmarked for world influence?
I don’t think anyone, including him, could have predicted the Peterson phenomenon. But I do think he was always an eminently smart and compelling character. And his proclivity to hold firm on his beliefs, and still confess deep vulnerability, was so rare.
So yeah, I think the signs were always there from the beginning.
Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos has dominated the best-sellers charts in dozens of countries. Estimates say the popular self-help book has moved in excess of 3 million copies worldwide. The book has given inspiration, insight and hope to struggling folks in virtually every corner of the globe.
Thank you, Dr. Peterson, for doing so much good. I can always say, I knew you—briefly—way back when.
In recent weeks, there has been much written about Peterson’s health challenges (and near-death experience) with a dependency on and severe reaction to clonazepam, a commonly prescribed drug in the benzodiazepine family. He started taking the drug shortly after he found out his wife, Tammy, had terminal cancer.
When a prominent self-help guru loses his footing, I suppose there is a sense of irony and morbid curiosity that naturally ensues. But that does not justify kicking a guy while he’s down. Some of the remarks directed at Peterson and his family, since news of his medical condition emerged, have been downright grisly.
It’s sad that being ill and bed-ridden in Russia gave his political adversaries an opening for rancour and an opportunity to push their own twisted agendas.
But this is the world we live in.
Be that as it may—even if Peterson were to never speak publicly again, I am convinced history would remember him as a brave friend to humanity. Maybe not the kind that one expected or summoned for. But one that said what needed to be said. And one that did what needed to be done.
Although launched not even two years ago, the Canadian Anti-Hate Network (CAHN) seems to have quickly been elevated to the status of Canada’s go-to “hate monitor.” Most of the major outlets—the CBC, Global, etc.—regularly seek comment from the group whenever sensitive issues like offensive speech and alleged hate crimes are trending in the media. They also reliably cover CAHN’s investigative research on “hate groups” operating in Canada.
Our American friends down south know “hate monitoring” organizations well, chief among them the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). That organization, which CAHN in fact has a partner relationship with, is currently undergoing a public relations-crisis following revelations from a former insider that the group is essentially a scam; one which regularly reported that “hate always continued to be on the rise” in order to bilk its “gullible Northern liberal” donor base. Last year, a group of employees accused the SPLC’s leadership of fostering an environment where racism, sexism and sexual assault was allowed. It led to the organization’s founder being fired and the resignation of its president.
CAHN is now facing its own public relations challenge after it was alleged, among other things, to be pursuing similar “hate group” alarmism in Canada. According to CAHN, there are apparently 300 “right-wing extremists” groups operating across the country; more per capita than what even the SPLC finds in the US. The piece, published in an online journal curated by Preston Manning’s Manning Foundation, was indeed thoroughly critical of the group’s methods. It apparently cut so deep with CAHN executives, they responded with a positively frenzied open letter accusing the journal of manufacturing half-truths, straw-man arguments, and even outright lies.
A major focus of the piece is CAHN’s supposed defence of the extreme far-left antifa movement. Most Canadians by now know antifa well, having seen images of its black-clad, mask-wearing members committing unprovoked acts of violence or aggression against those not just on the far-right, but also conservatives, free speech-advocates, journalists, and even geriatrics. Operating transnationally, the Department of Homeland Security has described some of antifa’s actions as “domestic terrorist violence.”
But in their letter against the Manning Foundation, CAHN attempts to argue that antifa violence isn’t the same as “fascist” violence and that there is “zero equivalency” between the two. Antifa, they write, only “appear when… neo-Nazi groups that want to take power to carry out discrimination, deportations, and genocide” arise, and to say the two sides are comparable “is an intellectually devoid exercise.”
But take antifa-researcher Andy Ngo’s picks for the worst examples of the movement’s violence last year in the U.S. None were in reaction to “fascists” at all:
In one, accused antifa member Charles Landeros of Eugene, Ore. had been stockpiling weapons in order to “kill pigs,” or law enforcement, before police got him first in a shootout at an elementary school. His comrades called him a “martyr” and a bomb was left outside a local police station. That incident is still under investigation.
Willem van Spronsen in Washington state called on his comrades to “take up arms” against the government in a manifesto he released before attempting to murder federal immigration agents using a rifle and explosives. Luckily, his gun malfunctioned and he was shot and killed. Again, antifa supporters call him a “martyr.”
