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Review of Jared Trueheart’s “The Red Pill Ideology”
Published 10/17/19 by redpillschool [0 Comments]

From the start, Trueheart sets the tone: There is a big problem, and a missed opportunity, deep within TRP (The Red Pill) - a loosely associated collection of masculine blogs, sites, and the aptly titled “TheRedPill” forum on reddit.

He begins with the admission that some of the underlying concepts of TRP are unarguable such as the family court’s injustice against men and the undue burden of taxes on men pay for social services overwhelmingly consumed by women. However, this is where the truths end, according to Trueheart. TRP is a set of false beliefs that have been propped up on top of a few truths, which were used like sugar to disguise the foul taste of the poison that rots away at the rest of the ideology.

The Red Pill movement (if you could really call it that) missed an opportunity to mobilize men to “better society.” Instead they chose to “enjoy the decline.” That’s bad for society, states Trueheart’s thesis, which is the very crux of his haphazard, and ultimately misconceived, critique of the nature of TRP.

It would be easy for any pro-TRP writer (such as myself) to simply claim that he hasn’t reached some sort of deeper meaning, or pull out endless fallacies and tropes such as no-true-scottsman, etc. But the stark misinterpretations off of which Trueheart founds his ideas and book are so incredibly, monumentally wrong, that it should be plainly obvious to anybody with even a cursory understanding of TRP that Trueheart’s book is a clever, but ultimately wrong, exercise in straw-manning and moral absolutism.

Trueheart ignores all but the most superficial factors when analyzing the origins of TRP. He discusses the advent of feminism as a likely suspect for source of the sexual shift – from monogamy and marriage in the 1950s to the casual hookup culture today. But he presents a poorly conceived picture of it, ignoring the depth and subtlety of Red Pill theory and analyses:

According to Trueheart, feminism lead to the sexual liberation of women, which lead to men’s “hedonism and nihilism about the women they tried they attempted to seduce.” He presents this as hypocrisy, almost as though the men were bringing about their own demise:

“On one hand, they desired no-strings-attached sex with these women. On the other hand, they were disgusted by these promiscuous women who would likely become wives and mothers one day.”

It does not occur to Trueheart that the male reaction to the sexual liberation of women might not be self-inflicted, but instead a reactionary response to new market forces, which were at least in-part created by feminism. By cleverly ignoring large portions of TRP’s analysis, such as the effects that no-fault divorce had on marriage rates, Trueheart does a disservice to his point by painting the counter-swing of the sexual revolution as simply misinformed, bitter men who wanted their cakes and wanted to eat them too.

This will not be the last time Trueheart attempts to pin the movement’s supposedly mistaken or incorrect inferences about the world on his own shallow, misinformed understandings. This does not make a convincing book if his goal was to change minds.

To Trueheart, TRP was an answer looking for a question. Men wanted sex, and went searching for the rationale that would let them have it without the attached conscience telling them it was immoral! Morality is immutable to Trueheart, and so all actions that spring forward from this desire are an exercise in rationalizing the rebellion against god (or whatever authority it is in Trueheart's head, he never makes a clear distinction).

“The red pill ideology would later allow them the worldview they needed to be disgusted with hedonism while being hedonistic. It allowed them to bone sexually empowered women before criticizing them for being sexually empowered.”

As we move forward into the book, Trueheart spends far too much time wading through the weeds of praxeology vs ideology, though I believe to most readers this is a pointless, mental masturbation at best. Even his inferences about the implications of treating TRP as a praxeology are tenuous at best- that it suggests “no theoretical basis other than the notion that human actions are the results of purposeful choices.” A stretch, to say the least. Even with a casual understanding of TRP, you would have to morph the ideas into unrecognizable shapes before you came to the conclusion that TRP believes human actions are purposeful choices- certainly not ones we could exhaustively derive meaning from, and definitely not ones that the actor would necessarily be cognizant of.

