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<- Some comments by John to read too
The PUA Scam
In this post I'm going to summarize the major problems with the PUA (Pick Up Artist) industry and how it scams men out of their money. The false teachings and predatory practices of the industry will be exposed here in full.
The seduction community has two major flaws: The first flaw is that it teaches you the very contradictory message that you have to learn to be masculine and be your own man while catering to women and their actions. So no matter what she does, it's up to you to calibrate it for best effect. If she wants cocky and funny you better be cocky and funny. If she wants an asshole you better be that too. If she wants entertainment and you aren't entertaining then she will move on to the next guy who is.
Ironically, PUAs say that they take women off their pedestal, which in a manner of speaking is true. But in reality all they do is take women off one pedestal (created by mainstream society) and put them on to another one.
This is the pedestal created by mainstream society:
• Women are delicate flowers.
• To get women you have to give them compliments, buy them dinner, be a nice guy, and tell them how much you want to be with them.
• You have to pursue women and win them over.
• You have to impress women with lots of money, nice car, etc.
This is the pedestal created by PUAs:
• You have to game women, figure out what they really want, and then give it to them. Yes, it's a lot of work but who cares, since that's the man's job. And besides, women are not supposed to pursue, since men are the ones with the "balls".
• Women evolved powerful screening mechanisms to discern worthy guys from unworthy, and women are very good at filtering out men that don't measure up.
• Women shit test men and you have to learn to pass their tests or you're out.
• Nice guy behaviour is a turn off, so you need to learn to be alpha using cocky/funny, various seduction methods, dominant body language, etc.
• There are numerous attraction switches that women need to have switched on before they will want to be with you.
• You always have to be on the alert because women are always testing you to see what kind of man you are.
• Only a select few men can become very good with women (most men are betas, or AFC). Getting attractive women is an elite achievement.
• Women naturally throw obstacles in the way of sex. It is the man's job to figure out how to overcome them.
• Women will always cheat with the most alpha guy. Unless you are alpha women won't respect you. In other words, a woman is only justified in respecting you if she is attracted to you.
• Be wary of giving women compliments, buying dinner, or being "nice" because she can interpret that as weakness on your part.
As you can see, PUAs are merely a more sophisticated type of woman pleaser; bolstered by a unique mix of fatalistic, evolutionary psychobabble, where women are concerned. It's a more advanced form of ass kissing, but behind the scenes instead of out in the open.
The second flaw is that the seduction community never or rarely addresses those things that women are doing wrong. It's like a child who throws a tantrum and instead of disciplining him or her you take the position that you have to find out what it is they want and give it to them. There's this intense fear that if you call out women on their misbehaviour you are a chump or weak or unable to take it like a man. So rather than do that many guys prefer to just take the "spoil the child" approach to getting laid. Game is basically a coping strategy for women's rotten behaviour. If a woman has attitude and is unresponsive god forbid you tell her to open up. It's your job to figure out what buttons to push.
The fact is that PUA gurus almost never talk about the dysfunctional dating culture (in North America and some other westernized countries). To do that would admit a weakness that can't be marketed in the form of a product. In other words, you can't make money off that.
Pushing The Fear Buttons and Twisting Evolution Theory
Let's look at Mystery for instance. He's always teaching coping techniques on how to deal with any and all adverse dating situations. His classic line: "Men must learn to attract women or their genes will be mercilessly weeded out of existence". Great line BTW, plays on fear. And once the fear is primed a solution is offered. Very cult like. The only problem with this classic line is that it's relatively easy to eventually propagate your genes with someone, even in a dysfunctional dating culture, as long as you go out enough and talk to enough women. Furthermore, the whole notion of "HB10" and "beautiful woman" is biased because in Mystery's and his followers view, only dolled up 18-25 year olds are classified as beautiful or "perfect 10s", and since the PUA techniques play on these women's insecurities (very common for girls in this age range) they are lauded as superior; i.e. they get the "best women". And if the techniques don't work, and they won't on older more intelligent women, it is said that these women are not the best anyway. Yada yada and you can say that the techniques are engineered to get the highest quality women and they won't work on the lower value women (anyone over 25). It's PUA sleight of hand basically. The thing is, with evolutionary psychology arguments you can prove just about anything. Lots of makeup is called superior beauty and immaturity is called exceptional femininity. Therefore, the (dysfunctional) techniques work on the "most beautiful, most feminine women".
