Friday, January 6, 2012

Proud Member of the Paleo Conspiracy Cult

Interesting debate thread over at PMAFT's discussing Alek Novy's activities on teh interwebz. (Hat tip to Chuck at GLP for bringing it to my attention.)

Novy once wrote a very good post about why he links to blogs that other people may find objectionable.

I agreed with his premise, and like I do with any blogger who writes something I find interesting and/or compelling, I added him to my blogroll.

In 5 years of blogging, he remains the sole person I've ever bothered to remove from my blogroll.

His hysterical, over-the-top, ALL CAPS rantings against "gamers" and "paleo diet cult members" annoyed me to the point that I actually got off my ass and actually bothered to log in to my blogger control panel and delete him.

When it comes to "game" I really no longer give a shit about the entire "game" vs. "anti-game" arguments.

I have always supported, linked to, and regularly read MRA/MGTOW bloggers like Fidelbogen and Paul Elam, even if I disagree with their stated positions on game. Game is a personal, individual thing. A tool. Use it or not, YMMV.

If you read about the concept of game, and ruminate on it and reflect on your personal either get it, or you don't.

Some folks are simply incapable of wrapping their mind about what Game theory actually represents. Because anyone who has an ounce of logic and critical thinking skills, can find the basic fundamentals of game theory for free on teh interwebz, and figure out how it applies to their own lives, their own history and experiences.

That's what I did. Hell, I did not pay a single dime to anyone for a damn thing related to game. The only game books I've ever read where Roosh's books...and I got those for free from some generous IP pirate that emailed me .pdf versions of Bang and Dead Bat in Paraquay. (Sorry Roosh...I'll at least say they were both good books and advise others that it would be worth their time and money to buy them!)

Other than that, everything I learned about this thing called "game" was from blogs and forums I found on the internet for free...before I ever heard of Roissy and his now infamous blog. (That's not to detract from Roissy at all...but Novy and his crew seem to think anyone that enjoys Roissy's blog is a cult member mindlessly worshiping him and incapable of thinking for themselves).

Gee, what a scam and conspiracy theory, eh? Reading some advice for free on teh interwebz, experimenting with it on my own to see if it works or not, than sharing my own results with others (for free) and comparing notes with others who tried the same sort of experiments.

My, how cultish, diabolical and conspiratorial.

But when it comes to Novy's unhinged diatribes against PUA community "gurus" and "masters," I actually agree with about half of his criticisms. There most certainly does exist a subset of slick marketers, fraudsters and charlatans out to make a quick buck off of sexually frustrated men who are simply clueless about how to attract and seduce women. You don't need seminars, DVD sets, books, or e-newsletter subscriptions from so-called gurus. Just some self-awareness and critical thinking skills to digest and comprehend what so many other folks are discussing - for free - on blogs and forums throughout the manosphere.

But Novy's anti-game jihad is not why I'm writing this post. He really goes off the rails when he shoots off about the paleo diet being a "cult" and just another "fad diet."

Here's what Novy wrote about the "Paleo cult" -

“You end up eating less calories while believing calories don’t matter, and lose weight, and then attribute it to a conspiracy theory that tricked you into eating less.”

I responded over at PMAFT's:

How about I eat 3000 calories of meat, egg, cheese and veggies sauteed in butter every day for a month.

You eat 2500 calories of twinkies, cookies, crackers, cake, soda, ice cream and candy every day for a month.

We can both follow the exact same exercise regimen, with you eating 500 calories less than I.

What does logic and scientific inquiry lead you to understand what would happen where we to conduct such an experiment?

No response yet.

The more I think about it, the more I've come to revile this simplistic, idiotic notion that the be-all-end-all consideration when it comes to diet, is based on counting calories, and burning more calories via exercise than you eat.

See, the Paleo "cult" is not concerned with WEIGHT LOSS as it's ultimate goal. This is why it is not a "fad diet." The primary concern is eating real food that is nutrient dense. Nutrient dense foods allow the body to function the way it was designed/evolved to. Weight loss is just one aspect of the health results one gets when they remove modern, processed junk food from their diet.

When I "joined the cult" back in 2007, I was overweight and approaching the obesity point (despite a regular regimen of weight lifting, martial arts and other physical recreational activities like surfing, diving, hiking and hunting). I was certainly starting to transform into a "Hawaiian blob." I was trying for years to eat healthy according to the conventional wisdom - low-fat/whole grain/lots of fruits and vegetables. Didn't matter, still got fatter.

