To DeFOO simply means to disassociate from, and ostracize, your family of origin. FOO is an acronym used in the psychological community. It stands for Family Of Origin. It arose out of a need to easily distinguish between ones birth family and ones marital family. Your Family Of Origin could be your biological parents, adoptive parents, step parents, grandparents, etc. Anyone considered to be a primary caregiver, extended family, or sibling during your childhood is part of the FOO.

The concept of DeFOOing is not new and has been practiced for decades. In the 21st century, it has gained traction in the voluntarism movement as a result of Stefan Molyneux and Freedomain Radio. Children all around the world are disassociating from their abusive parents. As to be expected, a lot of parents are very hostile to the idea of their children holding them to any moral standards. Complaints to the media have made the DeFOO a very controversial topic.

It is far too often the case that abused children will believe that all familial corruption is the fault of one parent. A common example of this would be a single or divorced mother blaming all her woes on the child’s father. These children need to be reminded that the family is a system. Your parents made voluntary choices and no single parent is more responsible than the other. It could very well be that the parent you think is the least guilty is in fact the most guilty. Often times the parent that sat by idly while the other parent spanked you is the truly sadistic one.

In most DeFOO cases, the entire family must be ostracized. This is because the family is a system of abuse. If your grandparents or aunts and uncles support your parents, they are also corrupt. If your siblings dismiss your feelings, defend your parents, or were abusive to you themselves, they too are corrupt. Should you wish to be consistent you will cast all corrupt FOO relationships from your life.

Consider the possibility that it may not be healthy to have any sort of relationship with your parent. It’s a difficult pill to swallow, and it should be used as the last option. However, it may be the option that helps you the most.

Dr. Phil on DeFOO


John Bradshaw Approach

The John Bradshaw approach to DeFOOing is very subtle. John repeatedly states that healing your Inner Child is not about punishing your parents, but removing the chains that bind you. He would argue that DeFOOing can be necessary for healing, but does not argue that it is morally necessary. This is in opposition to the Molyneux approach that argues holding your parents morally responsible for their parenting is a non-negotiable part of healing

Children will invest as much energy as is needed to ensure the preservation of family harmony, even if it means sacrificing themselves to do so by developing psychological disorders.

John Bradshaw

Stefan Molyneux Approach

Contrary to popular belief, Stefan Molyneux did not invent the practice of DeFOOing. Divorcing your Family Of Origin is not a particularly new concept. John Bradshaw and even Dr. Phil completely support the practice. Where Stefan Molyneux gets into hot water is with the application of DeFOOing to philosophy. Molyneux holds parental abuse of children is the greatest evil in the world today.

By continuing to associate with an abusive/corrupt Family Of Origin, you are also corrupt. Particularly if you are an anarchist, or respect the non-aggression principle. In the same way that having an abusive spouse is unhealthy, continuing to see abusive parents is also unhealthy. Huge sections of the anarcho-capitalist community are engraged at the thought of actually living their values.

Molyneux’s position on DeFOOing hasn’t changed. He and his wife, Christina Papadopoulos, went through a painful DeFOO of their parental and sibling relationships. DeFOOing was one of the primary topics of Freedomain Radio in the early days. Though, as Molyneux’s audience has grown, he has had to be less forward about his position on associating with abusive parents. It is a highly volatile topic. Most listeners do not have the moral courage to DeFOO from clearly corrupt parents. Rather than accept their moral hypocrisy, these listeners will ‘fog’ and avoid thinking about the topic.

There was a time when Stefan Molyneux would call them out on this, insisting that they acknowledge their hypocrisy. That day has long passed. Molyneux’s primary goal is the spreading of peaceful parenting in the world. If avoiding pushing the issue of DeFOOing will keep more people listening and spreading peaceful parenting, he would consider that a necessary compromise.

Molyneux will often say that he doesn’t advocate just leaving your parents. He tells you to get close to them, and talk to them. To See what happens. This is not for their sake, but for your sake. The truth is that if your parents abused you, there is ZERO potential for a relationship with them. Talking openly and honestly with your parents is solely for the purpose of achieving your own certainty. There is no restitution possible for child abuse.

