Manual Virus of the Mind: The Revolutionary New Science of the Meme and How It Can Help You

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"Virus of the Mind" is the first popular book devoted to the science of .. Virus of the Mind is a mix between Dawkins ideas of the meme, self help, poor writing was so revolutionary and powerful rather than an interesting different perspective .
Table of contents

A Columbus group met at a gun range. Other clubs had been kicked out of bars after openly expressing anti-Semitic views or flaunting Nazi paraphernalia. In , Thomas Mair shot and stabbed a British member of Parliament. Devon Arthurs, an year-old former neo-Nazi who converted to Islam, shot and killed two of his three roommates in Tampa, who were still neo-Nazis.

Police arrested the surviving roommate for hoarding explosive materials. Anglin was a normal kid back then, whose only remarkable quality was his extraordinarily nasal voice—it was so bad that Burkholder thought he might have a sinus problem, and raised the issue with his mother, Katie, at a parent—teacher conference.

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But that was nearly 30 years ago. B y all outward appearances, Andrew Anglin had an ordinary, comfortable childhood, at least until adolescence. And he loved to read. One book that left a deep impression on him was Weasel , which tells the story of a boy in frontier Ohio seeking revenge against a psychopath who, having run out of American Indians to murder, takes to slaughtering white homesteaders. A declared atheist, he styled his reddish hair in dreadlocks and favored jeans with inch leg openings.

He often wore a hoodie with a large fuck racism patch on the back. Anglin was one of only two vegans at Linworth, and before long he began dating the other, a brunette named Alison in the class ahead of him, whom he wooed by baking vegan cookies. She was a popular girl who introduced him to a diverse and edgy clique of kids. To them, Anglin seemed sweet and funny, if a little too eager to latch on to causes. Alison was deeply into animal rights. Suddenly, he was too. He also got deeply into drugs, according to half a dozen people who knew him at the time.

He took ketamine, ate psychedelic mushrooms, and snorted cocaine on weekends. Here, his leftist leanings were on full display: He wrote posts encouraging people to send the Westboro Baptist Church death threats from untraceable accounts, and he mocked the Ku Klux Klan and other racist organizations.

But people who knew Anglin in high school told me that, for reasons that were unclear, his behavior became erratic and frightening sometime around the beginning of his sophomore year at Linworth. Visitors to his house saw holes in his bedroom walls, and they knew that when he was upset, he would smash his head into things. Several recall an episode at a party: Anglin burst out crying after Alison drunkenly kissed someone else, then ran outside and bashed his head on the sidewalk over and over.

He harmed himself in other ways, too. He tried to tattoo the name of his favorite band, Modest Mouse, on his upper arm but gave up after two and a half letters, leaving him with moI etched on his skin. He stretched his earlobes by jamming thick marker caps into piercing holes until they dripped blood.

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He claimed to feel no pain and used lighters to melt the flesh on the inside of his forearms. He provoked people into assaulting him but never fought back, instead laughing as the blows fell. Two kids beat him into a gutter once. Anglin just lay there until they stopped, out of pity and confusion. And while he could be tender toward his younger siblings, Chelsey and Mitch, and loyal to his friends, he also had a sadistic side.

On Genetics & Memetics -- an excerpt from "Virus of the Mind"

She needed compassion and support, but Anglin just laughed and broke up with her. Several girls Anglin had gotten to know at another high school began calling her house at all hours of the night, according to Alison and other sources.

The Four Horsemen

After the breakup, Dan Newman, another friend at the time, remembers Anglin once bashing his head into the walls of his bedroom in such a frenzy that his mother had to call the police. He has advocated, for instance, throwing gays off buildings, isis -style. People who knew Katie back then described her to me as a browbeaten woman who lived in fear of her husband. Court documents related to his divorce support this claim: A former client is identified as his girlfriend. Greg would later make her a partner in his counseling practice. Soon Anglin was pulling classmates aside to warn them about lizard people.

After graduation, few of his friends saw or spoke to him again.

T o spend any significant amount of time in truther forums is to feel the traps being set, the hooks sinking in. What if? For those short on critical-thinking skills, the forums can be infectious and addictive. Anglin threw himself into this world after high school as he drove around the country, listening to truthers and living out of his Honda Civic.