This included Connor Betts who tweeted the message just before he shot and killed nine people in Dayton, Ohio. Betts had antifa connections and was in communications with an antifa militia group prior to the killing.
Again, none of these cases involved entanglements with “fascists.” And according to coverage of the Betts case, a short time before his death, he tweeted: “I want socialism, and I’ll not wait for the idiots to finally come round understanding.” Clearly, at least in part, his mass-killing seemed to have been about accelerating a revolution, not reacting to “fascism.”
In Canada, members of law enforcement have stated that antifa compared to the extreme right is “more violent in some cases.” Like CAHN’s media-appointed status as Canada’s “hate group” arbiter, why should antifa have license to be judge, jury and executioner when it comes to countering political violence? If there truly is a violent threat from an extreme-right group, it should be the police and the legal system that deals with it, not unaccountable, private militia groups. CAHN does say in its letter it’s against the use of violence, however, to defend or fail to disavow antifa, as they apparently do, would seem to encourage the normalization of its tactics.
Moreover, CAHN’s support for aggressive countermeasures, such as pushing for greater public and private censorship and directly confronting “hate groups,” might actually be fueling “hate” and right-wing extremism, not restraining it. For instance, Dr. JA Ravndal of the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism and an expert on right-wing extremism has concluded that “countermeasures intended to constrain radical right politics appear to fuel extreme right violence” and that “[r]ecognition, open-mindedness, and dialogue might then work better than exclusion, public repression, or aggressive confrontation.” If CAHN really wants to stop the supposed increase of right-wing extremism in Canada it may want to focus on the former, not the latter, measures.
Jordan Peterson gave his first biblical lecture in the spring of 2017. From the beginning, he designed the lectures to educate himself, along with his listeners, in the rudiments of Western civilization.
“When I’m lecturing, I’m thinking. I’m not trying to tell you what I know for sure to be the case, because there’s lots of things that I don’t know for sure to be the case. I’m trying to make sense out of this… This is part of the process by which I’m doing that, and so I’m doing my best to think on my feet. I come prepared, but I’m trying to stay on the edge of my capacity to generate knowledge, to make this continually clear, and to get to the bottom of things.
“The idea is to see if there’s something at the bottom of this amazing civilization that we’ve managed to structure, and that I think is in peril, for a variety of reasons. Maybe, if we understand it a little bit better, we won’t be so prone just to throw the damn thing away, which I think would be a big mistake. And to throw it away because of resentment, hatred, bitterness, historical ignorance, jealousy, the desire for destruction, and all of that… I don’t want to go there. It’s a bad idea, to go there. We need to be better grounded.” – Biblical Series I
Jordan’s latest University of Toronto course had ended two weeks prior; his Patreon page boomed with new donors; the media buzzed with his hard-nosed approach to free speech detractors. He finally had the trifecta of time, capital, and platform for his deepest ideas to reach an international audience.
But in a time of internet porn, video games, and church closures, who would care about a dense, technically-worded, two-hour lecture on Adam and Eve? Explained with a fusion of evolutionary biology, behavioural psychology, a smattering of world mythology, and Jungian psychoanalysis, the lectures may have seemed suited for a stuffy university classroom, rather than a 500-seat public theatre.
In the eyes of YouTube’s censorship team, a culture apathetic to biblical stories was insurance too cheap. Perhaps sensing a threat to their radical leftist dogma, they sought to stymie Jordan’s popularity. On August 1, 2017, he was locked from his YouTube account, without explanation, as he attempted to upload a two-hour lecture on Abraham. That same day, after popular uproar and a flurry of online articles, his account was reinstated—again, without explanation.
In enforcement, such censorship has been softened by modern technology. In intent, it remains in lockstep with the raison-d’être of Thinkpol. This is hardly surprising, as the Bible depicts stories of absolute moral rights and absolute moral wrongs: ironic as it may be, these strictures are anathema to those who hold moral relativity above all else.
“God, in the Old Testament, is frequently cruel, arbitrary, demanding, and paradoxical, which is one of the things that really gives the book life. It wasn’t edited by a committee that was concerned with not offending anyone. That’s for sure.” – Biblical Series I
Apathy for the Bible could never last in a culture grown from Christian values. Jordan’s biblical lectures sold out; a fact that astonished the now-best-selling author. Moreover, the 15 lectures have been viewed 21 million times on his YouTube channel. But the strangest part was the focused silence of his live audience, and how they unfailingly filled each lecture’s final half-hour with carefully-worded existential questions.