How do you feel when your mother calls you? Happy? Anxious? Irritated? Bored? Angry? Do you hit the “talk” button with pleasure or dread? If you’re not happy when your mother calls, what do you do with that? Do you tell her about your unhappiness, so that you can work together to improve your relationship? Or, do you just swallow your feelings and struggle through the conversation? Maybe – just maybe – you don’t like your mother because your mother is not likable. It is a possibility, isn’t it? Philosophy will bring peace, honesty and reality to your relationships. Stop putting yourself down. Start respecting your feelings and listening to your instincts.

Stop hiding. Take the red pill.

Stefan Molyneux

Philosopher, Freedomain Radio

If to DeFOO from your Family Of Origin is to disassociate from them, then to ReFOO is to re associate with them after a DeFOO. It is not recommended to do this. You should be 100% certain of your DeFOO decision before doing it. You can achieve this certainty by having honest conversations with your parents, and learning the truth of your relationship.

Stefan Molyneux cautions listeners to not DeFOO unless they are certain. A ReFOO will inevitably be seen as an admission that any once held principles are irrelevant. It will discredit any of your complaints. A future DeFOO will be seen as an immature, emotional, temper tantrum.

Reasons you should DeFOO

  • …if your parents have circumcised you.
  • …if your parents have assaulted you including; spanking, slapping, pinching, hitting, hitting with implements.
  • …if your parents yelled/were verbally abusive to you or others in the home.
  • …if your parents threatened to abandon you if you didn’t do what they asked.
  • …if your parents are irrational/hold religious beliefs and taught them to you as if they were fact.
  • …if you were sexually molested/abused by anyone while under your parents care. They are responsible for not protecting you. If you did not tell them and they didn’t notice, this is even worse.
  • …if your parents did not follow the moral rules they taught to you.
  • …if your parents do/did not respect your feelings or try to manipulate your feelings.
  • …if your parents have broken agreements they made with you.
  • …if your parents don’t listen to you, or are not interested in what you have to say.
  • …if your parents associate with corrupt people and or/expect you to associate with corrupt people.

If you continue associating with your Family Of Origin after they have treated you like this, particularly during your childhood when you are completely vulnerable, you are nourishing a lifetime of dysfunctional relationships. You are signaling not only to others, but also yourself that you do not believe you can do any better. You are signaling low self esteem, self hatred, and hypocrisy. No person of high self esteem will be interested in being a close friend or pursuing a romantic relationship. If you have kids, you will have to hide the truth about your childhood from them. If you tell them the truth, you will be communicating that it is perfectly fine to associate with people that have abused you.

Reasons not to DeFOO

  • …if your parents got you immunized to diseases/viruses, this is not abuse.
  • …if your parents physically restrained you from imminent danger, this is not abuse.
  • …if your parents refused to give you unhealthy food, this is not abuse.
  • …if your parents forced you to brush your teeth, this is not abuse.
  • …if your parents were unable to buy you gifts/refused to buy you something you wanted, this is not abuse.
  • …if your parents pressured you into getting a basic education, this is not abuse.
  • …if your parents bribed you into doing things, this is not abuse.
  • …if your parents held you to contracts you agreed to, this is not abuse.
  • …if your parents do not pay for your college, this is not abuse.

However, it is never acceptable to punish your children. Actions have consequences, yes, however the natural consequences of life are enough for a child to learn and live healthily. The arbitrary punishments of parents are never acceptable and are always abusive. It should also be noted that though physical restraint is not necessarily abusive in emergency situations, parents should also warn children of dangers before hand, and also accept 100% responsibility for allowing the emergency to arise at all . Parents should work to negotiate and educate children about the consequences of different behaviors before they happen to avoid dangerous situations.


  1. Anonymous

    I can’t express how distant my parents were to me

    • Bart

      To Anonymous: that sounds very distant.

      I think this approach is unnecessarily hostile but I do agree with it. If you become a smaller person when your parents are around, or when you are around your parents (more likely) it is maybe a very good reason to distance yourself, or to express your feelings and try to change the relationship that way. In a sense I believe all parents belittle children because boys are treated as girls and girls are treated as boys. Your mother will not treat you as a boy, but as a girl, because that’s a way to hide sexual feelings and completely repress them. Your father will do the same to your sister. That means, that when you are (as a guy) with your mother, you are never an attractive party. Neither when you are with your father. You need to be without them, or change the relationship, but that is hardly possible mostly. Standing below your mother as a man signals to other women that you are not attractive. Standing above your father as a girl signals to men that you are not attractive. Because a man will think, Oh, she is doing that to me too right. Only normal sexual relationships can be healthy. That is what I believe strongly now.

