I want to start off by making a confession and also a historical explanation. /u/nemester and /u/atavisionary are the same person. I never really intended to make TWO relatively high profile accounts/names like this. It was sort of happenstance. My main account when I started reading moldbug’s unqualified reservations was /u/nemester. I put almost no thought into the name, it was just what I was using around reddit at the time. I liked what I read of moldbug’s and decided it might be fun to run a subreddit on the subject. I found /r/darkenlightenment abandoned by the first mod and with five subscribers (in 2014). I did a reddit request for it and got it. I would say it has been fairly successful since then.
After being a mod for a long while I started to realize how much writing I actually was doing in the comment threads and thought it would be of more value if I started posting these thoughts in longform on a blog. Not only would they be easier to find and index, but if reddit ever decided to ban me or my sub I would still have my material available somewhere. I also had a lot of material already available in the form of parts of the book I was working on, which of course is now completed several years later. Anyway, “Nemester’s blog” sounded stupid so I tried to think of a much more clever name. Basically I combined the biological term for a throw back trait/phenotype (atavism) with the term visionary. You can see a more full explanation here. So I started writing under the name Atavisionary and modding under the name Nemester. Path dependence. Had I seen the future I would have just done it all under Atavisionary, but hindsight is 20/20. Well, in addition to new and unique posts on the blog, I included partial excerpts from my book in blog posts on atavisionary.com to sort of trial test them, get feedback, and make improvements based on criticism.
This work as Atavisionary eventually got the attention of Hestia society. Hestia of course also founded social matter and the future primeval. Though keep in mind that my subreddit, /r/darkenlightenment, is actually older than Hestia. Hestia was formed after the breakdown of the website moreright (which occurred well after I started the sub). You can google this to find out more information, but briefly Mike Anisimov acted with impropriety on twitter and the rest of the blog writers on moreright decided to publicly excommunicate him and branch off. Before they announced hestia, however, I had already created atavisionary.com and I tangentially addressed the issue. That was written prior to any direct contact with the writers or ex-writers of moreright. Mike may have instigated the mess and my discussion, but I spent no more than a paragraph discussing internal drama of reaction then moved on to abstractions. You may have noticed a similarity in my modding policy. Attack the argument, not the person. Their decision with respect to Mike was probably warranted in my opinion, but frankly that had nothing to do with me so I won’t comment further. Now I am also suffering a similar ex-communication. However, I am actually the 4th person this has happened to that I am aware of and there may be more. First was Mike of course, then there was NIOreaction who I think now writes under reactionaryfuture, then there was Reed Perry who used to regularly write for social matter, and now me. This is starting to feel like a pattern. (Edit, make that 5)(Edit 2, Make that 6)
Eventually I was contacted (as atavisionary) on twitter by the voice of Hestia, Nick B Steves, and asked to join their slack. Slack is basically a private chatroom for discussing business. Something around 50-60% of the active neoreactionary writers were in the slack at the time and that is where they make all of their nefarious plans. Though notably the biggest names like Moldbug and Land have never been associated with Hestia as far as I am aware. However, it still seemed pretty official (that is a word they love to use a lot). Of course I excitedly agreed to join. It was nice to discuss modern events with people who had a similar understanding. I even tried to recruit additional mods for the sub from their group, but no one was interested. They suggested I make atavisionary a mod since of course that account was active on reddit… At the time I wasn’t quite ready to reveal to them that was just my alt and I had no other reason to say no, so I added ata as a mod even though it was basically pointless. What a joke that was. Much later I did reveal to them I was also nemester, though.
Slack was great for a while but it became clear that my ideas for how to proceed and the ideas of the “leadership” weren’t exactly in agreement. I won’t go into too many details, save two, but my major problem with “official” neoreaction is that they are far too secretive and far too timid. The main cause of our falling out has a lot to do with their loathing of transparency. Both in the current situation and while I was still on the slack. Prior to recent events, I had already started to distance myself from hestia. It has already been several months since I deleted my slack account but before that the very first major rift between us came when I found this white nationalist hit piece article which attacks moldbug and wolf tivy/warg franklin. Warg is one of the head people of hestia, and you can see he was on the email thread linked below. I posted this link in the private slack because, well, it is a bit of a concern if one of the main “leaders” of neoreaction is a literal cuckold. Their response was to remove the link and any comment referring to it. And this wasn’t just my comments, it was a number of people on the slack who were censored. Keep in mind this was a private chat room, not a public forum, so striesanding probably wasn’t going to happen. And wouldn’t have happened now if hestia didn’t continue to make one poor decision after another. Needless to say, I was pretty miffed by this action and it along with a number of other disagreements led to me leaving slack. It is clear from that experience, however, that the allegations against Warg in the above hit piece are absolutely true, and following hestia means following a cuck. It is hard to say what kind of skeletons the other “leaders” of hestia have in their closets. It is also clear that the “leadership” doesn’t have any plan for dealing with this unfortunate history, and prefer censorship to proper strategizing. I didn’t leave immediately after this happened, but this is when I started down that path. When I did leave, I didn’t stomp out or anything, I just said that the slack was distracting me from other work (which was true as well) and that if they needed anything they could reach me via email.
