The Best of the Old Forum


The old forum is a quarantined zone. That means you read any post at your own risk.

I wrote daily on the forum from its creation in late 2009 till its closure in early 2014. It started initially as a spin-off from my writings in the Seduction Community under the name Corvette. The conversation went something like this. Discussing the popularity of my Seduction Community posts in a bar one night with Bliss, I turned to him and said, “I know — I’m going to change my name to Jason Illuminatus and start my own cult. I’ll get 10,000 members and release a book. We’ll do studies into mind control and I’ll become some sort of international weirdo.” We had a good laugh about it, but sooner or later it all started to come true — except I dropped the “Jason”.

While I did endeavour to give good advice over the next five years, in reality I was unstable and led a highly turbulent personal life. Being a cult leader exacerbated this problem tenfold, since I felt I had to put across an image of holding it all together to appease the expectations of the, by now, dozens of people emailing me their problems every week.

The other main problem was that my advice was largely untested. Its success was driven more by enthusiasm than by efficacy. I have dubbed this effect various names over the years, for example, personal development glow. PD junkies will recognize the cycle: you get increasingly disenchanted, frustrated, and eventually hopeless with your inability to crack a certain problem. You hit the bottom of the trough. Then you discover some new method (or substance) which your scrambling mind somehow hooks onto as your potential saviour. Suddenly you are reading positive reviews of that method, analysing the reasons why it would work, talking yourself into its model, and only focusing on the positive potential of all the glorious futures this method would unlock. You begin to climb towards a peak as your mood lifts. Suddenly your reality starts reflecting all the success you expected, and you hit a golden peak having figured it all out.

The brain being what it is, this reward state cannot be maintained for too long. Eventually your mood starts to dip, and your results are affected, which you perceive as the method not working any more. Suddenly, usually unconsciously, your visualizations of the future are all focusing on what could possibly go wrong. Your results now begin to meet that expectation instead. After a glorious crash, you find yourself in the bottom of the trough again, ready to repeat the process with the next magic bullet.

There is a lot of insight to be gained in recognizing that pattern. For example, you can start to see that your results in reality really do align in some way with your expectations. So long-term success is all about revising and refining your expectations to meet a fine balance between optimism and realism.

However, I only started to make this realization right towards the end of the forum’s life. So the above cycling is present in just about every new method or substance I created or investigated. It was also around this time I started to get the nagging sensation that perhaps I was just a good writer, rather than a good adviser.

So long as you realize and acknowledge all of these things, read away; there are certainly some strong insights to be found in my posts on the old forum. The state of affairs was best summed up by JimmyChonga (emphasis mine):

honestly dude, I knew you were full of shit then, and I know you are full of shit now. How do I know? its because your writing is not humble. You have are confident, you can build a logical argument, you have critical thinking skills, so the things you say, the posts you make, they sound great. And, I do not necessarily have the life experience in a number of topics you discuss to know that you are wrong. However the mere style leaves me suspect, you do not leave room for yourself to be wrong. And nevertheless I am still here, and I read what you write and listen to what you say. Its because I respect this path that you have chosen for yourself, I relate to you in that. I know you are doing the best you can, and I know what that is like. There are gold and diamonds within the things you say, I just also know that there is kryptonite in there as well, so I take it with a grain of salt and keep it at arms length, really thinking hard about it before taking it in. your pointing me to the circuit II stuff was huge for me. most of the work there was done solo, but just having you point me in that direction was huge.

And so, weather you blow up the forum or not is up to you. I kindof see this all as your personal diary anyways. maybe some of the more impressionable people looking for a holy grail might be seduced by your charismatic confidence. I could see that as being harmful..

You might now be wondering why things are any different today, i.e. why you should bother reading and paying attention to anything I write now. Well, firstly, I would say, just trust your gut and your critical thinking. If it sounds like bullshit or you don’t like it, just move on. This site is primarily a creative outlet for me anyway.

That said, I have gained stability since the days of the old forum. This was primarily done using a hardcore form of meditation called insight meditation (vipassana) to investigate directly emotions such as misery and fear. For example, I cured my depression and the other difficult psychological aspects of my apparent bipolar cycling, as described in the following post: How I Beat Depression — Forever

I have begun to have similar results by applying the exact same methodology to fear. I’m currently working on a number of guides which aim to package the method in the simplest, most concise way, so people can hopefully get right into it and make profound positive changes to their lives in the shortest possible time. I want it to be one of my contributions to the world.

The Best of the Old Forum

I get emails at times from people saying, “I really loved this post from the old forum — you should put it up somewhere on the new blog.” Instead, I am going to simply list them here, along with some short notes on how I see things differently today (if I do).

