I Had to Write This

Neil Strauss is the worst. I’m not name-calling, bickering, or launching some underhanded smear campaign.  Strauss is the worst because he’s the lowest form of human—he’s a betrayer of trust. In Dante’s Inferno, traitors occupy the lowest ring of hell. And such would seem an appropriate place for someone who has betrayed so many well-intentioned men.

Now let me address the fan-boys, whiners, and critics right off the bat. This essay isn’t about smashing on “negs” or calling out his homoerotic fashion sense. While that stuff is entertaining as unintentional comedy, this essay is serious. Because it addresses a serious issue: it’s a critique of someone who has fucked you over.

Moreover, for all you self-proclaimed business experts who are going to say this “doesn’t help my business” or accuse me of “secretly trying to marketing myself,” please take your opinion and shove it up your ass. All I have to say to you is:

1.)   Everything I write should be considered “marketing” since I sell information products. It’s not a big secret: every time you read an anything from me—whether I’m writing about how to improve your appearance or slamming on Neil Strauss—it’s marketing. (For further clarification, please listen to Tool’s “Hooker with a Penis”)

2.)   According to my ethics, it would be wrong of me NOT to write this essay. Just as my personal philosophy of meeting women dictates it would be rude of me not to approach attractive women, I categorically apply that same “action-based” approach to every aspect of my life. It’d be rude if I didn’t publically smash Neil Strauss,

At first, Neil Strauss simply annoyed me. I spent a fruitless year trying things I read in “The Game” only to look and feel like an idiot. Aside from a few flaky phone numbers and getting a couple girls giggling, my tangible success with women really didn’t increase much.

Regardless of whether he feels bad about it or not, his bullshit is finally catching up to him.

I didn’t understand women better.

I didn’t feel more confident.

I didn’t appreciate women more or understand how to relate to them.

I didn’t even feel good about myself.

The only thing I really learned was how to make myself sound cool to other men on the Internet. (Which, I later realized, is the pinnacle of Neil Strauss’ “game.” But I digress…)

Because, like I said, the time I wasted and the embarrassment I endured only annoyed me. Plenty of people have given me bad advice in the past, and I’m not writing public essays about how I hate them.

With Strauss though, my hatred began to simmer as I became more involved in instructing. It’s easy to forget the human emotion that drives guys to seek out dating advice when you just give the industry a cursory glance. If you’re only looking at this industry from the vantage point of a web browser, it’s easy to overlook the pain, despair, and loneliness boiling beneath it.

But every guy who studies this stuff has his story. All of those stories begin with pain.

The more involved I got with instructing, the more stories I heard. Like so many things in life, once I heard those stories, I couldn’t unhear them. I couldn’t just look at the dating advice community from the detached vantage point of my Internet browser.

No.

The stories stuck with me. The stories resonated with me. And, ultimately, the stories motivated me. Regardless whether you think I’m an asshole, believe what I teach is “wrong,” or just enjoy hating me, what you can’t say is that I don’t put my blood, sweat, and tears into my products. I slave over every minute detail of everything I sell.

Some People Actually Give A Damn

I say that, however, without an ounce of pride. I don’t invest so much of myself because I’m some incredible workaholic or a noble perfectionist. I’m not. But I do have a conscious. And, since I can’t unhear the stories I’ve heard, I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I felt I wasn’t delivering my absolute best every time I accept money for my advice.

To me, that money represents time. It represents the time it took to earn it, and the time it will take to consume and apply the product. In essence, the people who buy my products trust me with a chunk of their life.

That’s sacrosanct.

Bash on capitalism all you want, but the bond forged between a buyer and seller is a sacred bond of trust. In my case, the buyer puts his trust in me to deliver a product that’s effective, well produced, and fairly priced.

That’s sacrosanct.

The buyer invests his time so that he can alleviate his pain, despair, and loneliness. I truly believe that every guy who makes that investment deserves success, deserves happiness, and certainly doesn’t deserve to be scammed.

A Fraud and Scammer

But Neil Strauss doesn’t see it that way. And I can prove he doesn’t with two words:

Annihilation Method.

For those who don’t know what I’m taking about, the Annihilation Method is the elephant in the room that no one ever mentions. Essentially, it was a $4,000 DVD home study course of poorly produced and rehashed talking-head videos and some abysmal infield footage (not of Neil, of course…but of him “critiquing” his students).