Just like "game," I discovered the Weston Price Foundation, and than later on the Paleo "cult" blogosphere. Again, I paid exactly $0.00 to read and apply the principles of the WAPF Nourishing Traditions & Paleo diet concepts. Within the first 3 months, I lost all the excess weight. My growing "beer belly" shrank to nothing. I went from 225 lbs. to 185.

That was over 4 years ago. When I stepped on the scale tonight, I was 186. At 38 years of age, I look, feel and perform in better shape now than when I was 28.

Must be the "placebo effect" of being a brainwashed cult member.

Since then, I've come to understand that "paleo" is about so much more than simply losing weight. It's not a "fad diet." It's simply about understanding the difference between real, wholesome foods and how they provide nutrition for the body....versus man-made, mass processed crap that makes you sick when you consume enough of it over a long enough period of time.

Aside from the weight loss, and keeping it off for 4 years and counting (gee...some fad diet there), I've experienced a number of other health benefits that come from eating a nutrient dense diet and avoiding the modern, manufactured, processed junk foods. But I'm sure those dramatic changes in health, stamina and strength are just more iterations of the placebo effects that only happened because I've been brainwashed by the paleo conspiracy cult!

I mean, why would I question the tenets of my cult?

Do you think 500 calories of fresh caught wild fish from the Pacific ocean, eaten raw, would have the exact same effects on your health as eating 500 calories of a factory farmed fish fillet, seasoned, breaded in white flour bread crumbs, flash-frozen, wrapped in plastic and shipped thousands of miles away...then deep fried in partially hydrogenated soybean oil typically used in most restaurant's deep fat friers? Do you really think there's no nutritional difference between the two?

500 calories is 500 calories!

How about 800 calories of grass fed beef steak, pan-fried in grass-fed butter...versus 800 calories of lean chicken breast fried in non-stick, non-fat (aka soybean oil) cooking spray? No difference? Really?

After all, calories are calories?!?!

Just eat less and exercise more!

Anything more than that means you're just a delusional cult member fooling yourself with the placebo effect!

Ah...but don't take it from me.

I'm just a "Hawaiian blob" and a "conspiracy theorist."

How about this recent article from the Vancouver Sun: Trans fats linked to brain shrinkage

Some trans fats are found naturally, in small amounts, in dairy products, beef and lamb, but the trans fats in the study are hidden in cakes, flaky pastries, potato chips and other fried, frozen and processed food. Trans fatty acids increase inflammation, make arteries harder and decrease heart rhythm, increasing the risk of cardiac arrest.

Only a handful of studies have looked at the relationship between trans fats and brain function, Bowman said. "I think our study is one of the first to look at blood levels of trans fats related to brain health."

Evidence suggests that trans fats can replace good fats in cell membranes, "and when that occurs it changes the structure and chemical properties of the cell in an unfavourable way," Bowman said.

"Trans fats are known to be bad for cardiovascular health," he said. "It makes sense that they're probably bad for the brain, too."

He recommended avoiding processed foods that list "partially hydrogenated oils" on the ingredient list. "That's trans fat," Bowman said.

This article sums up the difference between us paleo cultists and regular, sane folks like Novy and his crew of pro-establishment sycophants.

See, it doesn't take a genius to understand that our distant ancestors would have never eaten something like trans-fats created in an industrial facility from rancid, oxidized vegetable oils.

But hey....taking Novy's expert pronouncements to it's logical conclusion, why ingesting 500 calories of partially hydrogenated soybean oil (aka margarine) is no different than 500 calories of Grade AA grass-fed butter! To believe otherwise is just the placebo effect caused by the delusions that come with joining a cult!

If that's the case, than I am happy to say that I'm a proud paleo-conspiracy cult member. Wouldn't you like to join the cult too?

Let me know and I'll set up your initiation ASAP.


MarkyMark said...


Like I said on the other blog, I think you have good things to say, and that you're right about a lot of things.

I don't know how anyone can deny the reality of a conspiratorial view of history. If history is all accidental, then WHY does our gov't keep doing the same things? Why do they keep going down the same path? Why is it that CFR members are always in power? Their membership list is available online, so anyone can check this out at any time.

WRT game, I do think it's oversold; I think many of its practitioners promise things it can't deliver. For example, I don't think that game will help an 'omega' guy land a 9-10. I also dislike the elitist attitude on the part of many in the game community; they act as if they're better than everyone else, and I don't like that. That said, I think knowing the rudiments can help guys out, like it did in your instance.