This list is a work in progress and is open to submissions. If there is a post on the old forum you really liked, suggest it in the comments below and remember to post the link to it. I might include it, although I make no guarantees. I will attribute the person who recommended the post if I do include it. The posts don’t have to be written by me, either — there were tons of great posts by many members over the years.

1. Overexertions

Submitted by Illuminatus. Written by Illuminatus.

Criminally simple way to figure out if a girl already likes you before you approach. Described by Aaron Sleazy as one of the best posts he has ever seen in the Seduction Community.

Notes: Looking back, it is amazing to consider that this was actually a “revelation” for myself and the many guys who read it. In a way it shows how out of touch with their own intuition many guys in the Seduction Community actually are (and probably a main reason why they are there in the first place). That’s not a dig, either — it just seems to be the reality.

2. The Betaization Process

Submitted by Illuminatus. Written by Illuminatus.

The stages any relationship between a man and a woman will eventually go through. It is inevitable.

Notes: One of my most “red pill” posts, ever. It will scare you. This is still the standard model for betaization used throughout the Seduction Community, linked to from dozens of other blogs and forums. My most trafficked post.

3. One area Sleazy hasn’t talked about much in ‘Debunking’

Submitted by PP. Written by Illuminatus.

The differences between a relaxed demeanour and a tense one on your nights out, and how this may affect your success with women.

Notes: There’s quite a bit that needs revising here. First, obsessing over mood on a night out is a great way to stay in a tense one. Also, the binary system (SNS or PNS) implied in this post is oversimplified — if you are dancing, for example, you will be SNS since you need to be stimulated for fast movements, but that does not mean you will be tense and/or not enjoying it (except it does for me, since I hate dancing). So context is way more important. You can be enjoyably stimulated, and enjoyably relaxed. You can also be unpleasantly stimulated (anxiety/fear) and unpleasantly relaxed (withdrawn). Saying pupils will constrict from adrenaline is also wrong — except in the case of “adrenal fatigue”, whereby they have been dilated too long and begin to collapse.

The point about looseness (lack of tension) in the face, posture, and movements, is largely correct — and this will almost certainly make you more attractive. Again, though, obsessing over this is one great way to ensure you don’t relax. You are better off taking right action in a tense mood than procrastinating by waiting to relax (which may never happen). Right action is also more likely to relax you quicker. If I was to write this post again, I would recommend learning the samatha jhanas (concentration meditation) to at least first jhana, to teach yourself how to clear your mind and relax at will — and then get on with your night out (don’t obsess). I am currently working on a short guide for this, which will be called Basic Concentration Meditation.

4. The Cornerstone of Good Social Skills: Comfort

Submitted by PP. Written by Illuminatus.

This post talks about how we all seek comfort in social interactions, whether it be conscious or unconscious. It talks about common strategies people undertake to try to achieve comfort, and why being comfortable yourself is naturally attractive.

Note: The “bliss states” described in that post are predominantly first jhana (though I did not know its name at the time).

5. Being a woman magnet.

Submitted by PP. Written by Bliss.

In this post, Bliss – a good friend of mine in real life – talks about his experiences in becoming a woman magnet and his views on “what it’s all about”. I can personally vouch for his abilities in this field; there is literally no point in going out with him to talk to girls because there is nothing left for anybody else in the entire room. I once saw him “merge sets” totalling 12 girls and have them all captivated by his ways.

Bliss has since gone on to become a highly successful music producer, recording A+-list international artists.

Having known Bliss from a young age, I can say that he has received extraordinarily good parenting in a solid family unit. When you take high intelligence and add good parenting and guidance – especially from a father figure, for a boy – you get extreme success. It’s a simple formula, and if you ever intend to have kids, you need to get the “game” element of life sussed before you do so. That’s not just women — but everything.

Any other post recommendations? Let me know in the comments below.


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10 Responses

  1. Vysotsky says:

    My favourite posts are these (plus the Overexertions): (the answers)

  2. This is a brave post and a big step forward IMO. With that said I always looked at you as more of a pioneer in mind science/experimenter. I think thats a much healthier alternative then omnipotent cult leader. I know in my case I underestimated the pressure that giving advice online would put on me in terms of practicing what I preach. Its good to hold yourself to a high standard and I felt like I’ve stretched to accomodate it, but on the other hand I think guys respect you more when you’re fallible and accessible. If guys wanted and infallible fraud promoting generic, over priced advice they could read a Tony Robbins book.

  3. dark_knight_hurrah says:

    The brain being what it is, this reward state cannot be maintained for too long. Eventually your mood starts to dip, and your results are affected, which you perceive as the method not working any more. Suddenly, usually unconsciously, your visualizations of the future are all focusing on what could possibly go wrong. Your results now begin to meet that expectation instead. After a glorious crash, you find yourself in the bottom of the trough again, ready to repeat the process with the next magic bullet.