He then beats the old, dead horse of scientific rigor. TRP has no studies, and therefore lacks predictive powers! It’s based on anecdotes and arm chair philosophers on the internet. More evidence that it’s not a praxeology! It’s an ideology!

Though I’ve seen a few pedants bicker about this over the years, I don’t believe a praxeology to be mutually exclusive to ideology. But this argument glosses over the fact that TRP hasn’t really presented itself as science per se in the first place. Nobody following the anecdotes and essays believes double blind studies are being conducted. What they know is that the collection of loosely fit rules and observations match their own, and that recognizing them as a more accurate description of the world around them nets them higher success in their goals.

And for men on TRP, that’s plenty enough. That’s why a critique such as Trueheart’s will fail to sway any self-proclaimed red pill men. For many, it doesn’t matter if evolution, culture, television, or even mind control beams from outer space drive certain behaviors. All that matters is that it’s descriptive enough to net higher success than the status quo. TRP may be incredibly wrong on many fronts, but it’s less wrong than everything else, so why not?

Trueheart does get a few things right. The men who want to “enjoy the decline” may be doing so in a hedonistic way. But even when he gets a few things right, he makes the same appeal to the greater good that he introduces in the beginning of the book, blaming these hedonists for “failing to create anything of value outside of the seduction realm.”

This appeal to an objective and absolute morality (or some higher authority) permeates Trueheart’s entire book. He makes the claim that this band of misfits has shirked off their moral and social responsibilities, claiming that he alone has the one, true moral or philosophical system that should be followed.

It’s made quite obvious through his writings that he believes men’s value comes from how they provide value for others. It isn’t enough that a man defines his own goals and achieves them, no. It is hedonism unless his goals are to serve and benefit others, society, and ultimately himself.

Had Trueheart spent more time within the TRP forum and greater manosphere he attempts to critique, he would better understand "the Matrix" metaphor of waking up to see who controls you. One of the control systems described by TRP is a societal, cultural system which teaches and convinces men that doing the “right thing” and being “moral” included things like raising other men’s children, paying taxes to benefit women, paying child support and alimony in often unfair or painful ways. That men do the dirty, dangerous jobs, fight wars instead of women, and make up a majority of the workplace deaths should be a big wake up call for any marginalized group. But "the Matrix" is effective at hacking male brains to "man-up" and thus it is manly to sacrifice and provide value to anybody but oneself.

TRP Men are very sensitive to this form of control. It is the very bases for the very name "red pill." And yet, Trueheart misses this completely in his critique. He sees the men wandering off the plantation and insists that this selfishness is wrong. He then writes a book attempting the very same method of control TRP originally rebelled against? It shows a serious lack of insight or understanding to make such a large, 100+ page mistake.

Though Trueheart does mention on a number of occasions that he means not to cast a value judgment in his analysis, the connotations and word choice of his critique makes his value judgments impossible to ignore.

When discussing the “sexual marketplace,” which is a useful abstraction to understand sexual dynamics, Trueheart can’t help himself but cast a negative light on what is essentially an analog for relationships:

“Another way the sexual marketplace reduces people to objects is the red pill belief that men should “spin plates.” […] but it has the result of reducing women to the value of flatware. Red pill men will even make statements like “I’ve been working on this plate for two weeks.”In the sexual marketplace, people are reduced to masturbation aids, trading the use of each other’s genitalia as a sort of barter system.”

This sort of castigation of a descriptive framework shows an unwillingness to understand the purpose of metaphors. When one describes a woman as a plate, he does not literally believe her attributes and values to be equal to dishes in a cupboard. One does not need to disregard other human attributes when making a limited comparison based on just a few traits. If Trueheart didn’t mean to make such a mistake, it surely detracts from his point. If he did, then his value judgment bleeds through his work and betrays his original, thinly veiled assertion of impartiality.

He criticizes the way the marketplace treats relationships too much like business. Presumably, he prefers them to be warm, fuzzy, special, unique experiences instead, completely and totally missing the point of metaphors and abstractions.