    • Dorsey

      Its all new to me, as I never really thought about abandoning my parents… but distancing one parent always did as punishment. I thought. I still don’t like her because of this.
      Its a good woman and I feel I can forgive her for this incredibly insensitive selfish approach as she herself was hurting for what was done to her. Should I demand perfectionism and who knows maybe I am overly sensitive? Let me work on myself first and then see if we can solve it. DeFOO is a last resort really.

  2. Sophie

    …if your parents got you immunized to diseases/viruses, this is not abuse :

    It is, cause you never asked them to do so, and there are a lot of studies that say that the vaccinations can cause a lot of serious deseases in a long term. You might say that the parents want to do their best while vaccinate you, but it’s also an argument used to beat the child “for his own good”.

    …if your parents physically restrained you from imminent danger, this is not abuse :

    It is, cause the child would never go facing a danger. If the parents have to restrain him, it means that the child tries to do the same as his parents do. If you read the continuum concept, you discover that the children in the tribe are playing with big knives and that there is a big hole in the middle of the camp, and no kid never harm himself by cutting or falling. Every animal, human included, are physically aware of danger. It is the parents fears that produce accidents.

    …if your parents refused to give you unhealthy food, this is not abuse :

    Why would a child eat unhealthy food ? Are unhealty ingredients at home, available to eat ? Or you might think about a kid picking up anything on the floor to taste it ? In that case, children are building strong antibodies and useful bacterias by putting differents things in his mouth. And his also experiencing all his environment with all his senses.

    …if your parents forced you to brush your teeth, this is not abuse :

    – If you eat healthy food, and no sugar at all, there is NO NEED to brush the teeth.

    …if your parents were unable to buy you gifts/refused to buy you something you wanted, this is not abuse :

    -If your parents are unable to buy things that you need, they shouldn’t have kids. And if the child wants to buy 34 toys at the supermarket, he is trying to tell you that he misses love and attention, and tries to get his pleasure in something stimulating for him. Also, the child sees the parents buying things all the time and have access to supermarket, instead of picking up fruits, growing your own garden, or hunting your food…

    …if your parents pressured you into getting a basic education, this is not abuse :

    School is EVIL. See radical unschooling concept. Children who are free are spontaneously curious and learn what they need. Basic education means what parents judge what the child must learn.

    …if your parents bribed you into doing things, this is not abuse !

    If your mum bribes you into satisfying her needs…No child has to be bribed into doing things when the thing is healty for him. And I notice an exclamation mark that means ” And stop thinking differently”

    …if your parents held you to contracts you agreed to, this is not abuse :

    A contract you agreed on what kind of silly pressure ? What kind of parents make you sign contracts ?

    …if your parents do not pay for your college, this is not abuse :

    If you didn’t save for college, then you shouldn’t have kids, or live in the forest in a tribe somewhere, then your kids will never have the idea of going to college. But that looks north corean.4

    In general, saying all what is not abuse, is really dangerous, cause who are you talking to ? To people they would like to break from their parents and shouldn’t ? If someone wants to quit his family, it always has reasons right ?

    Or maybe you are talking to you detractors, saying “Look I am not a cult, I am a reasonable person, totally on your side at the end”

    Or maybe that is just to justify the way you are abusing your own kid, and you never want the people aknowledge it.

    • Somethingwicked

      Sophie, I can only assume you don’t have children. Please, do NOT if you don’t already have them. Your ideas about parenting are completely dissociated from reality. This is likely because you seem to think you are omniscient. You know everything already, therefore parents who do not know everything ahead of time already are abusive. To restrain a child from imminent bodily harm can mean something as simple as holding his hand while crossing the street, using a carseat, or strapping him down on the changing table. Neglect actually causes more injury than “abuse”. NOT doing the things I mentioned is certainly allowing the risk factor to severely increase. We live in a world where bodily harm can happen anytime, anywhere. Does that mean I should not take my child swimming, or camping, or across the street, because “what if”? Does this mean I have to agonize over vaccinating (or circumsizing, for that matter) my baby because there is a possibility of a bad reaction? What if I decided not to decide to vaccinate, and my child came down with a disease that caused lasting bodily damage or death? What then? I am abusive then, as well, right? You seem to think that parenting is being done in vacuum, with nothing inside that cannot be foreseen or controlled by the parent. You are dreadfully wrong. Perhaps Stefan is, too. I’ve only recently started listening to his political views, and I know very little yet about his other views. I will have to see if I want to go further or not.