As Jordan’s supporters well know, his psychological analysis can move from ancient Mesopotamian politics in one sentence to lobsters in the next, and then finish by tying it all to a Jean Piaget theory. But there are core messages — rules, if you will — about being that he has extracted from the Bible and colloquially explained, making those who care to listen all the wiser.
Rule 1: Never resent the structure of existence
Life is a “catastrophe from beginning to end”, suffering is the default mode of existence, and our ever-changing environment demands that we toil in order to persist. You will be betrayed, your loved ones will become terminally ill, and whatever beauty you possess will wither and be forgotten in a matter of decades. Equity is unknown to nature. To make matters worse, be resentful, ruminating on the tragedy of it all and cursing the force that made this mess.
Everyone understands these sentiments. But the most successful among us acknowledge the horror of life, along with their capacity to contribute to it, and decide to hold faith that they can improve reality. They are alive, after all. What else is there to do? Opposed to nihilism, we could say that every action alters reality and that we may as well spend our time aiming at the Good.
The dangers of resentment have been told for millennia through the hostile brothers motif. In the Cain and Abel story, Cain fails to achieve an aim. He becomes resentful towards the seemingly unfair structure of existence, while his brother, Abel, uses proper sacrifice to thrive. Abel is simultaneously the embodiment of Cain’s ideal, a glowing reminder of Cain’s failure, and a target for revenge. Fueled by resentment, Cain lashes out and murders Abel. But Cain’s ideal, abstract beyond its manifestation in Abel, lives on and judges him with a punishment too great for him to bear.
Resentment is destructive in any form, only adding to our shared plight. When it comes to alleviating suffering, it simply isn’t practical. Neither is passive nihilism (a supposedly careless and neutral state), which causes a lack of meaningful engagement in the world that is both depressing and anxiety-provoking. Depression then causes the amygdala to grow, increasing emotional sensitivity. Suffering intensifies, and thus, reason for resentment. We fragment in the absence of a unifying aim, and our subpersonalities run amok in the cracks.
Rule 2: Listen to your subpersonalities and be wary of their advice
It has been known since the ancient Greeks — and undoubtedly before — that the human psyche is comprised of a multitude of spirits, gods, or subpersonalities. As Jordan noted, “you’re a loose collection of living subpersonalities, each with its own set of motivations, perceptions, emotions, and rationales, and you have limited control over that. You’re like a plurality of internal personalities that’s loosely linked into a unity.”
Some subpersonalities manifest as raw impulses — heated anger, raw lust, arrogant rationale — while others are more subtle manipulations. A timid child, for example, can decide to enter into an “unholy alliance” with an over-dependent parent, to avoid the pains of personal development.
When such voices arise, it is of the utmost importance to hear them for what they are: forces constantly warring for supremacy. Unchecked, they can guide us down a path of resentment. As Carl Jung said, “everybody acts out a myth, but very few people know what their myth is.”
What we consider to be subpersonalities were, to the ancient Greeks, manifestations of gods, giving rise to both creative and destructive instinct. So, the next time you find yourself inexplicably drawn to a hobby, you can think of it as a divine message, delivered by Mercury, to guide you down a mythical path. The key is to listen and determine if it aids your unified aim, rather than to be blindly led.
Rule 3: Direct personal development with your worst experiences
Order and chaos. Known and unknown. Yin and yang. Darkness and light. These are dichotomies used to describe the abstract field in which we function, and the two sides of a prosperous balance. For those of us living in a democracy, order is usually well managed. The easy part. The task of delving into chaos and using our discoveries to update the order is what puts us at risk. But, uncomfortable as it may be, that is the only way to generate wealth for oneself and one’s community.
No matter the scale of the incident, our worst experiences are, intrinsically, the most instructive. That is because it is within the unknown when we are fools, novices, and most easily dissuaded by anxiety and self-doubt. If a bad experience causes retreat into bitterness and resentment, then chaos has won the battle. But if the experience gives rise to constructive analysis and tenacity, then a new tool has been forged. Superficially, defeat has been the short-term outcome: an aim missed, a pitch rejected, a relationship denied. That could be the end of it. Spiritual defeat, as well as material. But for an individual with faith in their aim, it becomes a lesson that makes them stronger. Wealth has been scavenged from the chaos.
