scary clown black and white
© Robert Zunikoff/Unsplash
Have you ever wondered how wokies manage the level of swagger and general arrogance one associates with prizefighters and the super rich? They're incredibly unhealthy people, physically. They don't work out, they eat poorly, and they take drugs that make them fat and have a significant impact on their emotional range and overall psychological makeup. And most of them aren't especially rich — adjunct professors and people who work in media earn very little.

Mental illness is a factor, sure. Grandiosity is a feature of Cluster B disorders and some mood disorders. But there doesn't seem to be any basis for the degree of self-confidence wokies have. It's not just that they're unafraid of social consequences of their behavior; they behave as if they're openly carrying firearms and unafraid of the consequences of pulling the trigger.

What if they are? What if wokies are secretly armed with invisible weapons whose use has real-world physiological consequences, and we just don't know it?

I've said before that I studied pickup artistry when I was younger. That's not, strictly speaking, true. While the techniques I learned in the course of trying to figure out how to meet women are techniques that were commonly taught and practiced in that world, I knew nothing about the online PUA scene until much later, and for the most part, I never used "techniques" at all. They never worked for me, and I'm a handsome 6'3" mesomorph in any case. I met women in spite of pickup, not because of it.

I didn't study pickup. I studied pickup artists.

I lived in a number of cities during my twenties. One day, in one of them, I was taking the subway home from a nightclub when I saw a short, neatly dressed Chinese-American guy about my age doing the weirdest fucking routine I had ever seen in my life in front of an extremely attractive and extremely puzzled blonde. He was modulating the pitch of his voice as he chatted with her, going up and down in a kind of sine wave. I didn't know what he was doing, but knew he was doing something, and I wanted to know what.

In those days I started more conversations with strangers than I do now. I waited until the blonde had fled, and then approached the guy. I knew the type; he was a bullying victim who had learned to be a bully, roughly analogous to the kind of tough guy who ran his mouth about how he was a Wing Chun master in the 90s, before Muai Thai and BJJ fighters began mashing people who did Wing Chun into paste in the octagon.

I am an autistic body language nerd with the kind of reality-based self-defense training that means my masculine self-confidence is not based on whether I think I can kick somebody's ass. Most men are uncertain as to whether they'd win a fight, but while I am under no illusions that I am Bad Bad Leroy Brown, I usually have a fairly good idea whether it would be worth the trouble to pick one going in. And knowing that my position on the tough guy totem pole is further from the bottom than it is from the pinnacle, I don't mind making a fool of myself from time to time.

Since there wasn't a way around the fact that I was bigger and fitter than he was, I presented myself as slow and oblivious; narcissists with no basis for their unearned sense of superiority need you to be weaker than they are or they can't cope. After trying a few social jiujitsu techniques to control the interaction, he realized that the person he was talking to wasn't trying to win, wouldn't be capable of winning if he did try, and in fact wasn't aware there was a competition going on at all.

He relaxed enough to explain that he was a student of a master PUA, and that he had been given the honor of assisting with the master's demonstration during the seminar that was going on that weekend at a local hotel. I asked him the kind of questions he seemed likely to answer, playing thick to the point of brain damage throughout; it was clear it was the only way to get him to explain the whole deal behind pickup artistry. By the end of the interaction, I had what I wanted from him — I knew what a PUA looked like and how one behaved, and I knew if I wanted to find more, I could.

The next weekend, I started huntin' wabbits.

There is a type of bar that is a magnet for PUAs. Now that I knew what they were like, I knew I'd find some there. The first few times I engaged with obvious ones, I clowned them. I was cockier than they were, in no small part because I knew I could back it up if it came down to it. Pickup is supposed to give you an edge, and my assessment, based on my interaction with the guy on the train, was that it was based on nothing real. I figured that even if there was something to it, the guys who taught pickup weren't going to teach anyone anything at a seminar that would solve their problems in such a way as to make them actual players. Why create competition? PUA students would date around and eventually get girlfriends after dropping hundreds or thousands of dollars on seminars and literature, because that's what happens after you go out and socialize for a while. They would be content, the PUA teaching the classes would be richer, and everyone would be happy.

Then, after a few weeks spent being an asshole more or less because I could, I ran into something very different.

Years later, I pieced together the bigger picture. There were esoteric techniques that got passed around the elite of PUAs, the guys who taught the classes at the time pickup was popular, and these body tricks were emphatically not taught at the courses and seminars that people like Neil Strauss and Mystery used to earn their living. Those Alpha PUAs were my fellow autistic body language/social dynamics nerds, and unlike their disciples, who were by and large oblivious to the bigger social picture (as I was at the time), they were not fumbling around. They were focused, socially dominant practical psychologists, often with the kind of real underlying personality damage that comes from learning to play mind games at the Olympic level. They treated people like things, and after I met my first real PUA, I was afraid of them.

I don't know which one he was. They all had jolly pirate nicknames back then, but someone in that world would know him by his description, which I do not intend to share. He wasn't particularly handsome or fit, but he had the look and the style, and I thought I'd try and make him look foolish in front of the beauty he was talking to. If we're being honest, I probably wouldn't have stood a chance with her at the time. I don't know if I'd even want to try today. I like beautiful women as much as the next man, but people find others like themselves, and I wouldn't want to be with anyone like someone who did what he did next.

