A Hacker's Guide to Women
What if I told you there was a secret formula that could get you any woman you want? What if I told you all the things you’re scared of — dating, flirting, courtship and the club scene — what if I told you those were all just games? Games you can learn, the same way you learn programming, mathematics, guitar and chess?
The magic is real, and it’s sweeping through the Internet like wildfire, turning geek boys into pick up artists like a virus that rewrites DNA.
It’s called The Mystery Method, and it’s the latest evolution of the “How to Pick Up Girls” books that have been around since the ’50s. The Pick Up Artist subculture has been a driving force on the Internet since its inception, when the Usenet group alt.seduction.fast launched the careers and fattened the wallets of men like Ross Jeffries.
Jeffries built his “technology” on the idea of NLP — short for Neuro-Linguistic Programming — a kind of mental judo that teaches you to match your speech pattern to fit the expectations of the listener and use low-grade hypnosis to manipulate their emotions.
The most popular proponent of NLP is a man named Tony Robbins — a name that will be familiar to anyone who has ever worked a night shift or gone through an extended period of unemployment. Tony’s infomercials dominate late-night TV, supposedly giving viewers the tools they need to change their lives and conquer the world.
Does it work? It works the way any self-improvement program works. You get what you give, so people who devote themselves to setting goals, making plans and deliberately getting their lives under control will see results, no matter what program they pick.
By the same token, pick up programs help turn boys into men by forcing them to confront their fear. They confront their fear of women, and more generally they confront their fear of people. Mystery conquered his fear the hard way, by approaching hundreds of women and learning from each rejection.
This gives Mystery a tremendous amount of credibility with the geek set. He didn’t start with good looks and natural talent — he paid his dues and put himself on the front line. And if he struts around like a rock star now, it’s because he studied rock stars — cataloged them and studied their behavior the way anthropologists study chimps.
“The Mystery Method” is not a sex book. It reads like a psychology text, complete with charts, diagrams and jargon that would be impenetrable to the average reader. PUA culture is a world unto itself, a secret society that turns women into “targets” and makes men part of a surrogate family.
PUA culture feeds off geeks who fear women and turns their fear into hate, building their confidence by tearing down the women they’re afraid of. Some guys can handle it, confronting their delusions without crossing the line into misogyny, but for every boy who uses the program to grow up and see women as people, there are two who take it too far.
The culture fosters this by stripping social interactions down to series of chess moves. PUA culture destroys respect for women by stripping away their individuality and describing their actions as a kind of war — move and countermove, attack and defense — with each action described by its own demeaning buzz word or acronym.
An established boyfriend is referred to as a “boring friend.” A smile or a casual touch is called an IOI, short for “Indicator of Interest.”
Students are taught to systematically lower the self-esteem of their targets by using “negs” — tiny insults designed to put beautiful women in their place. Beautiful girls are used to being hit on, used to being the center of attention, so by insulting them, by avoiding eye contact and lavishing attention on their friends, the Pick Up Artist makes the prettiest girls work to win his approval.
Does it work? The evidence demands a qualified yes. It’s not easy, and it’s not cheap, but men who are brave enough to enter the club scene and develop techniques in the real world can change their personalities and learn to play the game.
Entertainment journalist Neil Strauss entered the PUA community as a spectator and wrote the definitive work on the subject. Strauss’s book, “The Game” is a brutal and heartbreaking look at a community that turns women into objects and turns geeks into gods.
Mystery is described as the bright, broken peacock of the PUA scene, alternating between triumph and tragedy. Success drowns him in sex and money, while geek excess and mental illness threaten to take him out. VH1 made Mystery the subject of a reality show, now rolling into its second season.
The show reveals flaws in the method and bogs down in reality show cliches, but there was one big surprise. Maybe I’m falling for an affectation here, but I think Mystery really cares about the men he takes under his wing. He really is in this to help people, and he thinks his method is doing men some good.
This is the impulse that seduced Neil Strauss — the journalist who went in to cover the community and emerged as a convert. The PUA guys describe their method in terms of science but emotionally, it’s a cult — a powerful cult that taps into the primal urges of young men and replaces their instincts with a set of instructions.
The technology looks silly when you see it on TV, but half of anything is showing up, and every dog has his day. Psychology and techniques aside, the PUA culture drags geeks into clubs and turns boys into men. It teaches them how to act and how to dress. And once the superficials are under control, the rest is just trial and error.
The dangerous part comes after, after boys get their first taste of success. They conquer their fear by turning women into objects, by resenting their power and using contempt to take it away. The technology teaches them how to get women and destroys their ability to keep them.
They learn to use the women they used to worship and the end result is no mystery at all.