This rule is given to us in the story of Joseph. Betrayed by his brothers, Joseph is sold into slavery, and he later becomes a prisoner in Egypt. However brutal, these experiences do not embitter him. He continues to believe in the good and never uses his misfortune as an excuse to transgress his morals. Each misfortunate strengthens him, and, as a result, his competency becomes indisputable and rewarded.
Rule 4: Have a clear aim, and make it the best conceivable aim
Knowingly or not, everyone interprets reality through an overlaying value structure. Subpersonalities can distort those values and take us down paths against our better judgement. But values can also be clarified by aiming at an ideal. In either case, values limit action, and, as such, they play a substantial role in the creation of aims.
An ideal sits at the top of our value structure, and our relationship to it can cause a great deal of positive and negative emotion. In one example, Cain could not bear to see his brother succeed where he had failed, and so, like a jealous lover, he used his brother’s flesh as a means to attack his own set of values. Immediately, Cain judged that he had become ultimately reprehensible, an inhabitant of the deepest hell, for attacking the successful embodiment of his own ideal.
The opposite of that would be to pursue the best conceivable aim and keep faith that it is worth any sacrifice. But the more ambitious an aim, the more sacrifice and faith required. To make matters more complicated, if one’s aim is merely a crude mimicking of an ideal, motivation (willingness to sacrifice) also proves difficult. Challenging as it may be, the axiom is to embody the best possible set of abstract, transcendent values, and to thereby unite heaven and earth.
“The horrors of life are, of course, that everything eats everything else, and that everything dies, and that everything’s born, and that the whole bloody place is a charnel house, and it’s a catastrophe from beginning to end. This is the vision of it being other than that.” -Biblical Series IV
To enjoy life is to have so much faith in an aim that we are excited to make the necessary sacrifices. This outweighs the default horror of existence and makes living a net positive. In other words, aiming for the highest Good makes life not only bearable, but desirable. Biologically, this maintains the health of the hippocampus and its inhibition of emotional sensitivity. At the same time, taking action against chaos causes dopaminergic activation: the suppression of anxiety and pain. These reactions may be considered an evolutionary basis for fortune favouring the bold.
Unfortunately, the transcendent alignment that comes with pursuing a worthy aim disappears when it is achieved. A vacuum follows, ready to be filled with another aim. We can think of this as having a singular, ever-transforming aim that clarifies as a result of our effort to reach it. But it also means that an ideal can never be fully realized. This could be considered a consequence of our ability to conceptualize the future, and the meaning of original sin.
Carl Jung and Friedrich Nietzsche disagreed on how to conceive a transcendent aim. Nietzsche believed that Westerners, having lost faith in Christianity, had to create their own values. Jung thought the lack of unity within the human psyche made that impossible. Instead, individuals should utilize their subpersonalities and cultural history to make a “supreme moral effort” in their lives.
Following Jung’s advice, we engage in an evolutionary process of discovering a transcendent ideal. The bible is a guide: “these [biblical] stories are trying to express what you might describe as an unchanging, transcendent reality. It’s something like what’s common across all human experience, across all time.” Along the way, cultures have represented their ideals in artistic form. That which remains can and should be used to inform our behaviour.
Rule 5: Maintain a cultural locus
Jordan highlighted the practical reason for having a cultural locus during the 2018 Munk debate: “we need something approximating a low resolution grand narrative to unite us. Otherwise we don’t have peace.”
Thousands of years ago, a cultural locus could have been as simple as an upright stone in the center of a village. Representing that shared values existed, and that their embodiment resulted in prosperity, was enough. Today, the Chartres Cathedral is one example of a cultural locus, representing, with its labyrinth and cross-shaped structure, that voluntary sacrifice leads to salvation. Another is the Pietà, representing the role of the archetypal Mother.
These works of art speak to an optimum human experience. As such, they are densely packed with information on how to embody a set of values that the creator’s culture deemed transcendent, practical, and divine.
Faith in shared values makes cultures strong and united — confident enough, for example, to start 200-year construction projects that represent the divinity of those values. But if that faith is lost, a person or culture will fragment internally and lose its peace. Cultural loci protect against that by reminding us of the value of faith, and by giving us stable measures for recalibrating our aims. From this perspective, art can be seen as a tool to stave off chaos.