      Whatever happened to being able to look objectively at those situations in our own childhoods, and understand (from a now-adult perspective rather than my inner child) that some of what my parents did or did not do, was the accepted practice of the times, or had good reason to do, or was genuinely through no fault of their own? “They did the best they could with what they had” apparently is not acceptable. I agree it should never excuse or minimize actual abuse-but should I DeFOO because my mother was widowed (oh, maybe she should not have married him, since he died 10 years later! Her fault!) and we were very short of money for a few years?

      I’m simpy boggled by circular thinking I see here. If we followed your advice (probably some of Stefan’s, too) we would all just sit under a tree from the time we are big enough to walk and get into trouble, because, you know, whatever happens after that is all my fault anyway.

      • Sargeant.

        You stupid oxygen thief cunt. Jesus you are a fucking imbecile.

    • Anonymous

      You’re wrong

    • Fiona

      God you sound like a weirdo.

    • Anne

      You crazy

    • Walter B.

      I dont agree its abuse because parents need to make decisions to keep their kids healthy safe and growing up. If they didnt have you protected god knows you’d fallen ill and then you blame them for that. Stop it already. Nonsense. And dont forget the studies are still controversial. Wait till you yourself are a parent. its never good enough according to your children. Its the most ungrateful task existing on earth. However if you raise them well and not allow them to get away with unreasonablness and help them outgrow childish view points , you may be granted a break.

    • Frank

      Stop drinking

  3. Julia

    …? I wasn’t aware that DeFOOing was recommended by Stefan in recent years. I’ve been watching his show regularly (off youtube) since 2013 and have never heard him mention the practice to callers or the audience. I don’t even remember him implying it, or mentioning anything like it (but I could be wrong). If I didn’t know any better I’d say this website is irrelevant considering his current views. He rarely even touches upon peaceful parenting or family life anymore, his show is focused more on current events and genetic determinism ATM. However, as a disclaimer I don’t visit the FDR forums or listen to the podcasts, so maybe there’s something critical I’m missing out on.

  4. Jeff

    Reasons you should DeFOO
    …if your parents have circumcised you.


    • J

      I think that circumcision is a horrible and abusive practice, but I have to agree with Jeff. Even today I think that most parents in the western world are completely oblivious to the fact that it’s an abusive form of genital mutilation. There’s no big movement against it, the pros and cons are taught NOWHERE, and doctors will do it by default unless you specifically tell them not to (which I did for my son, BTW).
      I like Stefan’s material a great deal, being Libertarian myself, but a fair number of these “if your parents…” statements require the parent to be omniscient, inclusive of their children’s thoughts. Not putting up with serious abuse (be it emotional, physical or sexual) is perfectly reasonable advice, but some of this is going over the line into leftist nonsense that holds adolescents completely free from responsibility for their choices in life; as if every parent should be perfection itself, and any angst anyone has upon reaching 18 is the result of their parents…rather than the fact that they themselves might just be an asshole.

      • Anonymous

        You are wrong. If you discount United States, in the west, circumcision is not practiced at all. In Europe for example, is looked upon as something only inferior subhuman crowd from the Middle East practices. Jews brought it to the States so they can blend in and appear alike. Sorry to break it to you like this.

  5. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

    Your otherwise fine article was ruined by the list of parental sins which is riddled with lefty pop parenting ideas. Some real howlers in there too: failure to “respect the feelings” of a raging entitled teenager? That’s a sin now? And wtf, circumcision is a sin now, even though I arranged for it to be done under general anesthesia? o.O

    Today was the first time I’d heard of the concept of DeFOO, and today is the day I decided it’s useless.

    • Ben

      Does it seem to anyone else that this philosophy doesn’t have room for forgiveness, or for true love for flawed (or even evil) parents? That it teaches us to absolutely reject any family members/parents who have ever made mistakes or hurt us, and assumes that we will NEVER make mistakes ourselves?

      Since he did not experience love, I wonder if he doesn’t understand that we can still love parents who don’t love us back, or that it’s possible for us forgive the unforgivable, or that we can still show love to the unloveable?