Earlier this month that is exactly what they did. You see, they knew that I have been allowing groups to advertise on the sub in one of the weekly stickies and they wanted their New York City based book club included. You may remember the group sticky from a few weeks ago. I started allowing meetups because several members of the /r/darkenlightenment community requested this. Ironically, the motivation for the people making these requests was the aborted phalanx initiative by moreright, most of whom later moved on to hestia. However, in the confusion of the Anisimov drama the project was abandoned, or at least the public facing part of the project. That left a vacuum and I had to create a policy with respect to these meetups because of the requests I was getting. I forget exactly when I came up with the meetup policy, but I would guess it has been at least a year and it was definitely before I had any involvement with hestia at all. The important bit is that my rules on meetups have been established for a very long time, they are clear and easy to follow, and there is not really any good reason for hestia not to follow them to get included in the weekly post. Well, they made their group, posted, and requested it be stickied. Since we were on good terms I did sticky it but with the instructions that they needed to update it to conform to my rules. They did not do so the entire week it was stickied, so I never bothered updating the normal weekly sticky with their group in it. Which of course led to the falling out. Below are screen shots of our conversation via email.
Believe it or not, a large portion of the Hestia society lives and works in New York City. Well they certainly live up to the stereotypes people have about New Yorkers. They have a very inflated sense of self importance.
The short of it is they are far too willing to mislead those who might listen to them, such as the community we have built here on /r/darkenlightenment. Even among those who are sympathetic to them (like me) they take a very high and mighty attitude, which is why you are learning about this today. Worst of all, they have absolutely no respect for the /r/darkenlightenment community. They don’t even want to give you a decent description of their meetup group. They don’t even have any respect for me who has spent two years and a lot of work building and moderating this community. I won’t lie, I am still in awe that they so steadfastly refused to follow such a simple and longstanding rule. I can’t understand why they think they shouldn’t have to follow the rules of my community. No sensible organization with any sort of decent leadership would have pointlessly risked alienating a major ally like hestia so carelessly has in this case. It is clearly a symptom of poor leadership.
From what I understand, part of their reluctance to provide any information whatsoever is that they literally take compartmentalization as a religion there. They aren’t trying to form an organic community, they are trying to recreate a spy agency secrecy state. I don’t know what to say other than fuck that. I believe in hierarchy, but that isn’t incompatible with transparency. I don’t want to live in a compartamentalized community where everything is a secret, I want an organic community. And I think most people here would agree with that sentiment. Moreover, one of the things that put neoreaction on the map in the first place was our candid discussions of politically incorrect issues. Their departure from that sentiment towards secrecy is a 180 degree shift from everything that neoreactionary thought was founded on, and I believe that if they continue down that path they will fail. I mean, do you really want to be led by a group that doesn’t even respect you enough to give you a brief description of their meetup group? From my experience, I don’t think they could lead themselves out of a wet paper sack, let alone make neoreaction a cultural force to be reckoned with. Thanks to my personal experience with their group, I reject any claims they have made to any sort of authority and I believe you should as well. This is their current motto:
Hestia society has in no way ever demonstrated that they are worthy of leadership or power and until they do no one should take their claim of leadership of neoreaction seriously. Hestia is and always has been nothing more than a collection of blog writers. Some of them are very good too, but that is as far as it goes. The main founders of neoreaction (moldbug and land) are not and have never been among their ranks. They have accomplished very little in the real world, and their current plan of action shows them to be the underpants gnomes of the far right. Their strategy is:
Don’t tell anybody anything → ? → profit.
How they ever expect to get more people on board with their plan with out actually telling them anything of substance I have no idea. Any one who actually starts associating with them will quickly realize they are being kept in the dark about most things and ditch them because that experience makes it very clear they are untrustworthy.