The product was notoriously awful—yet commanded the highest price point of any DVD product in this niche. It was an abomination. And it was indisputable proof that Neil Strauss betrayed your trust. He knows your story, yet he decided to shovel you shit anyway while taking a significant chunk of your life ($4,000!).

Perhaps that product has grated on Neil’s conscious. Maybe that’s why he never mentions it, nor does he still sell it. Regardless of whether he feels bad about it or not, his bullshit is finally catching up to him. He betrayed men across the world with nonsense and an “infallible guru” persona, and now the consequences of those lies are coming back to haunt him. People who aren’t his ass-sniffing sycophants are openly calling him out for the fraud and the traitor that he is.

And we’re just getting warmed up.

Oh, and it’s not just Neil. Every shitty instructor who wants to make a quick buck is on notice. Things are falling apart. People are starting to see through the bullshit.

There are plenty more guys like me. Plenty more normal guys who don’t give a fuck about being seen as a “guru.”

We’re too normal. And that normalness prevents us from standing around silent while traitors like Strauss profit off your pain.  It prevents us from putting out shitty products for $4,000.

No.

Our normalness is why we understand you. Our normalness is why we hear your stories and can’t unhear them. We can’t unhear your stories because the pain that inspired them is the same pain we felt when we started studying dating advice.

And to sell you anything less than our best would wear too much on our conscious.

It’d be betrayal.

It’d make us a traitor—like Neil Strauss.

  1. Brilliant, Rob.

    I feel the same way about dudes who teach this stuff with an obvious blind spot to how much they SUCK.

    Just go out with them for one night and it’s painfully obvious.

    Whether they’re doing it intentionally or not, I dunno. But it really pisses me off that some would take people’s money and give them something so subpar in return it’s laughable if it wasn’t so fucking sad.

    Like you said these are just normal dudes who want to better themselves. Guys who ACTUALLY took the time and effort to seek out advice and make a change, something that’s already VERY HUMBLING AND DIFFICULT. Then they place their trust in some faggot who doesn’t know the first fucking thing about this shit. In an industry that’s already weird as hell.

    Like I said before, if I ever develop some guru syndrome bullshit, someone please fucking kill me. That shit disgusts me to no end.

  2. Well said bro. I wish you and Zach came on to the seen years ago. I wanna say your teaching are the best out there, but maybe not the best yet because someone else can come to the seen and maybe present the material better, etc,dunno. But Anyway if i wanted to take at BC or phone consultation, I’d want it to be with you guys, why? cuz i “trust” you. Cool,fun, normal guys that I’d like to hang out with one day and “Thats the Truth” lol (no Homo) Haha well catcha later bro, keep writing awesome articles. Peace!

  3. Ross Jeffries taught me how to frame, and now i have a perfected framed picture of Mystery in my bed room.

  4. Actually Rob, if you account for inflation, that DVD set in today’s dollars is significantly higher than $4,000.

    Never mind the fact that that 4k back in the day could have been invested in other coaches, products, events and services.

  5. Thanks man, I fell into the same trap– struggling doing lame openers for a year after reading the game. I don’t think Neil has been all bad for you or the industry though. Think of the millions (an estimate) of people that found out about pickup through the book.

  6. Lol, nice. I knew a guy in Seattle who tried Style’s stuff for a long time. He got really depressed and drowned himself. Thanks Style. Shit’s fo real yo.

  7. I don’t really mind if people like or don’t like Neil Strauss.

    So he sold a product for $4000? Bootcamps from a whole range of companies cost between $1500 – 3000+ so a PUA product around $4000 is not uncommon.

    Again, who really cares, but if you + Sinn want to argue a case, then present the real evidence rather than a tirade or report him to the authorities.

  8. “Bash on capitalism all you want, but the bond forged between a buyer and seller is a sacred bond of trust.”

    Selling something so that you can make a living off of it is not a hallmark of capitalism. Read Anarchsim by David Guerin, or watch this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pW7nnLNANtQ&feature=related.

    You become a capitalist when you make a profit off of other people’s labor, and property you don’t live on, especially when you don’t contribute anything even on a managerial or strategic level. Think of Paris Hilton, or people who own stock options and expect to see dividends. That’s taking the profits from OTHER people’s labor.