      • Don

        The sins list is absurd. However, I DeFoo’d 20 years after a psychologist told me I would need to (I had gone not to complain about my family, but to address panic attacks, find out if I was psychotic, and find out if I was a bad person) … and I have full forgiveness for my family, but I don’t forget, nor will I go back. I merely hold no ill will.

        However, Stephen is absolutely right – if they have violated you over and over and over in ANY way – not that is necessarily on or off that list – but in a way that you know in your gut is a transgression – and you have confronted them with that – and in that confrontation they have shown you exactly what you expected.

        LEAVE. If you are even in this situation … you have no idea how great and beautiful an life is once you have not just praised yourself for your values … but actually rejected those who treat you in a way that’s antithetical to them. And he is exactly right that you do confront them … not for them …. but because you have to see who they really are, that’s what allows you to leave, with forgiveness in the sense that you hold no grudge or debt against them – merely see them as sick, unaware or evil people.

    • Anonymous

      your just worried you’ve already fucked up my friend. The information hit too close to home. Best of luck

  6. damn

    Pure evil predation on the vulnerable and weak. I’m not a parent but I love my mum to death. This is very manipulative and plain evil.

  7. me

    Your sins list is absurd. And equating all punishment with arbitrary punishment is just plain stupid. Short of some legal breach, such as stealing from or slandering you, only repeated, unmeasured and unjustified physical punishment, unremitting mental cruelty, and or clearly intentional sexual interference could justify breaking the family connection for good. Most parents harbour neither malice nor lust toward their children. So forgive as you would be forgiven. It’s worth noting that this practice and the attitudes that promote it have arisen in tandem with the generations who have decided not to have children of their own.They should ask themselves whether their quarrel is really with their parents – or with life.

  8. Jean Q

    One way to save yourself a lot of pain is to accept that your parents will never be the type of parent you want and need. We are all imperfect beings. You don’t need to forgive a bad parent, but don’t waste your life reliving what they did to you. My older sister could never get over how cruel our father was to us and she grew old reliving what he did to her every day of her life. She died 2 years ago a broken victim of the past. She could have claimed being a survivor instead of a life of victim hood. I stayed away from her because I just couldn’t take hearing her complain anymore. Her one daughter also grew up feeling that she was the victim of her mother, but they were really victims of each other. Be a survivor, no matter what and don’t repeat the mistakes and failures of your parents on your children. Remember that old joke: Your parents ruin the first half of your life and your kids ruin the 2nd half. Don’t let that be true for you. You can have everything you missed by giving a good, calm, loving life to your children. It will be what really helps you heal.

  9. yvette vernet

    I didn’t actually DeFoo,I just left an abusive family behind,I was the scapegoat ,the youngest and the most vulnerable in a family of bullies with narcissistic tendencies.Sadly because of my appallingly low self esteem,resulting from years of emotional and physical abuse I ended up marrying and spending seven years with another narcissist, which is what can be called a double whammy,I also tended through my life to attract “friends” who were critical of me and used me, as I had also become a “people pleaser”. Not any more though, I can call myself a survivor. Sadly I never got the family I always dreamed of due to my reluctance to enter into another relationship. It was as I matured that I realized how abusive my “family” had really been to me and that I didn’t deserve any of it, the problems were theirs and not mine and for a very long time I had been made to believe I was responsible for their treatment of me. Now I feel liberated although I still feel anger at times as I recall certain things and how I suffered them meekly,but then I tell myself I was just a child and a teenager and then an immature young adult,I did not have the knowledge I have now.They are all dead now,expect for my ex-husband who is now micromanaging the life of his third wife.They are all dead and I feel absolutely no grief,as I cannot reminisce on anything worth remembering.I don’t believe I should forgive them,in fact I feel better NOT forgiving,certain things are simply unforgivable and I don’t, like many people look upon forgiveness as an instant cure all, I believe the concept of forgiveness is flawed, I would even say it is a societal preconceived notion,like many other platitudes people follow blindly.If there is an after life after I depart from this sphere of existence, I will NOT be seeing any of them again.

  10. alice

    That ‘Christian love’ mentioned in the post you indicate is the first alarm bell I see. You are either gullible or ill intended. You definitely cannot know the whole truth.

    • stop moly now

      It’s obvious you are of the Molyneux gang. Only you know the whole truth; nobody else can.