    – it seems to what you are describing here is how the dark night works – you think you are enlightened (a&p), and get all excited, then after a while you realise it isn’t all it has cracked up to be and your mood crashes. But the with the path model, it sets you up with a variation of the same magic bullet (i.e. becoming more enlightened/next path).. Agree/disagree?

    • Illuminatus says:

      It’s how A&P –> Dark Night works. It’s also how bipolar cycling works. So, someone who’s manic feels he has the answer to everything and starts projecting wonderful futures consistent with that notion (grandiosity). There’s also a lot of scope for magical thinking, here, since everything takes on a supernatural flavour, things appearing like reality is directly alterable through the mind. There is some truth in both of these ideas, IMO, but in both A&P and mania they are taken too far. The projection mechanism is too immature, and it doesn’t have all the information. Both Dark Night and depression phase of bipolar are more like the opposite scripts.

      “But the with the path model, it sets you up with a variation of the same magic bullet (i.e. becoming more enlightened/next path).. Agree/disagree?”

      Well, I can only go with my own experiences here. If we assume that what I did in my “How I Beat Depression — Forever” post was a skilful treatment of the Misery phase (I am unsure about this myself), then learning that territory via insight meditation (if that’s what I did) was one of the best things I ever did for myself. I can’t really compare that to a magic bullet, because it did not entail the cycling described in the above post. 6 months on, and I still have the skill. It has literally changed my life. I have also begun to have had profound change by applying the exact same method to Fear.

      So, Path of Insight, if my experiences really are that, could represent permanent shifts in the way one relates to aspects of experience. Conversely, magic bullets never really made permanent shifts. I might have learned something interesting about the world via the experience, but generally my skills would reset back to approximately where they were before the magic bullet. Magic bullets all seem to be about avoiding the territory, rather than learning to navigate it.

      One more thing. You drew the comparison of parts of the Path of Insight to magic bullet cycling. I then did the same for bipolar. I believe the Path of Insight is fractal to all of human experience. You could put any aspect of your experience in Path terms. This is actually extremely valuable, since you can use the Path as a map to figure out what happens next in any situation. The downside is that via that same mechanism you could end up scripting the situation so it matches the Path.

      You never get all your ducks lined up in a row — with ANY method or map. However, the Path seems to be more universal and more applicable than anything else I have come across so far — and, for me, it has had more successes as a map than it has had drawbacks as a “script”, so far.

      Ultimately, everything is a script. And that sentence is perhaps the ultimate map. 🙂

  4. Vysotsky says:

    I noticed you deleted (or I can’t find) your “Presence: The Real Story” article. Does it mean that you now disagree with the content of the post?

    • Illuminatus says:

      It wasn’t deleted and I found it with a simple search:

      Skimming it, it looks like I got disillusioned with him and took a contrarian stance. The post is quite antagonistic.
      I would say now that the solution to presence is two steps: 1) Learning to do it, 2) Knowing WHEN to do it.

      For #1, first off learn jhana and do it every morning so you feel good all day; so you have those good neurotransmitters and energies in circulation. This makes the present moment far more pleasant and something you would actually want to engage with (and this is probably the key reason depressed or anxious people can’t really run with the advice “be in the present moment” — because the present moment SUCKS for them).

      For #2, just realize that different tasks require different modes of attention. When doing your taxes you are necessarily NOT going to be present. You are going to be in your head doing calculations. If anyone says anything like, “You should be present WITH your taxes!” then, frankly, they are an idealistic idiot and lack real-world pragmatism. There used to be a lot of those types on Steve Pavlina’s forum, and getting a reasonable conversation going about presence over there would quickly turn into meaningless garbage and platitudes.

      There is also a spectrum of present-moment-awareness in various tasks. E.g. we might think of socializing as being a very “present” task but if you consider that we have to filter ourselves, work out what to say next etc. then you will see much of socializing is not that “present” at all and is in fact quite calculated. The best way to make socializing more present is therefore to increase #1 above, feeling good. Feeling good already means your intentions and energy will be better in the interaction and you will have to filter yourself less because you will not have as many mean thoughts, and will have less to prove since you already got your “feel good” emotions and don’t need to “get” them off someone else.

      • Illuminatus says:

        P.S. I haven’t checked the old forum in years and have no idea what’s on there, and if the stuff is any good or all crap etc.

  5. Pug123 says:

    Hey Illuminatus, I can’t seem to access your old forum posts – getting an error result requesting that I contact the administrator. Could you please fix this – I would very much like check out those in the ‘best of’ category.

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