And then there's David DeAngelo, who does provide some good information, but also some very bad. He seems to underscore all his good advice with this one sentence: "Do this to get women". Learn hobbies, be funny and interesting dot-dot-dot because it helps you get women. You have to wonder how far along he really is in his personal development. But then again, he's making a ton of money so it's not as if he'll come out one day, admit he was wrong, and then close shop.
Like Mystery, one of his favorite techniques is to push emotional buttons to get guys to buy his products. He makes it seem like it's so crucial to get things "perfect" where women are concerned. And what about the women? Well, they just dash you with a finger if you get it wrong.
Speaking of priming the fear, here is a screen capture of an image ad that David DeAngelo put up in his online advertising campaign.
Pretty effective marketing I'd say, although a bit on the low side (even for him). It basically says that unless you learn how to become more attractive (from him), women will think you are a big Loser. God forbid that ever happens! I must do what David D says! Cha-ching!
Buying Into Feminist Propaganda And Double Standards
Currently, the PUA community sees women as superior beings, and men as generally deficient (since we're the ones who have to be taught what to do). This is very much in line with feminist propaganda.
The PUA community loves to say how inept the vast majority of men are when it comes to women. They say things like, 95% of men are totally clueless when it comes to women, which is a very suspicious number considering that meeting people is an intrinsic part of people's social psychology — in other words, we are wired to want to socialize and be around people. So it's simplistic to say that so many guys are completely clueless when it comes to meeting women. It legitimizes the very real difficulty men are up against in western culture, and introduces artificial solutions to solve it. The PUA is an artificial solution to a problem that runs much deeper than just a basic lack of "seduction skills" as the gurus claim.
But no, don't criticize women and don't criticize the social engineering that molds their behaviour. You can criticize GM and Chrysler for making shitty vehicles, and no one would say the problem is with you. But if you criticize women for their actions then the problem MUST be with you. And what does the PUA industry do, it capitalizes on this artificially induced feeling of incompetence men have where women are concerned.
Here's some double standards that are common in the PUA community:
It's okay for women to be unapproachable (because that makes them selective), but if men are unapproachable (or don't approach) they are labeled as shy or socially inept. If a woman has a wall around her then it's your job as a man to "break through". You miss 100% of the shots you don't take, after all. Great line, except that it takes two to tango, and if the woman isn't doing her part it's like dragging around a corpse.
It's funny how so many women say that guys don't approach them because they're intimidated by a strong, intelligent, confident woman (more feminist propaganda). As if I can know that about a woman just by looking at her from a distance. The truth is that the only thing men can know about a woman from looking at her is, is her body language inviting? In other words, is she approachable?
PUAs are perfectly okay with men taking responsibility for women's shortcomings, but the reverse is completely unheard of.
Another double standard is, when a woman shows interest in you right away you have to play hard to get and qualify her to show her that you have standards, otherwise she'll think you're too easy. But nowhere do PUAs raise an issue with her expressing interest in you right away. So it's okay for women to be interested right away but it's not okay for a man, because that would mean he is easy and has no standards.
Women in western (feminized) culture are elevated to a level that is totally undeserved, and in part this is because their shortcomings are too often spun as a sign of strength. It's a serious form of deception, one which the PUA community takes to a whole new level with their pseudo-scientific evolutionary psychology psychobabble which SO MANY men fall for. Let's look at some of these false arguments.