“In Capitalist Realism: Is there No Alternative? , Mark Fisher writes “Over the past thirty years, capitalist realism has successfully installed a ‘business ontology’ in which it is simply obvious that everything in society, including healthcare and education, should be run as a business.” Embedded in the red pill ideology is the belief that a man’s romantic and sexual relationships should also be run as businesses. The goal is to complete sexual market transactions while receiving a net gain in value without losing any material goods. In the sexual marketplace, this ‘business ontology’ is rampant.”


“This is in no way a value judgment of the notion that a man should cut ties with a woman that ultimately hurts him. Rather, it is an example of the mindset red pill men have in treating their sexual/romantic relationships as businesses.”

It seems that Trueheart has a hard time coping with the idea that players in the mating game have some unseen but very real advantages and disadvantages. If a man is unable to find a woman who will have him, should he not consider that there may be a reason why? If a woman is unable to find a suitor, is it magic or mystery?

Using a market metaphor is an easy, intuitive way to describe that both genders have preferences and deal breakers that elevate or lower each others’ perceived values. It is of no surprise that a fat, balding man will strike out more often than not if he approaches strangers at a bar. Should we ignore that these behaviors are easily described as a marketplace? That his obesity and lack of hair devalue him to the women he approaches?

No, in Trueheart’s mind, a marketplace metaphor instead gives you a secret insight into the evils of the male, red pill brain. No metaphor exists in a vacuum, it would seem. Men truly view women as business deals and dishes!

Trueheart’s misunderstanding of the marketplace metaphor bleeds over to his analysis of the apparent contradiction that men desire women who have spend minimal time in the marketplace while simultaneously want to spend extra time shopping themselves. Of course, in a market both parties are simply trying to get the best deal for themselves.

He theorizes that men who spend too much time sleeping around will eventually succumb to a perception bias that leads men to think all women are promiscuous, given that the ones they’ve previously slept with must have been. This perhaps stems from misunderstanding of the common red pill phrase “all women are like that” and a misapplication of how generalizations work.

He criticizes the idea that men “don’t need romantic relationships with women ever.” Though I don’t think I’ve seen this sentiment on TheRedPill, a forum which I moderate, I can see how he might draw that conclusion given his misapplication of the other metaphors we’ve outlined earlier in this review.

That said, even if this was a core tenet of TRP (it’s not), he fails to make an argument that demonstrates that men do need romantic relationships, instead he simply invokes the tautology that TRP lacks evidence that we don’t! A scathing critique of TRP this is not.

“nobody, red pill gurus included, can effectively spend their entire life navigating the sexual marketplace.”

I’m not sure how Trueheart misses the metaphor here, but I think it could be argued that you don’t leave the marketplace, though you can choose not to participate. Having a wife, or a LTR, or other is still participating. You don’t get to turn off the economy when you make a business deal. Your partners may keep an eye on the market even if you don't. Trueheart even suggests that healthier relationships are initiated outside of the marketplace. And I suppose in his mind that the best purchases are make outside the economy!

As an aside, one place that I agree with Trueheart is how groups such as TRP can be exploited to make money. And, boy, do some people make money off of this. I caution most guys to be wary of what they’re selling. Not that spending time and effort should not warrant some means of repayment. But some that we’ve seen (ehem 21 Convention) appear to hijack red pill nomenclature to separate saps from their cash.

But that is where my agreements with him end. Trueheart’s complete and utter misunderstanding of core concepts of TRP continue throughout the book unabated. He makes his disgust with the idea that men could be promiscuous while simultaneously valuing chastity in women clear as day on multiple occasions.

It appears he does not understand that these two values are not contradictory within TRP's framework. This does not work when his entire argument boils down to uncovering internal inconsistencies. Instead he argues that this contradiction is how TRP pulls the wool over men’s eyes- by giving them a set of rationales for carte blanche, again invoking some higher morality with no justification or rationale.