As far as diets go, I've never done 'em; whether it's Atkins, Scarsdale, Paleo, or whatever, I've never done any of 'em. I have lost weight though. How? I just eat less-nothing more. I still eat the same things I always did, but I eat less of them; I just eat smaller portions of everything. For me, that's helped me lose 15-20# over the last couple of years.


MarkyMark said...

Oh, and with the exception of feminists and their allies, I seldom, if ever, NAME bloggers with whom I have a problem; I don't call names. I merely say I have a problem with X, and why I have a problem with X. I don't go around bashing people personally.

Aurini said...

Completely with you on the paleo diet; I can notice a direct correlation to how strictly I adhere to it, versus my waistline and general well-being.

The only problem is how bloody difficult it is to find - for example - sausages without bloody sucrose added to them. It's maddening!

Also, another thing I have noticed - mashed potatoes (homemade - they're sooooo good) make me fat, but they don't leave me feeling tired a depressed the next day, the way processed foods will.

Fidel said...


I've watched Alek Novy go ballistic over game, the last few months. - clearly obsessed.

What I found most informative and useful in game is studying women's biological and evolutionary drives, and using those.

So, Alek froths at the mouth against biology........ smart.

Keoni Galt said...

Mark - as a long time reader of your blog and commentary, I got no truck with a guy like you who is honest, well-meaning and simply trying to understand differing points of view.

Sure there are some folks that "oversell" game, and of course, since game is really about male mating hierarchy status, you are always going to find some guys who are elitist.

For example, I don't think that game will help an 'omega' guy land a 9-10.

But really Mark...any of the game bloggers who blog about game without trying to sell anything, all talk about how anyone who learns game has got to be realistic about their chances. Roissy has repeatedly theorized that game will only help a guy score a women a few points hire than he'd be capable of without game.

The point where I get annoyed with the entire game debate, is when guys like Novy will declare that other's experiences are not real, it's all a cult, etc.

Who is he to tell a guy like me that I've been brainwashed, and that any positive results I've experienced from experimenting on myself with attitude adjustments, behavior and diet are nothing more than placebo effects from cult brainwashing?

Talk about elitist attitude.

Aurini - yeah, same here on the sausage front. Sucrose, dextrose, maltodextrin, corn syrup...but for me, the most commonly found ingredient in sausage that is an immediate disqualifier for me is MSG.

Fidel - What I found most informative and useful in game is studying women's biological and evolutionary drives, and using those.

That's really the entire utility of the concept. What you choose to do with that knowledge is really up to you. This is why there is no one correct way to "game."

Anonymous said...

Markymark, you are a statistical outlier. Studies over the years show that the calorie reduction diets almost never work for anybody. Unless, of course, they were just eating too much.

I am hypoglycemic, which Atkins called metabolic resistant. In five years, by avoiding carbs I am down 44 pounds. I am much stronger than ten years ago, and have much more resistance.

The first 4 years, I only lost 20 pounds. Last year, I learned about high fat. I now consume about 2 pounds of raw lard each week, direct from rendering without chemical modification, and lost another 20 pounds this last year. For people who are not hypoglycemic, Atkins is much more efficient than it has been for me.

A cousin here in Mexico last year had 3 or 4 unstable angina attacks a day. I found out, and three days later on Atkins, he had his last angina attack. My doctor friend said, oh, but he needs to come in for examination and EKG and stuff. I asked him, so what can you do to permanently cure angina in three days. He said not a word.

This same doctor is my best friend, with all the bad ideas of most doctors. When he first found out I was on Atkins, he really fussed at me, saying it was not possible to be healthy on a high fat, low carb diet.

However, his own condition got worse and worse, until a month or two ago, he admitted his leg muscles hurt when he exercised. That happens to be a sign of blocked veins and arteries. I told him right out he was going to die soon if he did not change his diet. Though he is a doctor and I am not, he didn't tell me I was wrong. Nor was I wrong. I had a friend with a similar condition who died a few years ago.

His wife is an excellent woman, and works hard to provide attractive and tasty low-carb foods. In these few weeks, he has lost 11 pounds, and feels much better. I hope now he preaches the low carb diet to his patients.

Anonymous age 69

Anonymous said...

Good lard, everything new is a "cult" anymore - or rather, everything old is a cult. Eat real food, go to church (an old, old church), stay married to the same person for more than a minute and a half and don't bash them as a pass-time, educated your own children, grow/harvest your own food - our extended family is convinced we've joined about a half-dozen cults in just the last year. When we mentioned at Christmas that we were going to have chickens, I kid you not, my mil asked "for what?". lol, for blood rituals and feathers for our fetish, of course. Sheesh, some people.