It is often said that women are more socially savvy and much better than men at reading social situations. But the reason it might appear this way is because in this culture women (as a whole) take virtually no risks and always play on the safe side. They are so hell-bent on getting society's approval that they go to all these extra lengths to make sure that they don't do anything "wrong". So as a result, we never or rarely see women make a fool of themselves. Of course not; they don't do anything! Men do all the work, take all the risks, get rejected, and then (many of us) go back to the drawing board to "up our game". And the PUA is merely an extreme case of this.
Men in the seduction community frame women's whimsical, immature, standoffish, selfish, weak, and stupid behavior as indicators of higher awareness, virtue, and social intelligence. For example,
• A woman can't initiate and lacks conversational depth — The PUA interpretation: She is testing your ability to "plow through" and lead.
• A woman is prejudiced and rejects you based on some stereotype she is carrying in her mind — The PUA interpretation: She is picking up on some vibe that you are inadequate or weak. Women are masters at picking up on subtle cues, after all. In other words, you need to up your game.
• A woman can't take responsibility for her actions and flakes on you — The PUA interpretation: You didn't do enough to attract her.
• A woman is with friends who regularly cockblock — The PUA interpretation: You have to win the friends over (never mind what she thinks). So learn group theory.
• A woman loses interest soon after talking to you — The PUA interpretation: You didn't stimulate her enough.
• A woman resists you — The PUA interpretation: She is testing you to see if you are man enough and skillful enough to break through her defenses.
• A woman acts unpredictable, whimsical, and immature — The PUA interpretation: Women are more "complicated" than men and there are numerous attraction switches you must turn on in order for them to want to be with you.
• A woman needs her friends' approval — The PUA interpretation: You must get her friends' approval.
Looking at these it's pretty obvious what's going on. Women's rotten behaviour is justified using some form of twisted evolutionary psychology argument, or deftly reframing the situation to always put the burden on the guy to get things done.
Now imagine if a child did some of these things. What would the interpretation be?
• A child can't initiate and lacks conversational depth — Society's interpretation: He/she isn't mature enough.
• A child is prejudiced and rejects you based on some stereotype he/she is carrying in his/her mind — Society's interpretation: The child must be taught not to judge people based on appearances, and learn not to stereotype.
• A child can't take responsibility for his/her actions and flakes on you — Society's interpretation: The child must be held accountable in order to learn to be responsible and respectful of others.
• A child loses interest soon after talking to you — Society's interpretation: He/she has a short attention span (not a good thing).
• A child acts unpredictable, whimsical, and immature — Society's interpretation: This behaviour is wrong and the child needs to learn to be more disciplined in life and be more respectful of other people's time.
• A child needs his/her friends' approval — Society's interpretation: He or she has low self-esteem and hasn't matured enough to think for him or herself.
It seems that less is expected from women than from children. That alone speaks volumes.
No Pain No Gain
In the PUA ideology, the process is supposed to be difficult. That's just the way it is. Anything else is just you getting lucky or "fools mate". Furthermore, you have to approach at least hundreds, or even thousands of women before you start to get "good". In other words, you have to do tons of approaches before a PUA method will work for you (since it is a skill just like any other). However, it is not quite a skill the way welding or gymnastics is a skill. You see, in these skills you are dealing with something neutral (such as gravity), which doesn't care either way whether you succeed or fail. But in interactions with women you are dealing with someone who can consciously work with you or against you. So knowing that it's a matter of free will, why would you choose to work with someone who freely chooses to make things hard for you? A shy virgin can get laid with a woman who really likes him, but even an experienced ladies man will encounter difficulty with certain types of women. So why focus on something that's difficult when there are clearly easier options out there.
The bar in the seduction community is low. Many guys will pay PUA instructors tons of money, for basically just some motivational speeches, and learning how to go out and talk to women. And these guys will feel it was money well spent. I read many glowing reviews on various boot camps, seminars, and books but very few of the reviewers even suggest that they got real results. Most of the reviews seem to be of the epiphany-seeking mental masturbation type, which confuses delivery with content. This is a very common mindset among the self-help crowd, where they just want to be offered a solution that "feels good", even though it might fall way short in giving actual results.