If one were to read the theory contained in TRP, it isn’t hard to understand that, at the very least, the contradiction is resolved by the fact that what’s good for one man is not good for all men. There is no pretense to say that red pill theory or the actions subsequently taken by its followers are good for all men. One man can both desire virgins, while simultaneously desire multiple virgins. This works well for him, but terribly for others hoping to do the same.

His criticism of this carnal desire is that it is NOT good for all men. Because it is hypocritical, men should simply dispose of these desires and feelings. Being told how you should feel has rarely worked in history. If Trueheart’s intention with this book is to convince red pill men that they have been lead astray, invalidating their desires and feelings is not a great start.

“How long can any human resist temptations tailored to peak their attraction?”

He misses again and again the purposes of generalizations and metaphors. There isn't a magic trick to peak all women’s attractions- that’s insanity. Red pill advice would be to increase your odds by increasing the things that are most attractive to the most women. This is a failure to understand the nature of the numbers game and generalizations.

Of course, somewhere out there is a woman who is extremely turned on by Immanuel Kant quotes. But that would not change the fact that you are more likely to run into women who prefer a strong, fit physique than you are to find women looking for chubby dudes who memorized old books. That does not mean your physique will win over all women, or that Kant quotes can’t win over some.

But life is a limited resource, so you hedge your bets.

“When red pill men lament the lack of women that they believe would make good wives and mothers, they blame the feminist ‘you go girl’ attitude toward promiscuity. Does a community of men who’ve dedicated themselves to understanding female psychology so that they can exploit it for sterile, promiscuous relationships bare any responsibility for the lack of good wives and mothers they perceive?”

It somewhat surprises me how tone deaf and circular this analysis truly is. Men found TRP because their marriages were failing, the institution of marriage was crumbling, and because women were promiscuous and didn’t want to settle down. So men react by gorging on the all-you-can-fuck buffet and now they’re at fault for not settling down?

Trueheart then poses a false choice for red pill men who enter into relationships- either be the good alpha and try to out-game her instincts, admit failure and not enter relationship at all, or he can keep one foot out the door which by some mechanism not described in Trueheart’s book, leads to ruining the relationship and validating the belief that no good women exist.

If Trueheart had spent even a fraction of this book building the foundation of his argument- that somewhere, and by some measure, good women and long lasting relationships do exist, perhaps he would have made a more convincing argument by trying to refute a core red pill theory- which is that women (and men) will only associate as long as benefit is found. People are inherently selfish and won’t likely stick around unless they find value.

No, Trueheart decides that red pill men cannot be happy because of their reflexive impotence: the system sucks for men, so they opt out of the system, which makes the system suck for men.

Crucially missing from Trueheart’s argument is his proof that red pill men are unhappy. In fact, he has not demonstrated in his book anywhere that there is a problem that requires solving. Except for an appeal to society and authority, his argument amounts to, “stop being so damn selfish!”

As Trueheart continues down the beaten path of old anti-red pill arguments of yesteryear, he touches on a number of poorly fleshed out, superficial critiques in his chapter called “Ressentiment and Risk Avoidance:”

  • Finding promiscuous women everywhere is self-imposed because they were looking for promiscuous women, thus confirmation bias.

    Another misunderstanding of “all women are like that” which is a generalization to suggest that people (women) will act in her own self interest and it won’t be in your favor if you are not currently offering a value proposition. (i.e. branch swinging, cheating, leaving you). It does not presuppose that offering value can’t assuage this, nor does it suggest that all female selfish behavior amounts to cheating or promiscuity.

  • Red pill men cannot find a woman worthy of a long term relationship if they have sex with them because it means they’re promiscuous. Red Pill men cannot find a long term relationship with a woman who does not have sex with them. Therefore contradiction.

    The phrase I have often heard to rebut such a simplistic argument is this: Men like sluts, they just want you to be their slut not somebody else’s.

  • Once again, men criticize women for promiscuity while engaging in promiscuity themselves.