In , he spent a night in jail in Santa Barbara, California, after being arrested for drunk driving. When he returned to Columbus after months on the road, he enrolled at Ohio State University to study English, but dropped out after one semester. In early , he was arrested near campus for two minor drug offenses.

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He pleaded guilty to one charge; the other was dismissed. Anglin was by then spending a lot of time on 4chan, a website that lets users post images and comments anonymously, and that has drawn droves of socially isolated young people thumbing their noses at political correctness. The channers started memes and organized pranks that would later evolve into troll campaigns such as Gamergate, which targeted women in the gaming community with death threats and other abuse.

On one board in particular, users vied to see who could make the most-racist comments, ostensibly as a joke.

Genius of the Beast

Over time, the humor receded and the racism stuck. In November , Anglin launched his own conspiracy-theory website, virtually all traces of which were removed from the internet during the time I was reporting this story. He called the site Outlaw Journalism, a tribute to Hunter S. In March , Anglin published his first post about Donald Trump, highlighting a video clip from a roast of Rudy Giuliani.

In the video, the then-mayor is dressed in drag and sprays perfume on his fake breasts.

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  • Elsewhere on his site, Anglin wrote about blood rituals and underground tunnels used by pedophiles and fetus-eaters. This delusional thinking eventually overwhelmed Anglin. He created the Outlaw Forum, a 4chan-esque board where people could burble about conspiracies. Before long, they began harassing other truthers with whom Anglin clashed.

    It was his first cybermob.

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    The internet truthers had embraced a new medium, but their mode of thinking was hardly novel. A similar anxiety about displacement runs through the internet truth movement, which helps explain why it has been a key gateway for the alt-right. Obsessed with systems of control, many truthers end up harping on Jewish influence in society. Some deny that the Holocaust occurred, contending that it was an elaborate ruse designed to let Jews play victims at the expense of everyone else.

    The Holohoax, as it is known, gives its adherents an excuse to blame everything they hate on a cabal of Jews: Feminism. The media. Video-game addiction. Romantic failure. The NBA being In February , he was arrested for driving while impaired and spent 10 days in jail, according to court records. The following January, he reported working 50 hours a week in a warehouse and still being unable to afford his own place.

    That June, he published what would be his last post on Outlaw Journalism for years.

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    It was a warning about the banking system, one-world government, organ harvesting, and plant—animal gene-splicing. So he got on a plane and flew toward the jungles of Southeast Asia. It was there, after a darker plunge into delusion, that he would take his final step into neo-Nazism. Outside, tropical ferns shook with water. Anglin wanted a tribe—a real one. In one video he made, he stood shirtless on a beach describing the horrors of deforestation. At the time, Davao was ruled with an iron fist by its authoritarian mayor, Rodrigo Duterte, now the president of the Philippines.

    It was the third-biggest city in the country but hardly a mecca for something Americans. Edward, who asked that his last name be withheld, spent months at a time in the Philippines over the course of several years. He and Anglin became friends and went out to eat together almost every day. Edward thought Anglin was fun and intelligent, with excellent taste in music.

    Edward had once run a small music-distribution business, but Anglin still introduced him to new bands, such as the Felice Brothers. But from what? He had a complex about being short—he claims to be 5 foot 7, but several people I talked with put his height closer to 5 foot 4. In Davao, however, Anglin hit on every pretty young Filipina he saw and had success with many of them, sometimes taking advantage of their hope that an American husband could be an exit from poverty. Most of these girls were 18 or 19 years old, but Edward says some were younger.

    He remembers Anglin once picking up a year-old in a bar and bringing her back to the Sampaguita to spend the night. Yet Anglin was troubled by the ways Western society seemed to have degraded Filipino culture—he despised Christian missionaries and was appalled to see Filipinos listening to Lady Gaga instead of traditional music. Then, on one of his forays from Davao, Anglin found his tribe. Here was his return to nature. Each time Anglin crossed a stream, for example, he rubbed a wet stone across his face, hands, and feet to ask for guidance from the water spirit, which always knew the path through the forest. He put his belongings up for sale to raise cash for a horse, chickens, and ducks. There was a messianic zeal to his plan. Anglin launched Reality Situation in January , before heading back into the jungle. He was reading about UFOs and downloading paranormal podcasts.

    He was still obsessed with brain-chipping and TV mind control, fake moon landings and satanic sex rituals.