What's missing in virtually all the PUA methods is proof that they work on a consistent and reproducible basis. So you see, it's not a skill, like welding or gymnastics, because these skills are consistent and reproducible. A trained welder, or gymnast can reproduce their skills perfectly (or almost perfectly) every time. But for PUA methods, you must repeat your efforts over and over to be successful (even the veterans). For example, let's say a guy goes out and does tons of approaches after reading about some PUA's method. Result: He eventually gets laid. He then lauds the method as the greatest thing since sliced bread. But really, the reason he got laid was BECAUSE he did tons of approaches. Pretty much anything will work if you do it enough. It's called statistics. It is for this reason that PUA methods are not a skill like any other, but rather the law of averages masquerading as a skill.
A common way the PUA industry deflects criticism is by saying you didn't approach enough. But it's like someone selling you the winning lottery numbers, and then telling you that you have to play them many, many times to be guaranteed success.
You are not really doing anything powerful by practicing PUA methods, other than just building up a pain-tolerance for doing lots of approaches; with perhaps some skew towards certain types of women which are most compatible with your style and personality.
Sex As An Elite Achievement
PUAs make sex seem like an elite achievement, and unless you are properly trained you will go without it. You will notice that when guys on PUA forums post lay reports (especially gurus selling something) they tend to break down the lay report in an effort to explain how a certain application of seduction principles produced the desired result. But if you look closely at the lay reports you will usually notice that, from the point of view of an observer, they are basically just normal interactions perhaps peppered with some PUA material which really makes no difference in the overall outcome, and certainly no difference beyond just normal talking and basic flirting. If you read enough lay reports you will notice this pattern. So it is a complete fallacy that anything that results in sex must be a result of some PUA principle, or a combination of different PUA principles.
And if it is not immediately clear how PUA principles could have worked for someone who got laid it is said that this person either got lucky (fool's mate) or he has "internalized" the principles. So if I have sex with an attractive woman, and I am unable to break the interaction down into "tangible steps" related to the pick up arts then it must be that either I got lucky (meaning there was no skill involved) OR I internalized the PUA principles and that's why I can't explain them. But imagine the possibility that the interaction cannot be broken down in terms of PUA principles because no PUA principles were actually used. It's simply a normal interaction between a man and woman that resulted in sex, hardly a great feat. Now, it's certainly true in western culture that there are a great many entitlement princesses, which greatly affects men's overall success with women. But the problem here is not a lack of seduction skills (which men have somehow devolved into, according to PUAs). It's a cultural shift for the most part, which has created the difficulty men experience. PUA theory takes the extreme position that men are usually to blame for lack of success with women. This of course complements the (radical) feminist view that men are inadequate. So PUAs are basically sympathizers with the feminist view that men are intrinsically lacking. And one side effect of this is that it translates into a somewhat hostile view that PUAs have towards "normal" guys, referring to them as "AFC" (Average Frustrated Chump).
Putting an end to radical feminism and holding women accountable for their actions will do much more to boost men's success with women than even the best PUA methods can.
Some might say that what I'm saying is not really true and that it is a man's job to initiate and lead. But that is a form of chivalry, which has no place in an egalitarian society. PUAs expect that men must take up the slack for women when it comes to dating, while ignoring the fact that women themselves, in many walks of life, show a capacity to take charge and be decisive. So from this you can conclude that taking initiative and going after what you want is a conscious choice. Ask yourself, how come women need to be pandered to when it comes to sex and dating, but for other things like holding down a job and taking on responsibility, they are fully capable.