    Interestingly, Trueheart fails to even grapple at the basics of what TRP considers foundations of the sexual marketplace. This prevents him from formulating an adequate critique of it. In red pill theory, (and quite demonstrable in real life if you pay attention), it is men who desire chaste women. Women, on the other hand, quite clearly have a preference for studs. It is such a known trope, that it’s a regularly brought up double standard that far preceeds the red pill or even the internet: Women with a lot of partners are sluts, men with a lot of partners are studs.

    We could get into the evo psych of why that may be so (cost of gestation vs cost of sprm) but needless to say, it permeates almost all cultures globally. There’s a reason why Islamic suicide bombers are promised virgins in heaven. There’s a reason why porn tends to focus on younger women. There’s a reason why romance novels concentrate on powerful, older men.

    Trueheart just keeps beating the same drum over and over.

“For red pill men, women (potentially through male proxies, at least in part) have conquered enough of American society to ensure that it benefits women at the expense of men. Women determine what is moral or immoral. This is why feminist proclamations of right and wrong are so often contradictory; the feminist moral code only needs to make sense to the feminists; such is the way of master morality. As a consequence of their ressentiment, red pill men take an imaginary revenge on women and the organizations determining societal values by considering themselves more righteous and piously committing to the red pill ideology”

Once again, Trueheart distills the argument to one imaginary, but poorly crafted, jab at men. Surely, setting goals, accomplishing goals, and succeeding for oneself instead of for others is not a revenge fantasy.

“Seducing women and living a promiscuous life are also ways red pill men take an imaginary revenge on their conquerors. The very act of seduction makes a man feel that he has power over the woman he seduces. If he gives her an amazing night of sex, he will feel that he has even more power over her.”

If Trueheart could illustrate by what mechanism this makes sense, perhaps an argument could be made. But for now, I think it’s simple enough to just say this- men are wired to desire sex. Sometimes a thing is just a thing. Sure, this could be a projection from Trueheart’s psyche, but for the most part, men that I know are having sex for one reason: They love women and they’re horny.

Moving along, Trueheart addresses another of TRP's supposed tenets, a malformed system of risk avoidance that serves only to punish those wielding the tools.

The red pill assertions are as follows (from his perspective):

Family courts, the state, welfare programs and taxes unfairly punish men and benefit women, therefore:

“women have incentives to cheat on their husbands, live a hedonistic lifestyle, file false accounts on official documents if so compelled, be disloyal, and pursue a hypergamous sexual strategy without fear of consequences”

This is a pretty good depiction of the sort of risk avoidance TRP talks about, but it misses a big step- it’s not that all women will be disloyal, it’s that the system itself is setup to provide the incentives for it to happen. This might seem like a pointless distinction, and one that Trueheart somewhat made in the excerpt above. But I don’t think it really drives home the purpose of risk avoidance- your goal isn’t to avoid women because there are risks, the goal is to stack your side of the equation as best you can to level the playing field.

That doesn’t mean avoid women. It means avoid state-run institutions such as marriage that hand the loaded gun to your wife. Though he poses these theories as risk avoidance instead of risk mitigation, it’s an exercise once again in semantics through a willful misunderstanding of core red pill beliefs.

I think Trueheart himself would be surprised to hear how many of us have already started families and have been formulating coherent risk “mitigation” strategies to prevent the dangers of problems like no-fault divorce, threatpoint, etc.

This is something Trueheart and I are not in disagreement on. But he presents it as a critique of TRP. If the head moderator of TRP is saying this, perhaps he hasn't spent enough time delving into the topic he critiques.

There are far too many misunderstandings here to address them all, but I will pick out just a few more notable ones to demonstrate how Trueheart almost hits the target but misses it every time:

  • Women cheat on men more than men cheat on women

    Red pill theory on hypergamy isn’t that they cheat more than men, but that when they cheat it’s because they are no longer interested in their previous guy. (Branch swinging).