Kerry gold, ftw! If I were going to have another baby, I swear I would name him that.

lol, my word verification is "arand"

Anonymous said...

Just started paleo and I found the results in my mental agility and alertness to be an overnight success. (I thought it was the wine making my mind slow) I did go thru some Glucose withdrawal, but now in paleo-month two, I am in full swing. Down ten pounds and never felt better. I was close to 300 when I started an 54 years old. I do not consider it a diet, but a lifestyle for the mind and body. Can't recommend it enough.

Game is different. My understanding has not been so immediate. I came to it via (of all places) The Weekly Standard, and was shocked to read the content. Since then I have five blogs that I read regularly (really miss it when yours is not updated) and although I am still unsure about the ultimate goal of game for men in LTR, I do find the concepts sound and worth putting ones mind to and experimenting with.

I look forward to your next post.

Anonymous said...


Roissy has an entire post on "what game can do for you." The short answer is improve your marketability 1-3 points on a 10 point scale. This omega bagging 10s thing is a dumb straw man.

And your gonna have a really uphill battle with paleo stuff. A guy that tries game might not see it work to quick, but a guy that does paleo usually sees the results pretty soon and they are easy to measure.

Purple Hays said...

AnonymousAge69 discussed carbs, fats and medical hubris regarding hypoglycemia - I thought I'd share a friend's perspective who is diabetic. He was already low-carb since he'd tried Atkins and found it of some benefit. During a hospital stay (where he went off his diet and onto hospital food) he was diagnosed as diabetic. His Nutritionist recommended a diabetic diet that, though it contained no simple sugars like sucrose, was still very heavy in carbs, including bread, potatoes, rice, etc.

My friend didn't argue with the nutritionist (he figures it would be a waste of time and education is not his job), but just went his own way and resumed eating low carb. His diabetes is under control with diet and exercise and no drugs, which is what anyone in medicine will tell you is the most desirable situation. But they don't know what "diet" means for him, and if they did, we suspect they'd be horrified. Oh, and it's been pretty easy for him to lose weight whenever he feels he needs to.

Not all doctors are so provincial, however. My friend (and I) recommend "the Glycemic-Load Diet" by Rob Thompson, who is an MD and diabetic that discusses carbs from a blood sugar management perspective. I'm sure there's more to nutrition than just blood glucose, but reading this convinced me that Dr Thompson has the goods on the disastrous effects of carbs on your health. There are also some good ideas for "carb managagement tactics" to permit readers to, for instance, deal with pizza parties, etc. He apparently has a newer book called the "Low Starch Diabetes Solution" which I have not read, but the title sounds like it's more realistic about carbs than my friend's nutritionist was.

I'm happy to say that based on his experience as well as a lot of Internet info, I've severely restricted my carbs and am adjusting my diet paleo-ward, and (along with a lot more physical activity, granted) have lost 40 lb and for the most part don't feel like I'm starving all the time. That's huge for me.

Anonymous said...

Keoni, do you (or does anyone here) have any advice for a guy who has read a bunch of game blogs, books, etc, but has a very hard time putting it into practice? There's a difference between knowing about something and doing it.

I'm not hideous, I've attracted a few women that were pretty wonderful, but it wasn't under my control, and there too few and far between.

I don't want to be a chump or a mark for hucksters, but based on how long it's been since I read "The Game", I need someone to make me go out into the world and actually try this stuff. I need reassurance when I fail, and I need someone to insist that I go back out there and hold me accountable.

Any ideas or suggestions?

mmaier2112 said...

I keep trying to get anyone in my "real" life to listen to me on the Primal thing.

I used to pop sinus headache pills and decongestants like candy.
My allergies and sinus problems were severe, constant and literally blindingly-painful. Ridding myself of them was a Godsend.

My energy levels are higher and they don't drop much if at all when I skip eating meals, even if it's all day and my stomach cramps from being too empty.

If I'd stop cheating on the carbs and especially stop drinking two or three beers a night I bet my weight would fly off in no time.

Carnivore said...

How about 800 calories of grass fed beef steak, pan-fried in grass-fed butter...versus 800 calories of lean chicken breast fried in non-stick, non-fat (aka soybean oil) cooking spray? No difference?

He'd probably say, no, they aren't the same - the steak fried in butter has too much cholesterol. ;)

@IndyGuy77 - speaking for myself, yeah, laying off the hootch kicks fat loss up a couple of notches.

Paleo is the way to go.

Anonymous said...

