Online 'Pied Piper' Urges Followers to Ditch Families

Philosopher preaches that the parent-child relationship is artificial
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 13, 2008 8:38 AM CST
Stefan Molyneux preaches that parent-child relationships are artificial and abusive.   (stefbot)
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(Newser) – A libertarian web philosopher who counsels converts to cut off contact with their families is being accused of operating a cult, the Toronto Globe & Mail reports. Stefan Molyneux preaches through his Freedomain Radio site that the parent-child relationship is inherently abusive and encourages troubled young people to break away. Aggrieved parents from Britain to Tennessee report getting form letters from their children severing contact. Molyneux says he knows of at least 20 who have done so.

Critics, including former Freedomain members, say Molyneux's Toronto-based operation has all the hallmarks of a cult and accuse him of exploiting vulnerable people. The philosopher likens his interference to helping out strangers who have fallen in the street. Molyneux makes a living from followers' subscriptions to his podcasts, but he plans to reduce the amount of time he spends online, he tells the Globe & Mail—his wife is expecting their first child.