  • AWALT, All Women Are Like That. For example, if you think you have met a woman who won’t be disloyal, red pill wisdom states that AWALT

    AWALT means that all women have the propensity to act in selfish ways that best benefit them, and that instead of putting women on a pedestal and pretending that they are the only creatures on earth that don’t act out of self interest, it should be remembered that they, too, will respond to value like anybody else.

TRP’s spiritual problem.

Like every other topic covered in this book, Trueheart again touches on the most superficial interpretation of a red pill problem and then knocks over the chess board declaring himself the victor.

He single handedly fixes the “divorce rape” problem by reminding risk adverse men that women make sacrifices to be in a marriage and might deserve alimony for their troubles.

Of course, this ignores the intricacies of no-fault divorce which was the single biggest factor that changed the marriage landscape today (and it happened well before TRP was incepted). The issue was that women now had incentives to blow up a marriage for any reason. Even if a man did everything right and WANTED the relationship to succeed, no-fault divorce and alimony handed a live grenade to every woman in the USA.

I’m not sure if Trueheart is being genuine in regard to this issue, as he painted it with such a light brush it almost seems as though he is trying to misrepresent the argument, but surely, nobody could argue that after no fault divorce was put into place, divorce rates skyrocketed.

And, as with all generalizations, not all marriages failed. But enough did that it was starting to look like a bad investment. In the words of Aziz Ansari:

“I’ll bet you half my stuff you’ll love me forever!”

Again, he fails to connect to his audience to convince us that he’s right.

He misrepresents the entire ideology he pretends to debunk, he relies heavily on appealing to absolute moral authorities to make his arguments. But he doesn’t establish why his moral authority is the one we should listen to. He operates under the assumption that his is right and universal, and we should just get back on the plantation and do it his way.

Finally, he addressed Hypergamy and Rollo's work. Hypergamy, he suggests, is a far more complicated matter than what authors such as Rollo Tomassi suggest, and that because of its complexity, it must simply be unknowable:

"If a woman cheats on her boyfriend and dumps him for a “superior” man, how will that affect her relationship with their mutual friends? If the purpose of the evolutionary mechanism that spurs hypergamy is to produce superior offspring, it stands to reason that women would exhibit more hypergamous behavior when they’re not on birth control. How often is that experienced? Women on birth control absolutely perceive that cannot get pregnant. This should, according solely to theory, eliminate hypergamous behaviors in all women on birth control. Would this hypothesis hold up to testing? Does it hold up to red pill wisdom? How does a woman know if she is getting a biologically superior man? What does she perceive about him that makes her risk losing her current boyfriend/husband? Assuming she mates with this biologically superior man and is impregnated by him, how has she secured a commitment of resources from him? Would child support payments from this man be preferable to full financial support from a man of inferior DNA."


“There are simply too many factors, many of which are impossible to falsify as hypotheses, to use hypergamy as a reliable explanation or predictor of female behavior.”

This would be an okay critique if he were offering a knowable alternative that describes behaviors better. But he does not. As it stands, it’s as good as the blue pill platitude that “everybody’s different, everybody’s an individual.” It’s a nice sentiment, but completely useless for navigating the world.

I don't think anybody would rule out that specific situations are always more nuanced than the over-arching generalizations describing them. But you can't disprove a generalization by simply pointing out factors that can lead to exceptions. This does not do much to convince me there is a better generalization for female selective strategies. A missed opportunity.

Trueheart does a masterful job of misunderstanding the relationship between evo psych and rational, conscious decision making. He derides suggestions of evolutionary instincts by showing how conscious decision overrides it, thus declaring it false. This does not suggest or even address why things like sexual dimorphism came to be if sexual selection had not had a part to play in the decision making process of humans as they evolved.

It’s clear that Trueheart has some ideas here and cares a great deal about dismantling The Red Pill as a useful ideology. But at the end of the day he does not identify the core tenets of the ideology well enough to argue against them, does not offer any alternatives, and makes a constant appeal to an absolute moral authority and framework that he did nothing to establish and has no place being in a book about systems of control, most of which rely heavily on morality systems.

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