"I've watched Alek Novy go ballistic over game, the last few months. - clearly obsessed."

If it were me and I thought game was BS, I'd probably point at "gamers", laugh, and then just move the fuck on with my life. No way would I make destroying game my life's mission.

Anonymous said...

Here's a paleo treat for you:
have the butcher slice up some cheap but lean pork - maybe a pork loin. About three or four kilograms will get a big pile of slices.

If you have kumquat syrup, add a dash to the pork.

Marinate in pure lemon juice for 24 hours.

Pressure cook with some extra water.

The only problem is that the extra water and marinade makes the pressure cooker take a long time. Also, I only have a low-pressure cooker - if you have a 15 psi cooker this will cook up fast.

knepper said...

Following Dr. Eades diet, which is basically the Paleo diet, has changed my life. I have dropped 50 pounds and effortlessly kept it off. I have more energy than I have had for many years. Once you experience this, no one can tell you that 'healthy grains' is the way to go. But it's no different than in many other areas of life--most people believe the mindless drivel they're told, ironically referred to as 'conventional wisdom.'

Anonymous said...

Novy may have fled the PMAFT thread, but he's posting over at Sofia's now.

You can go over there and ask him for proof of his grandiose claims, though he'll probably abandon that thread too if you do.

Hearth said...

Thanks in part to your influence (and your influence on Elspeth et al), I've taken up the primal diet...and am losing about a pound a week, effortlessly. My husband (6'4") has lost 20lb in two months.

We feel terrific.

Where does the initiation take place? :)

janice said...

Paleo Rocks. Nuff Said. Or rather,
"Nuff SAD- Standard American Diet. :p

jay c said...

A year ago my sex drive died. I couldn't keep an erection to save my life. My dietitian wife got me on a zero sugar, low carb, high protein diet. A month later, I was back in top with a vengeance! No more mcdiet for me! Civilization is toxic.

jay c said...

Oh, yeah. Forgot to mention my new diet is high fat, too. Very Weston price. Lost weight too. :-)

Alte said...

The cultishness comes when people claim that it's now replaced 42 as the answer to everything.

My blood pressure is down and I get to eat steak, so it's all good.

Alte said...

I take in substantially more calories than before (circa 500 more per day), but I'm still losing weight. I haven't been able to give up the calorie-counting habit, as I'm obsessed with points, but I no longer eat accordingly. Thankfully, as being constantly hungry was really depressing.

It helps that the diet gave me enough energy to finally start working out. Calorie restriction made me chronically fatigued, so I couldn't start an exercise regime until I switched over. The biggest benefit for me has been blood sugar stabilization. Mine was like a rollercoaster before.

Alte said...

Hey, CC...

Q: What's the difference between kinky and perverted?

A: With kinky you use a feather. For perverted you need the whole chicken.


jandy said...

Primal is the only way to live. Literally. Keep preaching. Its no secret that most vegetarians and vegans are also lefty liberals,,,hmmmmmm.............:)

Anonymous said...

How about I eat 3000 calories of meat, egg, cheese and veggies sauteed in butter every day for a month.

You eat 2500 calories of twinkies, cookies, crackers, cake, soda, ice cream and candy every day for a month.

We can both follow the exact same exercise regimen, with you eating 500 calories less than I.

What does logic and scientific inquiry lead you to understand what would happen where we to conduct such an experiment?

No response yet.

Allow me to make a clear response.

Unequivocally and without any doubt whatsoever, you would lose more fat eating the lower calorie high sugar and high carb diet.

To date, the only scientifically proven way to lose weight that has been repeatedly successful in experiments is to create a calorie deficit. Nothing else has been proven scientifically to have an impact on fact loss.

I have actually done this experiment (unintentionally) several times. I used to travel to another country for periods of 3-4 months for work and would eat very little during a high stress period. I remember doing this when I believed in low-carb and before I believed in low carb.

Each time, I lost the same amount of fat and achieved the same body definition. The composition of my diet simply made no difference. Back in the States, I was invariably fat when on low-carb. Eventually I was forced to simply confront reality and accept the truth that the only thing that matters is calories.

But it's an unsexy truth, isn't it? No glamor in so simple a thing.

For any who are interested, BTW, check out the Adonis Index community - it showcases a bunch of guys who got ripped while eating anything they wanted, lots of sugary and desserts, while simply reducing their calorie intake and going to the gym.

Anonymous said...

Lot of care in this post

Yohami said...

I just started the Paleo thing. Hail comrade!

Keoni Galt said...

Welcome to the cult, Yohami!