However organic and benign a group might appear to begin with, it seems most, when co-opting a large number of members, end up in roughly the same manner.

The Red Pill, based on the Men’s Rights Movement, appeared (at least from the outside) to counter toxic feminism, which has been an intensely discussed topic over the last few years (many times, deservedly). At first it seemed to base its line of thought on the fact that men are not what modern feminists claim (dangerous, led by instincts only, angry, prone to raping, abusive, manipulative, sociopathic, set on dominating women etc). And of course, any sensible individual can agree this is not what half of the human species stands out through, and that extremes should never be used for generalisations.

However, things quickly escalated.

This Reddit page details the effects of belonging to such a group on men who initially thought they were joining the “cool and strong crowd”, becoming empowered by its attitude.

To start with, the group attracts men in a vulnerable state of mind, freshly out of a failed relationship or marriage, or frustrated over not managing to secure a female partner. These guys already carry a substantial amount of anger and use the group for venting (much like disappointed women end up on forums about narcissists and psychopaths).

From there on they are led to believe women are naturally infantile, that “no” should not be taken as a “no”, and later on, that women actually get something out of being raped, on a subconscious level.

After enough brainwashing, some guys have ended up divorcing or abandoning their male friends who apparently shared the views of “beta cucks”.

You only need a short dialogue with a proponent of this line of thought to understand the venom; anger oozes out of their words; they are no different than Antifa or other leftist extremists, but merely at the other end of the spectrum. Politically, since they hate the left and afferent “beta” culture, they tend to be right wing or libertarian; many are angry enough to embrace the far right.

Akin to any group based on an iron-cast ideology, diverging an inch results in ostracism. After taking the bait of “enlightening” (red-pilling) themselves and experiencing a sense of empowerment, men who don’t want to go far enough are shamed with accusations of being covert betas, and are thus made to think they are the abnormality, and not the limiting, extremist group they are part of. Which is classic cult manipulation. “You’re with us or against us.”

And labels come to be taken very seriously when coming from people the holders have placed a lot of trust in. Even if the rest of society would discount them and would not regard these men as weaklings. Some sort of attachment keeps them going back to the group for feedback. A dynamic many of us have experienced with one group or another.

As this article in the New Statesman details, abandoning this guarded approach to women is equated with imminent failure.

By following the subreddit’s advice, its subscribers are promised a life of successful sexual encounters. If they ignore the Red Pill, they will undoubtedly be rejected, cheated on, and dumped.

In the same article, a former member describes a well-known dynamic.

“I believed everything, everything. And if you didn’t believe everything… if you go on Red Pill Reddit and you disagree with someone they either delete your comments or they try to make fun of you and shame you. You can’t criticise anything because people will quickly try to diminish you. So I really believed every little thing.”

Needless to reiterate, as the article’s author remarks, everyone has a story and these men should not be taken as a monolith. Their movement is fluid; people come and go on a frequent basis, and whilst what they say might be identical at one point in time, they, as human beings, are not identical.

It’s the philosophy that is toxic, akin to any that is fuelled by bitterness.