We should study and maintain our traditional art and places of worship, because there is too much about the human experience for us to learn in a single lifetime. We are historical creatures, and it would be disastrous to disregard the behavioural patterns by which we arrived at our current standard of living. But relying too heavily on the lessons of the dead would be to “live on the corpse of your ancestors,” reneging the duty of cultural revivification and inviting the same kind of chaos that comes to those who live too long under parental control. Therefore, we must maintain cultural loci by combining traditional values and new discoveries, updating the loci as we clarify our conception of a transcendent ideal.
The media’s efforts to glorify morbid obesity as “beauty” and the push for the so-called Health At Every Size (HAES) and body positivity movements have been met with resistance from fitness guru Jillian Michaels and others in the fitness scene. The latest influencer to take on the unhealthy lifestyle, Xiaxue, is now the subject of social media cancellation after she spoke out against the horrendous practice.
The popular Singaporean YouTuber and influencer, whose real name is Wendy Cheng, mocked the unhealthy standard after a post glorifying a morbidly obese model trended on Instagram.
“It’s one thing to be chubby or fat but this is way past that. Most morbidly obese people don’t live past 40. They gorge themselves with 30 burgers a day and when they inevitably get a clogged artery or diabetes taxpayers have to help foot their medical bills when their health conditions are entirely caused by their irresponsible behavior,” she wrote. “Disgusting. The morbidly obese (like this woman) should never have been seen as attractive because death and disease isn’t attractive full stop. Irresponsibility isn’t attractive.”
“Even when they die [they] need 3 [people] to carry the corpse please,” she joked. “Fucking stop glorifying this shit @instagram, shame on you.”
The post, which was widely reported by offended social justice activists, was deleted by Instagram for harassment. Fat activists are now mocking Xiaxue for undergoing plastic surgery and have called upon each other to report her account in an effort to suspend her.
Xiaxue has continued to call out morbid obesity in a series of posts and videos decrying the Instagram community’s double standards in enforcing its harassment policy. In screenshotted DMs, Xiaxue captured the vitriol sent to her by numerous social justice activists, many of which called her “fatphobic.”
“Skinny people die from stroke and diseases too lmao. I hope u die one day,” wrote one user named soft.sapphire.
Explaining herself, Xiaxue wrote that she wasn’t “fat shaming” anyone and that she was expressing concern about the glorification of morbid obesity.
“What concerns me is that the media is constantly glorifying morbid obesity, trying to say it’s perfectly attractive (which we all know it isn’t). It’s fine to have an eating disorder. But we don’t glorify anorexia as being sexy so why the other end of the spectrum? Both are really unhealthy,” she wrote. “If you see your friend get addicted to smoking which will slowly kill him will you tell him his lifestyle is perfectly acceptable and his behavior is beautiful? No, you tell him to stop or reduce. So why isn’t it OK to say that morbidly obese people should not obstinately be PROUD of their size and should do something about it?”
“It’s OK to love and accept someone whatever size they are, but being the rough size and shape of Jupiter should NOT be glorified,” Xiaxue continued. “If people cannot get the difference and think this is the same as fat shaming then so be it, I refuse to pretend that being so big you can’t even get out of bed and you can’t even wipe your own arse is fine and dandy because it’s disgusting and unhealthy.”
Xiaxue continued in a separate post: “Why is it my business and why must I be so mean? Why can’t I let these people be deluded and happy? Because I don’t think we should encourage obesity, which is a disease. I think people weighing 500lbs should go on a freaking diet instead of living in a delusion held up by enablers that the fatter they are the ‘braver’ they are and the more beautiful they are,” she said. “They need to know the truth and that is that people aren’t ‘fatphobic’ if they find obesity unattractive. It’s natural to want to breed with healthy people to ensure the survival of your kids. No matter how you try to drum the beauty of obesity into our minds, it will never work.”
“So stop lying to yourself. You are being selfish [because] you want to look kind online and feel good about being ‘nice.’ But your lies are harming people,” she concluded.
As I’ve previously written on Twitter, there’s no such thing as “fatphobia.” It’s just another one of those terms designed to pathologize the natural dislike of obesity as a form of mental illness—as if you’re abnormal for preferring fitness and health.
The postmodern left uses science-y sounding faux clinical terms designed to validate and normalize unhealthy lifestyles, degeneracy and inhumanity while disenfranchising decency as a “social construct”—as if what they promote aren’t social constructs from a counter-narrative.
There are firm biological foundations to preexisting social constructs—fitness primary among them. If you’re physically and/or mentally unfit, you’re a burden to society and everyone around you. Period.