    You owning and making money off of your own ebooks that you sell could just as easily be part of a anarchist or socialist society, like Sweden or the Iroquois Confederacy.

  9. DUDE!

    Can somebody call up the NBA and NFL and tell them that Rob “The Judgeman” Judge has just scored a slam dunk touchdown! (yes impossible as 2 diff sports but you just SPANKED Neil).

    Can’t wait to hear who else you call out dude.

    You know I credit you for the inspiration but it’s high time I started pushing this sorta mentality in my industry… The fuckers in my arena need to be shown how to really do biz, though I might use a pen name, don’t wanna burn bridges just yet.

    Catch you soon bro.

    Adil

    P.S. can’t wait for Advanced Dating Strategies to be out

  10. ‘The Game’ has two things going for it.

    1.) It markets well : any drunk asshole in a bar can remember the title.

    2.) It’s an essay; explaining to any 25 year old virgin that they can
    become a man with training.

    Why shoot the messenger.

  11. Hey Rob and what makes you different from Neil Strauss?

    You wrote that RSD Blueprint (the worst product ever) is great and that you look up to Jeffy (douche who only fucks fatties). So you have no credibility either.

    You are just like all the other gurus who are shit with women yet think they are qualified to give shit advice on the internet and sell products

  12. I don’t have an opinion on Neill Strauss but this article said pretty much nothing of substance. You made yourself look more foolish than him, you may want to reconsider this and perhaps rewrite if you actually had anything to say….

    Only giving my objective viewpoint in case it helps.

  13. vampiricaura says:

    Man this is funny. It sounds like pepsi vs coca-cola all over again.

    @David: I like your comment on Rob’s “Taking the PUA Out of Picking Up Chicks”. Couldn’t say it better myself.

    @Rob Judge: I don’t really care about Neil Strauss and what others think about him. And I admire that you respect others’ time and money.
    But with all due respect, there’s too much negativity in your articles. So you blame Neil Strauss because you didn’t get results you wanted from a fruitless year of reading his book? (perhaps because you thought it as one-stop reading) Lol, and you talk about victimized mentality. Yes, everything you write should be considered “marketing”. But you could have used positive, definite language and talk about the performance or the behavior, not the person.

    One of the things I learned about becoming an “alpha” is assertiveness (win-win-situation). But I guess you don’t have to be alpha to become a dating coach, you just need to be good with women 😉

  14. Hey guys did you know my show is coming back July 2011 & it’s going to suck alot of dick!? Would love to get you on the show, in return I’ll suck your guyz’ dick or if you would like to buy penis pills and argue about it on my show I would be more than happy to have you guys on. Just make sure you use coupon code JTR when you email me.

    -JTR

  15. Ballsack McNasty says:

    Sounds like you just suck with the ladies, bro. Think Neil’s products suck? Don’t buy them. You live and learn man, and while I am not a huge fan of Neil or Mystery as far as “pick-up” in concerned, I do know that the shit works and if you suck at it, you suck at it. It’s a simple concept. It’s not for every guy, especially those that can’t break past the approach anxiety or are extremely introverted.

    Cry some more, man! The other guys that suck with the ladies are here to cry with you.

  16. Joey Saviour says:

    Wow.

    Let’s make this simple….

    1) Neil Strauss, as an author, wrote a book entitled ‘The Game’ about the world of pick up.

    2) Millions of people read that book. Some didn’t like it. Some did like it. Some tried to incorporate the information in the book to improve their life, but it didn’t work. Some tried to incorporate the information in the book to improve their life and it literally changed their lives for ever.

    3) Suddenly thousands and thousands of people contact Neil wanting him to help them change their lives in the way the book depicts his transformation.

    4) Neil decides to write another book ‘Rules of The Game’, which clearly and simply breaks down exactly the methods that he used to reach his transformation.

    5) Neil continues to be contacted by people wanting more and more information and knowledge regarding success in the world of pick-up

    6) Now understandably an incredibly busy man, juggling his career as a writer with this epic influx of extra attention, Neil makes a number of products available as extensions to his writings.

    7) Some people choose to buy these products, some choose not to buy the products.

    8) A fuck load of people start laying into Neil Strauss because he wrote a book about pick up that got published, the book was successful, he got attention because of the successful book, he wrote a 2nd book about pick-up that was successful, he got more attention because of the 2nd book that was successful….. And if that wasn’t bad enough, he then made products available that people were asking for, and chose to purchase for thousands of dollars.