  11. John

    I could believe this approach is right for some people, but your reasons to DeFOO seem pretty weak. Circumcision? Spanking? Passing on their religion? Not always living up to their own rules? Those all seem at least a little bad, but I think DeFOOing is not a proportionate response.

    I’d suggest instead of focusing on how you’re going to cut off your parents, focus on how you’re going to find a new social circle. If you’re able to find a new set of people who care about you deeply, you’ll have less need for your parents anyway.

  12. mike

    Wow is this ever wacked out! Anyone with a brain that can think for themself will spot many ridiculous points. There is apparently no room for mistakes or you shouldn’t be able to know your adult kids?! If my kid grew up and said he was “dee fooing” because we took his games away when he didnt listen, or put him in his room when he did something mean to his little sister, or said rude words to his grandma… i would be hurt, but Id have to laugh and say “good luck with that, you spoiled shit!!” There are certain things that are privileges for kids!!!

    • Anonymous

      Hopefully, your kid will defoo asap

  13. Carla Duvall

    I choose to be in interracial relationship which turned very abusive…my own mother and 23 year old daughter both told me I got what I deserved for dating a black man…I asked if that meant I deserved to be raped n beaten at gun point by his friends also. They both said yes….I slapped my mom and walked out of their life for good…

    • Anonymous

      if you burn the coal, you pay the toll

      • KEK

        hello /pol/

    • Who is the real abuser?

      Wow! It sounds like moly’s advise to ask inflamatory questions to alienate your family and then cry foul really works!!! Is now moly advising to hit your parents, too?

    • Not you, moly

      Moly, you are going too far with your tactics and advise!! Taunting parents with irrational, confrontational questions, and hitting them?
      There is a boss in this world, and it is NOT YOU!!! Your “philosophy” time is counted.

    • Who is the real abuser?

      Wow! moly, it seems that following your advise of asking crazy questions to alienate parents, and then cry foul really works.

    • Moonman

      You didn’t just ignore your parents. You ignored crime statistics and you ignored your own instincts in committing bestiality.

      Mudsharks need to go to Africa!

    • William H Verhorne

      Sorry, lass but you got what was coming to you.
      Burn the coal, etc. etc.

  14. claire jordan

    In the past I have needed to cut all contact with my family in order to preserve my sanity and to protect my children from their abuse. It is only now that I have learned that a word exists which describes this gut wrenching process. Two years ago I permanently deFooed from my mother and two months ago I decided to deFoo from my father as well. Cutting off contact from my dad has been especially painful because he has been in a nursing home due to a debilitating condition and I had been driving long distances to visit him weekly. I feel tremendous guilt around this decision to deFoo from my parents in spite of having done so before. Now that they are elderly and frail, I believe that my actions will seem to them to be especially cruel and I have no hope that they will ever see things from my point of view. With the help of this community however I feel certain that I will persevere. If no now then when, I ask myself. I am 54 years old and I have decided that I have suffered long enough. It is time for me to start honoring the needs of my little self and to really process all of the pain that I have so long no buried and denied. Freedom will be my reward, I know this to be true that freedom will be mine….finally!

  15. Paula

    I think some of these abuses listed are too cut and dried. Experience tells me there are many grey areas here and room for a different approach. I also think that it would require enormous courage to disown your family and the results could be drastic and negative for all concerned.
    I’m 51 and while what is left of my own family is most definitely dysfunctional, have caused me untold heartache as a child and as mental health problems as a younger adult, I am still grateful for having a family at all. I would feel completely bereft without one.

    Life is harsh and there are no rehearsals, as we know. But no one owes us anything in this life, not loyalty, not support, not even love. Therefore when you do receive it in any form, it is a blessing, and we ought to be grateful for it and not take it for granted. They taught me this – that just because you are related, with the best will in the world it doesn’t make any difference – we are all just people first, with massive flaws as well as good points, and inherited ignorance. Once you understand people and where they are coming from, what caused their scars, you can forgive them and stop seeing yourself as a victim, and the only one who is blame-free or without flaws yourself.

    A family is only a microcosm of society, and if you believe that disowning your family is going to help you that’s fine, but I don’t see how this very cold, and even cruel action is going to help you or your family in the long run. There is a lot to be said for forgiveness, so that you can properly move on psychologically, not just move on from the fold, physically.

  16. BobThomas

    ” Honour your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” ( Ephesians 6:1–2, ESV. See also Colossians 3:20) — Ephesians 6:1–2 (ESV)

    I’ll take God over Molyneux any day of the week.