He held up his finger to her, as if to say "I'll be back in a minute," and walked off. I shrugged my shoulders and started to strike up a conversation with the girl he'd been talking to.

And then I had my first-ever full-blown panic attack.

I couldn't move. I felt small and naked and alone in the middle of this crowded bar. It was like a nightmare, one in which a malign intelligence that bore no resemblance to anything human, anything that knew compassion or empathy, was studying me, a primitive specimen not even worthy of contempt. I somehow knew that whatever happened to me next would be entirely up to whatever being or entity causing my distress, and that I would have no say in the matter.

Then it passed. I turned this way and that, wide-eyed with fear, only to see the PUA wink at me from a few feet away. He walked back to the girl and they resumed their conversation. I walked out of the bar, my eyes on the floor. I heard her laugh as I left. I hailed a cab home, staggered into my bathroom, and threw up.

I wasn't sure when I started writing this piece whether I was going to reveal the method, and now that I'm at the point where I could explain it, I've decided not to. It isn't a gun, it's a weapon that can only be used to torture and traumatize, and I will not help anyone learn how to do it. But I will say that in the years since, I have reverse-engineered the trick. I do know now how it is accomplished, and could break its methodology down so that someone who had never seen it used could learn to do it in five minutes. It is not magic in the sense of the supernatural, not in the slightest.

I tell this story for a number of reasons. I'm not who I was then, and don't want to be that guy ever again. In that moment I realized the destructive capacity of a dominance-oriented mindset. Soon after, I vowed to work for a prestige-oriented world, and that world that once was and could be again has been my North Star ever since.

But the main reason I tell it is this: He was not the only one who knew how to do it.

I have lived in very gay and very woke places. Many gay people are trauma survivors with the kind of damage that would twist one into thinking that there is ever a justification for dehumanizing others. And many gay men and lesbians are autistic, and most trans people are. Autists learn body language tricks easily and intuitively if they are taught by other autists. And gay men, lesbians, and trans people are the only people who I have seen do it since. They, too, resent large, capable cis men.

Wokies have even learned to use it tactically; I have seen them work in teams, with one person serving as a distraction and others using the body trick I describe. Consider this: If you can induce panic in another person without a cause obvious to third parties, you can ascribe the source of that panic to anything you choose. You can then point to their reaction and claim the traumatized victim is actually the guilty aggressor. After all, what else but shame at having been caught in the act of bullying a smaller, defenseless sexual minority would make a obvious brute stand frozen in fear, his barbarism revealed by the cold spotlight glare of his victim's righteous defenders? Things are not always as they appear.

So share this post, please. The woke have weapons with which they enforce compliance, and not all of them involve the use of shaming, shunning, or social media. And if you have an unexplained panic attack, or suddenly feel like the bottom has dropped out of your world and that you are being eyed by a demon in the context of a dispute with a social justice warrior, know that you are not imagining it. It is real, and being done to you deliberately.

Note: I have been asked by a few people whether I'm speaking metaphorically in this piece.

In a word, "no."

The human instinct to freeze in terror when faced with predation is innate, and I am describing, as best I can without explaining the method used, a real-life technique based on cognitive neuroscience that hijacks that response. Speaking as generally as possible, it relies on a misuse of the concept of resonance, and can be reliably applied as long as the victim is within about 20 feet of the predator. With practice, it can even be applied while the predator is doing other things, as long as they don't require too much physical focus. Conversation, yes. Knitting, probably not.

I can do it myself, and I could teach it; it's easy. I never in a million years would. I'm not big enough in terms of audience, and I don't want people running around doing it. I want people to know about it, though, and if you're a cognitive neuroscientist or academic psychologist, I'll explain in detail via email as long as you promise to investigate and ultimately publish the science behind how it works. It'll take you ten minutes to learn how, half an hour or less to practice with a partner, and you can judge for yourself whether I'm exaggerating or misrepresenting the facts. (And if I know you, email me and I'll tell you.)

But I want it defanged and useless. It's underground but widespread among the worst people imaginable, and it should not be available to anyone.

I have never asked my readers directly to forward an article to their friends and loved ones before, and I probably never will again.

If I'm being honest, the number one reason I started this newsletter, and put forth as much effort as I have to promote it, was so that I could write this particular piece and have some hope of it getting disseminated to a general audience. It was always in the back of my mind.

If you are unfamiliar with my work, I'm a neuropsych nerd, and a martial artist, and a survivor of bullying, neglect, and several years of sexual abuse as a child. As such, I am going to go out on a limb and state that I understand on a visceral level the ways in which the physiology of psychological dominance can be employed better than the overwhelming majority of non-psychologists, and better than most clinicians who do not specialize in the study of violent criminals. That, and the body of work that makes up my posts on this newsletter to do with autism, social dynamics, and spatial-sequence synesthesia, are the credentials I present to back up what may come across as an outlandish claim.

Thank you for reading The Wonderland Rules. This post is public so feel free to share it.