    9) Just a thought, but maybe the above mentioned people should re-focus their energies into themselves rather than hating on someone else’s success.

  17. “Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man.”

  18. @Joey: critical thinking much?

    I read an awful number of statements in your post (“Neil sold a huge amount of books” “A humongous amount of people keep coming back to him” “He decides to break down the game even further by popular demand”). Yet it’s unclear what these are based upon. You surely must know very well that Strauss is a successful (ghost-)writer, so if anyone would know how to bring baseless statements into this world, he’d be it. (And why would a writer of his caliber know this? Obviously because he’s also got access to some very good marketeers.)

    For 4,000 bucks you’d expect a lot of value. He’s not delivering it. So who’s going to call him out for that? This here blog post maybe? What’s your better plan?

    Hating someone else’s success is perfectly valid, when that success is achieved over the backs of others. I can direct you towards some ‘guru’s’ who charge way less than the ridiculous prices of all those BS ‘pick up guru’s’, yet deliver much more. This world needs to be cleansed of leeches like this guy.

  19. Joey Saviour says:

    @JCZ Are you against the idea of critical thinking? Are you against the correct implementation of quotation marks?

    It’s also fairly naive to assume that retail price is necessarily a direct representation of value.

    Anyway, excuse me, I’m off to call Gucci out on selling a pair of Jeans for $3000.

  20. I was one of, I think, only 3 people in the world who ordered the Annihilation Method and then sent it back and asked for a refund. They were very decent about it and sent the money back and I don’t think Style’s a bad guy. Also in response to criticism of it costing a lot he then launched the Stylelife Challange thing which had a bunch of material and was completely free.

    That said I don’t think the techniques in The Game were so good and things have moved on but I think Style did the best he could. The Annihilation Method was much the same as The Game in it’s content.

  21. I came acros Neil Strauss this morning because I get this inspirational quote alert. His quote made no sense to me and seemed infantile in its thinking so I Googled him. Strauss has all the hallmarks of the man-boy losers of his generation. One of his books is a self-described struggle on how to be in a relationship after being a PUA…. as if his foray into misogyny damaged him and made him unable to have a healthy relationship with Ingrid de la O (whatever her name is supposed to mean). Rob Judge is right about two things: the buyer-seller relationship is sacrosanct. No buyer, no food. No food, no life. No life, no never-ending stream of Internet comments on losers like Neil Strauss. The other is that Strauss is an intellectually dishonest manipulator who has sold younger men the father figure he himself is seeking…. which is the same thing any cult leader does. Strauss and the men of his generation like him install themselves in popular culture without a hint of actual authority on the subjects they speak and write about. His only credible career thread is as a reviewer of music and a small, insignificant stint into film. Yet somehow his book on the “seduction community” becomes an NYT best seller? That is a statement about the absolute naivety, shortsightedness, and immaturity of Strauss’ man-boy generation. They aren’t getting laid because they have nothing to offer women. Strauss, being a weasel-faced scummy opportunist, instead of offering them real help, sells them self-depreciating stories and some odd quirky $4000 dvd where he proclaims himself the Pope of seducing women. My question to all the men who bought this book is: Seriously?

    You’re fired from masculinity.

    Rob Judge is doing a public service bashing this waify, head-shorn, too tight pants, hipster-spectacle wearing man-child.

    Strauss reminds me of a Mark Maron who takes himself too seriously. Maron’s netflix show centered on how wishy-washy and self absorbed girly-men LOSE in the end. He was all alone on the park bench and the former lesbian he impregnated BARELY could tolerate speaking to him. It’s unclear whether Maron will “win” and be the successful father figure he never had either, thus healing all his old wounds.

    Maron is a whiny sourpuss but at least he’s honest. You can stomach him without wanting to jihad his house.

    Strauss on the other hand? The planet would benefit if he were locked in a box and placed 100 feet beneath the surface of the Earth.

    Maron doesn’t want ANYONE to emulate him. He knows he’s a flawed human being.

    Strauss? He thinks he walks on water which is where the price point comes from. He’s vain, narcissistic, and clueless. As our 45th President has shown beyond a shred of a doubt….. those are DANGEROUS qualities in a man.

    Strauss, Strauss, Strauss…. daddy is not impressed I’m sure… even after all you’ve put yourself through.

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