The PUA does not hold women accountable, and instead pushes the black and white view that success with women is ALL up to you (the man). The truth is that it's up to both men and women, but since you can only sell self-improvement as a marketing angle where everything and anything is within your control, criticism of women won't enter the picture. Or if it does, it will only be as a last resort, or as a seduction tool in itself to get her to f*ck you (since, after all, women get turned on by men who put their foot down). In the seduction community, even putting a woman in her place is used as a tool to bed her (e.g. negging). It's all massive supplication, with whitewashing to make it seem like PUAs don't kiss up to women. So in other words, be a man and put women in their place, but only in such a way that it gets them more into you. This attitude is very pervasive in the seduction community.
Some would say that what I'm saying is unfair, and that there is good PUA material out there. That's true there is, but it's only a small percentage. Think of it this way, if a movie is 95% crap you're not going to give it a good review are you? It would get two thumbs down. So why laud about how great the pick up arts is when only 5% of the material is any good. Why is the bar so low for this stuff? The argument is always that you must sift through it and take what you need. But that's a 95% waste of time. If a book has only 5% quality content would you buy it? No way. The amount of unlearning you would have to do would greatly exceed the amount of learning.
One of the only good things about the pick up arts is in the various forums, where you read about other men's experiences with women. But the underlying PUA ideology that drives the points of view are generally deeply flawed, at least to some degree, so you have to be careful. You really have to be skilled at separating out the dogma in order to extract any value from these forums. But if you're new to dating then you won't know the difference between good and bad, and will most likely be taken in at some point by some scammers charging ridiculous amounts of money for how to get laid using a bunch of steps you don't need.
Supporting The "Successful" Lifestyle of Certain PUA Gurus
There are a number of so-called PUA gurus who have "cracked" the dating scene. These gurus have one thing in common. They have made a lifestyle out of meeting and picking up women. This is made possible (i.e. financed) by guys taking their seminars & boot camps.
Here's the angle:
"I will teach you how to be successful with women, for a hefty price. That will make me enough money so that I can devote myself, and travel to different places (for seminars and bootcamps), and meet lots of women. And thanks to you I will have the time and energy to do so (since I won't need a job). And due to the law of averages and the advantages of exposure, this will result in me actually being successful with women. This will justify me teaching guys how to meet women, and charging for it."
It's like a positive feedback. These guys make a living out of picking up women. This will statistically guarantee their success, which reinforces the perception that they are "good" and have a "method" that works. This keeps the demand high for their seminars & boot camps, which keeps the money flowing (thereby supporting their lifestyle), and the cycle continues.
So in large part, students of these seminars and boot camps are financing the pick-up lifestyle of the gurus, which is precisely what allows them to be as successful as they are (if they are successful at all).
But in reality, there are no superior methods and there are no actual gurus. At best there is only the law of averages and lots of exposure wrapped up to look like a viable strategy.
Ask yourself, what reasonable man would want to spend so much time and energy meeting women, unless he could somehow make money off it.
I'm reminded of a pyramid scheme I heard explained once by David DeAngelo (if you can believe it). He was talking about how, as a younger man he wanted to make a lot of money, and he said that one way to do that was to put an ad in a newspaper saying that, if you wanted to make a lot of money, send one dollar to the address in the ad, and you will be sent information on how to do it. So you send in a dollar, and then you are sent the information, which tells you to put the same type of ad in a newspaper, telling people to send you a dollar to receive information on how to make lots of money. Neat, huh!
Here's another example. Create a website telling people how to generate a lot of internet traffic. Put in some filler to make the site seem somewhat credible, and watch the traffic grow. But in reality, the way the website is actually growing is by milking the interest of many people who are looking up ways to generate lots of internet traffic.
So, do you want to be successful with women and have a life where women are in abundance? One way to do this is by teaching guys how to go about it, and charge a lot of money for it. Throw in some decent information to raise the credibility of your services, and the income will allow you to sustain the traveling and life you want where you can naturally meet lots of women. This will "prove" you know your stuff, and the wheel will keep turning. It's a self-perpetuating business model. It's quite brilliant. Too bad you have to be a sociopath to do it.