    • Moonman

      Good thing I don’t worship some desert jew God who uses Satan to toy with his creations (read the Book of Job).

    • SM4Life

      Molyneux is a God!

  17. Anoymous Mom @ 60 yrs. old

    Totally agree…I’ll take God over Molyneux any day of the week, month or year!

  18. Happy Adolph

    So basically, any arbitrary set of values which are deemed good are good, and any arbitrary set of values which are deemed bad are bad. Someone else, a complete stranger, an e-celeb no less, has decided for you and compiled a list for your convenience.
    …if your parents bribed you into doing things, this is not abuse.
    Manipulation is good, goy!
    Oy vey! Destroy your family, white man! It’s only for your own good!

  19. An interested Party

    Don’t you understand, Mr Molyneux, that we humans are all imperfect beings, and that there is no rulebook for parenting, that we are not and cannot be in complete control of our lives, and that to understand ones past and parents – and to forgive them their faults – is the essence of becoming a fully-fledged man or woman that is comfortable with who they are, and to both give and receive that unconditional love that stems from being born into a family – not choosing to of course, but we are here, and that is why, and this is life.

    I refer you to Philip Larkin’s poem ‘This Be The Verse’ which begins thusly:
    “They fuck you up, your mum and dad. They may not mean to, but they do.
    They fill you with the faults they had And add some extra, just for you.”

    It continues, and bears reading.

    I must also add that, as imperfect beings, the human animal contains – inherently – a capacity for savagery, cruelty, and sadism. This is within our natures, and it is preposterous to say that a world of no aggression or even passive aggression/manipulation is possible, it displays your own mental reach and state when you blame it upon women exclusively – as you have done when you claim if mothers are nice to their kids for just 5 years all humanity’s ills will cease – this is frankly misogynistc. you may hate your own mother, but do not tar all women with that brush. Man is a savage creature especially, and women help to ameliorate that savagery.

    I would also call you out as having no formal training in philosophy – ones own studies are not enough, to replace a formal course, and you make the error of claiming to be much more than what you are, which is simply a blogger and podcaster with a degree in History. your podcast ‘On Truth; The Tyranny of Illusion’ presupposes much more than a) what it really is and b) what you really are.
    It contains some truths there are no doubt, but the conclusion to cut off your parents, siblings, is broken and flawed. To become a fully rounded and developed person, one must recognise we are imperfect human beings, and to forgive our parents for their flaws.
    Also in regards to this, I refer you to a real philosopher’s essay ‘On Bullshit’ by Harry G. Frankfurt. It seems to me Sir, that you are justifying your own decision to break with your family by recommending your method to others with scant true justification, developing a whole theory for your mind to deal with what you have done and convince itself that you are right.

  20. Romy Jones

    What if, after you’ve thoroughly explained your grievances, your parents are truly sorry, apologize and genuinely change their behaviour in an attempt to make up for their previously bad parenting? What does ‘DEFOO’ say about this?

    • molymeme

      From what I can gather from listening to stef for 6 years nothing they can say will ever be good enough. His wife’s parents apologized in a letter and merely because a sentence or two could be cast as slightly guilt inducing that it wasn’t good enough for example.

  21. Anonymous

    does he ever say what his parents did?

  22. Cwietu

    “…if your parents are irrational/hold religious beliefs and taught them to you as if they were fact”

    Since anarcho-capitalism is irrational one should DeFOO if his/her parents are anarcho-capitalists and teach that as if it was a fact.

  23. Scott

    Wow. I doubt anyone can pass that sin test. Good thing children come with a manual so everyone can avoid these transgressions and not have to be forced to do the very best they can for their kids only. God forbid I ever make a mistake and have my child disown me for it.

  24. Just a mom and daughter

    Rarely do children need to deFOO. Instead they need to develop coping skills for all the difficulties they will encounter in life – the workplace, neighbors, community at large, etc. The “Blank Slate” was one of the most injurious ideas ever postulated in Western Civilization. In fact, humans are born with a great deal of hard wiring – otherwise they wouldn’t survive. One aspect of that hard wiring is the deeply ingrained need for kin and family roots. The most successful families are multigenerational – they share dinners, vacations, celebrations, etc. They grow and learn together. The grass is not greener on the other side of the fence. Be humble and learn to appreciate what you have.


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